Entries by Michela Osnato

Regulation of shoot meristem shape by photoperiodic signaling and phytohormones during floral induction of Arabidopsis (eLife)

Angiosperms synchronize the floral transition with optimal internal and external conditions such as daylength to maximize reproductive success. Despite the wealth of knowledge on the molecular mechanisms controlling flowering time, little is known about the cellular events that occur as the vegetative meristem converts into a reproductive meristem. Here, Kinoshita and coworkers combined confocal microscopy […]

Systematic characterization of gene function in a photosynthetic organism (bioRxiv)

Vilarrasa-Blasi and coworkers described their impressive work on a huge barcoded Chlamydomonas collection, in which they screened almost 60,000 insertion mutants grown under a wide range of environmental and chemical stress conditions. The authors assessed genotype-phenotype specificity for almost 80% of C. reinhardtii genes, represented by one or multiple allelic variants, and shed new light […]

Alternative splicing generates a MONOPTEROS isoform required for ovule development (Curr. Biol.)

Auxin shapes the plant body and drives the formation of lateral organs such as roots and ovules. In the current model, AUXIN RESPONSE FACTORs (ARFs) are transcription factors that regulate plant growth by activating signaling in an auxin dose-dependent manner, regulated by Aux/IAA proteins. Here, Cucinotta and coworkers demonstrate a new twist on this paradigm, […]

The halophyte seashore paspalum uses adaxial leaf papillae for sodium sequestration (Plant Physiol.)

Global warming and intensive farming are increasing soil salinity, which is predicted to affect 30% of cultivated land by 2050. Salinity represents a major threat for agriculture as most crops drastically reduce their growth and productivity in saline environments. Understanding the strategies used by halophytes (salt-tolerant plants) and transferring them to glycophytes (salt-intolerant plants) could […]

TERMINAL FLOWER 1-FD complex target genes and competition with FLOWERING LOCUS T (Nat. Commun.)

The onset of reproductive development is tightly regulated in response to environmental cues as early and delayed flowering greatly affects seed production. In Arabidopsis, the timing of flower formation is controlled by members of the Phosphatidyl Ethanolamine-Binding Protein (PEBP) family: TERMINAL FLOWER 1 (TFL1) promotes inflorescence fate whereas FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) promotes floral fate. […]

A cis-regulatory atlas in maize at single-cell resolution (bioRxiv)

Cis-regulatory elements (CREs) are DNA sequences found near or within genic regions that drive proper gene expression in time and space. Thus, CREs play essential roles in the diversification of spatially distinct cell-types with specialized function in multicellular organisms. To identify CREs underlying the specification of different organs in the crop species Zea mays (maize), […]

Review: Less is more, natural loss-of-function mutation is a strategy for adaptation (Plant Communications)

Gene gain through duplication and gene loss through loss-of-function (LoF) mutations determine genetic variation underlying diversification and adaptive evolution. In this review, Xu and Guo highlight the importance of LoF mutations in the evolutionary success of several organisms as revealed by advancements in whole-genome sequencing. The authors focused on the genome-wide distribution of LoF variants […]

A peptide pair coordinates regular ovule initiation patterns with seed number and fruit size (Curr. Biol.)

In Arabidopsis pistils, ovule primordia differentiate from the placenta – meristematic tissue within the two fused carpels – in parallel rows with a regular spacing of 2-4 cells. Since fruit growth and ovule formation determine the maximum number of seeds enclosed in a silique, these two processes should be tightly coordinated to ensure reproductive success. […]

KIN10 promotes stomatal development through stabilization of the SPEECHLESS transcription factor (Nat. Commun.)

Plants communicate with the environment through stomata (i.e., pores found on leaf surfaces) and regulate gas exchange depending on internal and external cues by optimizing stomata density. Still, how plants integrate metabolic and environmental signals remain to be determined. Here, Han and colleagues discovered that stomatal index in Arabidopsis leaves decreased under conditions associated with […]