Entries by Michela Osnato

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 […]

Plant Science Research Weekly: 18 September 2020

Guest Edited by Michela Osnato. I completed my studies at the University of Milan (ITALY), with a M.S. in Plant Biotechnology and a PhD in Plant Biology and crop productivity. The plasticity of plant development has always fascinated me. For this reason, I decided to investigate regulatory genes controlling the development of vegetative and reproductive organs […]

The calcium-permeable channel OSCA1.3 regulates plant stomatal immunity (Nature)

In plants, the perception of environmental threats induces a peak of calcium ions (Ca2+) in the cytosol that triggers signal transduction pathways leading to stomatal closure as defense response. In Arabidopsis, the mechanosensitive Ca2+ channel OSCA1 regulates water transpiration in response to abiotic stress, yet, a similar Ca2+channel involved in plant response to pathogens has […]

Synthetic conversion of leaf chloroplasts into carotenoid-rich plastids reveals mechanistic basis of natural chromoplast development (PNAS) ($)

Biofortification aims at increasing the content of health-promoting nutrients in edible parts of the plant. As an example, enhancing the production of carotenoids – natural pigments that provide the yellow to red color – in crops could prevent vitamin A deficiency in humans. In nature, carotenoids accumulate in specialized organelles called chromoplasts, which differentiate from […]

Antagonistic regulation of the gibberellic acid response during stem growth in rice (Nature)

Stem growth determines the final height of graminaceous plants and greatly influences productivity in cultivated species (e.g., short internodes in semi-dwarf rice varieties to increase lodging resistance) and adaptation in wild species (e.g., elongated internodes in tall deepwater rice to help survive flooding). In this article, Nagai and coworkers identified key regulatory factors involved in […]