Entries by Mary Williams

Help us to curate an equity, diversity, and inclusion calendar

We are a diverse community and celebrate many culturally significant dates, some with religious roots, and others that recognize our different heritages and identities. As part of our ongoing equity, diversity and inclusion efforts, we are curating an “equity, diversity, and inclusion calendar”. The purpose of an equity calendar is to raise awareness of and […]

Review: Root plasticity under abiotic stress (Plant Physiol.)

For millennia, humans have selected desirable traits in the above-ground part of plants, but below-ground traits have been only indirectly selected for. Thus, roots are ripe for optimization, and hold particular promise in efforts to make crops more resilient and efficient. This Update, by Karlova et al., describe our current understanding of the molecular basis […]

Review: Evolutionary innovations driving abiotic stress tolerance in C4 grasses and cereals (Plant Cell)

Grasses fall into two clades, the more temperate BOP clade of C3 grasses (Bambusoideae, Oryzoideae, and Pooideae subfamilies), and the more tropical PACMAD clade of C3 and C4 grasses (Panicoideae, Arundinoideae, Chloridoideae, Micrairoideae, Aristidoideae, and Danthonioideae subfamilies). This review, by Pardo and VanBuren, explores the origins of abiotic stress tolerance in the PACMAD clade, which […]

SHOOT: Phylogenetic gene search and ortholog inference (bioRxiv)

BLAST (basic local alignment search tool) is more than 30 years old, and most readers have probably had the opportunity to BLAST a sequence. BLAST takes an input sequence and searches databases for closely related sequences. However, this tool uses only sequence information to find close matches. Hypothetically, two sequences that have very different origins […]

Plant Science Research Weekly: September 10, 2021

Review: Root plasticity under abiotic stress For millennia, humans have selected desirable traits in the above-ground part of plants, but below-ground traits have been only indirectly selected. Thus, roots are ripe for optimization, and hold particular promise in efforts to make crops more resilient and efficient. This Update, by Karlova et al., describes our current […]

Structural and biochemical analyses of concanavalin A circular permutation (Plant Cell)

If you have heard of concanavalin A (ConA), it probably is because it is a widely-used reagent in carbohydrate science and medical research. ConA is a lectin derived from jackbean (Canavalia ensiformis, hence the name) that binds assorted carbohydrates. It is also a fascinating protein that assembles in a unique way. Post-translationally, the pro-protein is […]

A slicing mechanism facilitates host entry by plant-pathogenic Phytophthora (Nature Microbiol)

A plant has many layers of defense against a pathogen. One of the first challenges a pathogen faces is how to get inside the plant. Some bacteria sneak in through open stomatal pores, and some fungi form high-pressure appressoria that burst through walls. Here, Bronkhorst et al. investigated how the Phytophthora oomycete pathogens get into […]