Entries by Michela Osnato

UDP-glucosyltransferase regulates grain size and abiotic stress tolerance associated with metabolic flux redirection in rice (Nature Comms.)

Climate change severely affects plant growth and jeopardizes yields of essential seed crops such as rice. Still, the mechanisms underlying the synergistic regulation of abiotic stress response and important agronomic traits remain poorly understood. Dong et al. cloned and characterized a major QTL in rice, named Grain Size and Abiotic stress tolerance 1 (GSA1) after […]

Review: Sequencing and analyzing the transcriptomes of a thousand plant species (Annu. Rev. Plant Biol.)

Over the past decade, Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) has been used for de novo assembly of crop genomes (i.e., tomato, potato) under the motto “If it tastes good, let’s sequence it”. By contrast, the One Thousand Plant (1KP) Initiative set out to obtain transcriptomic data of phylogenetically diverse green plant species without any apparent economic […]

Accumulation of high value bioproducts in planta can improve the economics of advanced biofuels (PNAS)

Biofuels can be obtained from bioenergy crops such as sorghum, maize and sugarcane. However, the production of bioethanol is still more expensive than that of petroleum. Given the importance of replacing conventional fossil fuels with renewable liquid fuels, the biorefinery system should be improved to reach the Minimum Ethanol Selling Price (MESP) of $2.50/galllon. One […]

Mutations PETALOSA cause a dominant double-flower phenotype (J. Exp. Bot.)

Flower development has always been a fascinating field of research in plant biology. While molecular studies in the past focused on regulatory genes involved in the formation of floral organs in model species, current investigations are addressing the genetic determinants underlying the huge variety of flower. Recently, the genetic basis of the double flower trait […]

Plant 22-nt siRNAs mediate translational repression and stress adaptation (Nature)

Among the myriad small interfering RNAs, 21- and 24-nucleotides siRNAs control plant development and immunity through mRNA cleavage and RNA-directed DNA methylation, respectively. Still, the regulation and biological function of 22-nt siRNAs remain unresolved. In this report, Wu and coworkers investigated the massive accumulation of 22-nt siRNAs in plants with mutations in DICER-like 4 (DCL4) […]

Review: Plant science’s next top models (Ann. Bot)

Thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) has been the absolute star of plant science research for more than 40 years, being the ideal model organism for its ease of handling and transferable knowledge to crops. In this review, Cesarino and coworkers explain how advances in “omics” technologies, together with improvements in molecular techniques and genetic transformation, have […]

Review: The domestication syndrome in vegetatively propagated field crops (Ann. Bot.)

Archeological remains and genetic analyses of ancient DNA have revealed that the loss of seed dispersal marks the onset of domestication for sexually reproduced crops such as cereal, legume and oils seed crops, for which annual cultivation is based on sowing seeds. In contrast, less is known about the domestication of vegetatively propagating plants including […]

GIGANTEA shapes the photoperiodic rhythms of termomorphogenic growth in Arabidopsis (Mol. Plant)

Plants evolved molecular mechanisms to integrate seasonal changes with developmental programs. For example, warmer temperatures and increasing day-length mark the transition from winter to spring, and trigger flowering. Now, the synchronisation of ambient temperature and photoperiod is perturbed by global warming, which causes growth alteration in different plant species. Nevertheless, plants are able to modify […]