Entries by Mike Page

Chloroplast signaling gates thermotolerance in Arabidopsis (Cell Reports)

Plants are able to sense and respond to temperature changes in their environment.  However, the mechanism by which high temperature is sensed and then relayed to affect the expression of heat shock transcription factors (HSFs) is unclear.  Dickinson et al. demonstrated that Arabidopsis plants show diurnal variation in thermotolerance, which correlates with expression of the […]

Ancient duons may underpin spatial patterning of gene expression in C4 leaves

C4 photosynthesis describes a biochemical CO2-concentrating mechanism that relies on the spatial separation of biochemistry between two cell types, mesophyll cells (MCs) and bundle sheath cells (BSCs). However, there is currently little evidence on how some genes are preferentially expressed in BSCs over MCs. Reyna-Llorens et al. demonstrate that two cis regulatory motifs in the […]

Dynamic thylakoid stacking regulates the balance between linear and cyclic photosynthetic electron transfer

The activation of photosynthetic electron transport upon a dark-to-light transition occurs prior to the initiation of CO2 fixation by Rubisco in the Calvin cycle.  A mechanism known as cyclic electron transfer (CET) exists that generates the proton motive force required to drive ATP synthesis without an accumulation of NADPH, thereby protecting photosystem I during this […]

RAF2 is a Rubisco Assembly Factor in Arabidopsis thaliana

The assembly of the carbon fixing enzyme Rubisco is a complex process and involves many chaperones including RAF1, RbcX and the chaperonins. Recent evidence pointed to the existence of another chaperone, RAF2, conserved among photosynthetic organisms. The protein has similarity to pterin-4α-carbinolamine dehydratase (PCD), although appears to lack activity in the species studied to date. […]

Loop Assembly: a simple and open system for recursive fabrication of DNA circuits (bioRxiv)

Ambitious plant synthetic biology projects are driving the evolution of advanced DNA assembly techniques that permit efficient and rapid assembly of multiple transcriptional units (TUs). Pollack et al. have incorporated features of individual techniques into a single “general purpose DNA assembly system”.  The system takes advantage of the standardisation of the MoClo/GoldenBraid/PhytoBricks syntax, and uses […]

Brassinosteroids modulate meristem fate and differentiation of unique inflorescence morphology in Setaria viridis

Plant Cell. The yield potential of crops is strongly influenced by floral architecture, a trait determined by the fate of stem cells in meristematic tissue.  Meristems themselves are influenced by several factors, including phytohormones such as brassinosteroids (BRs) and gibberellic acid (GA).  BRs act locally to promote growth, but can also affect the accumulation of […]

Elevation of soybean seed oil content through selection for seed coat shininess

Nat. Plants. Soybean is the world’s sixth most produced crop and is economically important as a source of protein and oil in animal and human food, as well as having industrial applications.  Domestication of soybean has resulted in the absence of seed coat bloom, a powdery coating containing hazardous allergens that protects seeds from predators.  […]

Ash leaf metabolomes reveal differences between trees tolerant and susceptible to ash dieback disease

Over the last two decades, Ash dieback (ADB) has been sweeping through Europe killing or damaging a large proportion of European common ash trees (Fraxinus excelsior).  ADB results from infection by wind borne spores of the fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus.  As ADB spread and the scientific research effort increased, it became clear that some ash trees […]

Phytochrome, metabolism and growth plasticity

Phytochromes are plant photoreceptors that can sense red and far-red light, as-well-as the ratio of these light qualities.  This review examines the relationship between phytochrome signalling and carbon metabolism.  Krahmer et al. assess the influence of phytochrome signalling on the synthesis of chlorophyll and carotenoids, the establishment of photosynthesis, the accumulation of photosynthetic proteins, primary […]