Entries by Katie Rogers

Interviews with synthetic biologists: Paul South

Synthetic biology is a set of tools, a way of thinking, the integration of engineering principles into biological sciences, and potentially the biggest opportunity for advances in plant sciences since PCR. Yet many struggle to define it, and fewer still grasp its full potential. In August 2019, a Plant Synthetic Biology meeting will be held in San Jose, […]

Welcome to our 2019 Plantae Fellows!

In 2014, ASPB launched Plantae as part of our ongoing commitment to create a vibrant and engaging community for plant scientists. Currently, Plantae has over 9,000 users and the content generated by this community is broadcast to over 27,000 people on social media. Each year we select a group of Plantae Fellows to help nurture […]

Dancing with hormones: A current perspective of nitrate signaling and regulation in Arabidopsis (Frontiers in Plant Science)

Nitrogen (N) is a main constituent of amino acids and nucleotides and therefore plays a central role in plant growth, development, and stress responses. Plants are able to take up nitrogen from the soil in two forms, nitrate and ammonium. Nitrate is the predominant form of nitrogen found in most crop soils. This review paper […]

Rice with reduced stomatal density conserves water and has improved drought tolerance under future climate conditions (New Phytologist)

Rice (Oryza sativa) is an important food source in many parts of the world. Unfortunately, this crop requires large amounts of water and it is not tolerant of drought or high temperatures. Here, Caine et al., have engineered the ‘IR64’ rice cultivar so that leaves will have lower stomatal density. Engineered plants used 40% less […]

Plant neighbor detection and allelochemical response are driven by root-secreted signaling chemicals (Nature Communications)

Plants are not able to move out of their neighborhood if they are unhappy, but they are capable of recruiting and assembling a community in which they are able to thrive. Plants are also able to initiate defense when they sense that threats are near. To keep tabs on their neighbors, plants utilize both physical […]

A step-by-step guide for geometric morphometrics of floral symmetry (Frontiers in Plant Science)

This publication has many beautiful images of flowers and provides a detailed guide that researchers can use to statistically analyze corolla shape and structure. Part of what makes the flowers in these pictures so beautiful to our eyes and encourages us to hit “share” is their symmetrical designs. However, symmetry is useful for more than […]

Influence of light on plant–phyllosphere interaction (Frontiers in Plant Science)

The term “phyllosphere” refers to the world of microbes that interact among themselves and with their plant hosts above ground. In this review, the authors explore what is known about this interesting habitat and how abiotic factors, especially light, influences the interactions and survival of its residents. In general, light is detrimental to phyllosphere microorganisms, […]

From Golden Rice to aSTARice: Bioengineering astaxanthin biosynthesis in rice endosperm (Molecular Plant)

Zu et al., have successfully harnessed the power of synthetic biology to increase the nutritional content of rice by overexpressing only four synthetic genes in rice endosperm. Here, the authors have created a colorful gradient of carotenoid-enriched rice by expressing two, three, and then four genes involved in astaxanthin synthesis. Overexpressing phytoene synthase and phytoene […]

Review: The evolution of root branching: increasing the level of plasticity (J Exp Bot) ($)

Without roots, plants are unable to gain height due to poor anchorage and are less fit for survival outside of humid environments. Root branching allows plants to better adapt to their environmental conditions and improves their capability to forage for water and nutrients. In this review, Motte and Beeckman explore major differences in the way […]