Entries by Laura Mejia

Plant point of view: Echinacea alkamides and microbial friends 

Written and Illustrated by Laura Mejia. Click on images to enlarge.   This week’s article by Maggini et al. (2017) is focused on the interactions between a plant and its endophytes. Specifically, it explores the contributions of the bacterial endophytes of Echinacea purpura, widely used in traditional medicine, to the production of specific alkamide secondary […]

Plant point of view: Cactaceae

Written and Illustrated by Laura Mejia. Click on images to enlarge. Mexico is one of the most important dryland regions of the world. Almost half of the cacti species found there are endemic, found nowhere else. This beautiful review by Ramírez-Rodríguez et al., published in 2020 in Food Chemistry, introduces us to the astonishing world […]

Plant Point of View: Orchids

This series is the exploration of plants that are notable for various reasons: e.g., by producing specialized metabolites, by illuminating evolution, by serving as genetic models, or by their contributions towards practical applications. Orchids The orchid family (Orchidaceae) is the second largest plant family, comprising nearly 1000 genera. In this highlighted (open access) review article […]

Plant point of view: Aristolochia gigantea

This series is the exploration of plants that are notable for various reasons: e.g., by producing specialized metabolites, by illuminating evolution, by serving as genetic models, or by their contributions towards practical applications. Aristolochia gigantea Aristolochia gigantea, also known as Dutchman’s pipe, is a tropical plant with kettle trap flowers that use complex cues to […]

Plant point of view: Papaver somniferum

This series is the exploration of plants that are notable for various reasons: e.g., by producing specialized metabolites, by illuminating evolution, by serving as genetic models, or by their contributions towards practical applications. Papaver somniferum Papaver somniferum (opium poppy) is a plant that sometimes is misunderstood because of the ilegal activities surrounding this species. However, […]

Chemical convergence between plants and insects: biosynthetic origins and functions of common secondary metabolites

  Plants and insects aren’t closely related, but the have indeed a plethora of similar chemical weapons used for their interactions (defense, attraction, etc). In this article Beran, et al, shows the different metabolites that are shared in both groups, in insects and plants. 1.The monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes used for inter and intraespecific interactions, this […]

Review. Chemical convergence between plants and insects: biosynthetic origins and functions of common secondary metabolites (New Phytol)

Plants and insects aren’t closely related, but they have a plethora of similar chemical weapons used for their interactions (defense, attraction, etc.). Beran et al. describe the function and biosynthesis of secondary metabolites that are shared in both insects and plants. The monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes used for inter and intraspecific interactions. These molecules are formed […]

Untargeted metabolomics reveals host plant chemistry before and after pea aphid infestatation (Front. Plant Sci)

Pea aphids are genetically diverse, with different biotypes (or “host races”) having different host plant preferences. Sanchez-Arcos et al. reveal several relationships between plant metabolite production and the possibility of colonization of certain aphid host races. Using UHPLC- MS analysis of the extracts of Medicago sativa, Trifolium pratense, Vicia faba and Pisum sativum before and […]

Review: Evolutionary and ecological insights from herbicide resistant weeds (New Phytol)

Weeds represent a problem for the economy due to their easy resistance of pesticides, but they are also a model for adaptation, ecology and evolution. In this review Baucom focusses on three areas: the genetic basis of adaptation, evolutionary constraints, and experimental evolution. Weed resistance is related to mutations of target site resistance genes (e.g., […]