Entries by Michela Osnato

Florigen sequestration in cellular membranes modulates temperature-responsive flowering (Science)($)

The existence of the FLORIGEN – a mobile floral activator produced in the leaf and transported to the apex – was hypothesized almost a century ago but its molecular nature remained elusive for decades. In the last 15 years, independent groups demonstrated that members of the Phosphatidyl Ethanolamine-Binding Proteins (PEBP) family act as florigen in […]

TEM1 combinatorially binds to FLOWERING LOCUS T and recruits a Polycomb factor to repress the floral transition in Arabidopsis (PNAS)

Gene expression is primarily controlled by transcriptional regulatory proteins able to recognize and bind short DNA sequences in downstream targets. Understanding how DNA-binding proteins achieve high precision and switch on/off the transcription of selected genes at a specific developmental stage or in response to a specific environmental stimulus has been one of the major goals […]

When mentoring matters: a French mentoring program for women in science (Nature Biotech.)

The term gender scissor describes the distribution of men and women throughout their scientific career: while girls represent more than a half of the University students, the percentage of women in science markedly decreases beyond the PhD. This trend has been reported in different European Union member states including France. In this country, female scientists […]

Crop origins explain variation in global agricultural relevance (Nature Plants)

According to FAO, only a hundred out of several thousands edible plants contribute to the global food system. Specifically, twelve species dominate food production worldwide; more than a half of our daily calorie intake comes from four seed crops (maize, soybean, rice and wheat). Although the agricultural relevance of a crop largely associates with its […]

DELLA degradation by gibberellin promotes flowering via GAF1-TPR-dependent repression of floral repressors in Arabidopsis (Plant Cell)

In Arabidopsis, flowering is promoted by the activation of the florigen FT in response to long days and by the accumulation of the phytohormone GA under short days (SD). Despite the extensive knowledge of regulatory networks involving FT, the molecular mechanism controlled by GA is still unresolved. Fukazawa and coworkers previously identified GAI-ASSOCIATED FACTOR1 (GAF1), […]

GABA signalling modulates stomatal opening to enhance plant water use efficiency and drought resilience (Nature Comms)

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a non-protein amino acid produced by animals and plants, but is its function conserved across kingdoms? In mammals, GABA acts as chemical messenger in the central nervous system by inhibiting neurotransmission. In plants, GABA accumulates in response to stress but its role in cellular communication is still unresolved. In this study, […]

A single-cell analysis of the Arabidopsis vegetative shoot apex (Devel. Cell)

One of the most fascinating challenges in developmental biology is to understand how a few stem cells hidden in a microscopic region of the shoot apex give origin to all aerial parts of the plant. Technological advances such as single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) are enabling the comprehensive analysis of heterogeneous cell populations with unprecedent resolution. Zhang […]

Genome assembly and population genomic analysis provide insights into the evolution of modern sweet corn (Nature Comms)

In maize (Zea mays), loss of function mutations in genes involved in starch biosynthesis characterize sweet corn varieties that have increased sugar content in the kernel. Specifically, lines carrying the shrunken2 (sh2) allele revolutionized the corn industry in Northern America in the last 50 years thanks to improved quality traits and shelf life. Besides the […]

Differential biosynthesis and cellular permeability explain longitudinal gibberellin gradients in growing roots (PNAS)

Gibberellin (GA) controls multiple developmental processes throughout the plant life cycle, from seed germination to flowering. In Arabidopsis, GA also regulates division of meristematic cells at the tip of the root and cell elongation in the growing zone. Despite its importance, little is known about the events that generate the GA gradient that drives growth […]