Entries by Mary Williams

What We’re Reading: July 28th

This week’s edition of What We’re Reading is guest edited by Dr. Bhavisha P. Sheth, who is currently working as a DST- Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), India. Her current research work focusses on Policy research studies of Science and Technology Entrepreneurship. She pursued a […]

Review: Uncovering gene regulatory networks controlling plant cell differentiation ($)

The transparency and simplicity of the Arabidopsis root apex has made it an excellent model through which to understand the processes that lead from undifferentiated meristem cells to mature root tissues. Drapek et al. review the gene regulatory networks (GRNs) that underlie the development of the endodermis in Arabidopsis root tips. They first summarize the […]

Update: Shining light on the function of NPH3/RPT2-like proteins in phototropin signalling

Blue light regulates diverse functions including phototropism and chloroplast movements. Christie et al. summarize recent updates in understanding the signalling pathway between light perception by phototropins and downstream responses. They describe the central roles for the 33 members (in Arabidopsis) of the NRL protein family, named for the founding members NON-PHOTOTROPIC HYPOCOTYL (NPH3) and ROOT […]

Review: The evolution of calcium-based signalling in plants

Calcium signalling is a ubiquitous process in plants and other organisms. Transporters at the plasma and vacuolar (tonoplast) membranes control entry and exit of calcium ion into the cytoplasm, and it is the cytoplasmic calcium level ([Ca2+]cyt) that affects cellular responses, as calcium-binding proteins alter their activities or binding properties in response to changing calcium […]

What We’re Reading: July 21

Review: The evolution of calcium-based signalling in plants Calcium signalling is a ubiquitous process in plants and other organisms. Transporters at the plasma and vacuolar (tonoplast) membranes control entry and exit of calcium ion into the cytoplasm, and it is the cytoplasmic calcium level ([Ca2+]cyt) that affects cellular responses, as calcium-binding proteins alter their activities […]

Report: Undergraduate research experiences for STEM students: Successes, challenges, and opportunities

A new report (free to download) from the National Academies, edited by Gentile et al., provides insights into how undergraduate research experiences (UREs) enhance and support undergraduate education, whether they are faculty-mentored lab or field-based research or research embedded in a course. This report describes many forms of URE with recommendations for how to design […]

Special Issue: Plant epigenomics

The current issue of Genome Biology features a collection of review and research articles on the topic of plant epigenomics, with an overview editorial by Köhler and Springer. This collection “highlights advances in our understanding of the functions of epigenetic modifications, and the application of this knowledge.” Topics include how chromatin marks contribute to stress responses […]

Convergent evolution of sesterterpene biosynthetic repertoire in the Brassicaceae

Sesterterpenes are a family of natural products; some (derived from corals and fungi) have been shown to have antitumor, antimicrobial and antiinflamatrory activities. Huang et al. used genome mining to identify sesterterpene biosynthetic genes in the Brassicaceae. The first committed step is carried out in fungi by a bifunctional enzyme, but by two enzymes in […]

Synthesis of the anti-HIV compound daurichromenic 1 acid in Rhododendron dauricum

Daurichromenic 1 acid (DCA) is a meroterpenoid with anti-HIV properties that is produced in young leaves of Rhododendron dauicum. In this study, Iijimi et al. identified a DCA synthase gene. Starting with their previous observations that this enzyme is a stereoselective meroterpenoid oxidocyclase, similar to cannabinoid synthases of Cannabis sativa, the authors looked in a […]