Entries by Mary Williams

Development of a low-cost plant phenotyping facility

New technologies, like personal computers or smart phones, often have limited adoption due to their high cost or requirement for advanced technological skills. Greater affordability and ease of use leads to greater adoption. Here, Yu, Sussman et al. describe the development of an affordable, portable plant phenotyping platform and pipeline that is easy to build […]

Plant Science Research Weekly: May 17, 2024

Review. Revisiting plant electric signaling: Challenging an old phenomenon with new discoveries In the electrifying world of plant signaling, a paradigm shift is underway as researchers dig into the intricate mechanisms of action potentials (APs) and slow wave potentials (SWPs). Departing from conventional neurophysiological dogma in the animal kingdom, this review by Barbosa-Caro and Wudick […]

Review: The genomic route to tomato breeding: Past, present, and future

Widely and abundantly eaten tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) are delicious and nutritious, but the genetic diversity of cultivated tomatoes is quite narrow. In this review, Wang et al. give an overview of efforts to increase diversity, through introduction of genes from wild relatives and other approaches. Since the first tomato sequence was completed in 2012, countless […]

Phylogenomic insights into angiosperm evolution

Low-resolution data can provide broad strokes but miss the details that come from greater information density. When striving to understand the multimillion-year evolutionary history of the angiosperms, more data certainly helps. Here, by focusing on a subset of 353 genes, Zuntini and Carruthers et al. present a phylogenomic tree that increases the number of represented […]

Conjugation of ATG8 to vacuolar membranes as a response to cell wall damage

ATG8 is a well-characterized protein involved in autophagy that binds to the double-membrane enclosed phagophore. In a new preprint, Julian et al. explore their finding that ATG8 binds to the single-membrane enclosed vacuolar membrane (tonoplast). They observed that this binding is enhanced by treatments that weaken the cell wall, such as inhibition of cellulose synthase. […]

Plant Science Research Weekly: May 3, 2024

Review: The plant immune system: From discovery to deployment A review of the past 50 years of plant immunity by Jones, Staskawicz, and Dangl? Yes please! I particularly enjoy historical perspectives of a discipline, as they frame conceptual breakthroughs with the benefit of hindsight. As the article lays out, understanding the plant immune system benefitted […]