Entries by Maria Julissa Ek-Ramos

Review: The rice genome revolution: from an ancient grain to Green Super Rice ($) (Nat. Rev. Genetics)

Rice is one of the major staple crops in the world as it is an essential component of diets and livelihoods. Populations in poor regions that are highly dependent on rice (Africa and South Asia) will increase dramatically by 2050, revealing the urgent need to find tools to prevent a future humanitarian crisis. Wing et […]

Review: Overview of attitudes towards genetically engineered food ($) (Annu. Rev. Nutrition)

The appearance and growing importance of genetically engineered (GE) food, and the extensive resistance to it, raises many issues specific to this technology. Scott et al. analyze the bases of lay opposition to GE food and evidence for how attitudes change towards this topic. The authors indicate that a lot of people are against GE […]

A molecular rheostat adjusts auxin flux to promote root protophloem differentiation ($)

In plant development, auxin serves as a concentration-dependent signal that regulates cell differentiation, elongation and proliferation. The distribution of auxin is carried out by auxin efflux carriers such as PIN-FORMED (PIN) proteins and the specific accumulation of auxin directs organ differentiation and organization. Marhava et al. developed a mutant of the BREVIS RADIX (BRX) gene […]

Feedback regulation of COOLAIR expression controls seed dormancy and flowering time ($)

FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC) and FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) are proteins required for seasonal sensing in plants. Specifically, FLC and FT control seed dormancy and flowering time. In the control of flowering time, FLC expression is regulated by the prolonged-cold induction of antisense transcripts at FLC known as COOLAIR, which facilitate FLC silencing. Previously Chen […]

A plant phytosulfokine peptide initiates auxin-dependent immunity through cytosolic Ca2+ signaling (Plant Cell)

Plants are exposed to a wide variety of biotic stressors such as herbivores and microbial pathogens. Thus, they have developed a sophisticated response system which involves different signal molecules and accurate signaling pathway responses. Among them, phytosulfokine (PSK), a disulfated pentapeptide, has been suggested to be a key signaling molecule, but evidence that supports this […]

Bacteria exploit autophagy for proteasome degradation and enhanced virulence in plants (Plant Cell)

Autophagy has been defined as non-specific self-eating to obtain material that will be used for key processes within the cell. Even through authophagy has been demonstrated to be very important, its role during plant-bacteria interactions is not well known.  Üstün et al. examined interactions between autophagy and the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS), based on previous studies […]

A mucin-like protein of planthopper is required for feeding and induces immunity response in plants (Plant Physiol.)

Piercing-sucking insects secrete saliva while feeding through specialized mouth parts called stylets. Saliva plays critical roles in insect digestion and nutrition, and regulates plant defense responses, but the specific metabolites involved have not been characterized. Shangguan et al. reported the identification of a specific protein secreted in the saliva of Nilaparvata lugens, an important rice pest. […]

Calling from distance: attraction of soil bacteria by plant root volatiles (ISME J.) ($)

Plant interactions with beneficial microbes are good strategies to survive biotic and abiotic challenging conditions, but the mechanisms that plants use to recruit these interactions, specially belowground, remain scarcely known. Schulz-Bohm et al. designed an olfactometer system to analyze the long distance interactions between soil bacteria and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by Carex arenaria roots. They also […]