Entries by Laura Turchi

When and how did carrots turn orange?

Carrots were not always orange, and a new paper by Coe, Bostan, Rolling et al. sheds new light into the history of carrot domestication and improvement, i.e., how we went from white, knotty carrots to the orange, smooth ones that are now consumed all over the world. The authors published a new version of the […]

RNA hairpins underlie preferential use of translation start codons

Gene expression regulation facilitates environmental adaptation and survival. This recent paper by Xiang et al. focuses on the regulation of translation, in particular on the mechanism underlying the generation of different translation products in different conditions. In addition to the main start codon (mAUG) and its associated open reading frame (mORF), mRNA molecules can contain […]

Single-residue substitution in histone H3 leads to over-lignification in Arabidopsis

Chromatin changes are at the core of plant development and adaptation, as they constitute a crucial layer of gene expression control. The effects of different chromatin marks have historically been studied through mutations to the protein complexes depositing and removing the marks, which results in strong developmental defects and pleiotropic effects. Fal et al. expressed […]

UFO helps LEAFY find new promoter elements

Floral development has been the object of decades of plant research, yet many fundamental questions remain. One of these is the mechanism by which LEAFY (LFY), the master transcription factor of floral development, works with UNUSUAL FLORAL ORGANS (UFO), an F-box protein, to regulate petal and stamen development. In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), LFY and UFO […]

Boosting plant disease resistance through epigenetics

Increasing plant resistance to specific pathogens through genome editing is a very active branch of crop engineering. In a recent paper, Veley et al. propose to edit the epigenome to boost resistance to cassava bacterial blight by increasing the levels of DNA methylation at specific sites, while leaving the DNA sequence unchanged. The authors focus […]