Entries by Mary Williams

Update: Modeling stomatal conductance

Robust models of stomatal conductance are greatly needed to predict plant-atmosphere interactions in a changing climate, and to integrate new knowledge in physiology and ecological theory. Recent years have brought major advances in the experimental and theoretical understanding underpinning both process-based and optimality-based approaches to modeling stomatal function. I review these advances, highlight areas in […]

The PLETHORA Gene Regulatory Network Guides Growth and Cell Differentiation in Arabidopsis Roots

Due to plant cells’ shared walls and immobility, cell division, differentiation and expansion must be tightly regulated across space and time. The six members of the PLETHORA (PLT) transcription factor family distribute in gradients through the root tip and are largely responsible for its developmental patterning. Santuari et al. studied the gene set transcriptionally regulated […]

Perspective: Computational Modeling of Auxin: A Foundation for Plant Engineering

Auxins are a class of phytohormones that regulate many aspects of plant development. Morales-Tapia and Cruz-Ramírez review the current status of the available auxin-driven computational models and discuss plausible integration of these into a single model for plant development. Computational modeling of auxin through a single, unified model would enable predictions of plant behavior under […]

Growth-ring studies show no growth enrichment in Canadian boreal forests despite 50 years of CO2 enhancement

It has been argued that rising atmospheric CO2 levels might benefit plants by providing them more substrate for photosynthetic carbon-fixation. However, numerous studies have indicated that other factors interfere with a so-called CO2-fertilization benefit. Girardin et al. explore recent tree growth by analysing 873 tree-ring chronologies obtains from Canada’s National Forest Inventory. Although they observed […]

Integrating omics reveals insights into grape response to high temperature

Heat stress is one of the main abiotic stresses plants encounter. Jiang et al. used combined transcriptomic and proteomic data to explore the responses of grape leaves to elevated temperatures (35, 40, 45°C). Using high-throughput sequencing and the iTRAQ (isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation) method, they found that non-random posttranscriptional events, particularly alternative […]

S-phase checkpoints regulate appressorium-mediated plant infection by rice blast fungus

The rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae causes a devastating disease of rice that can reduce harvests by 30%. Infection of plant tissues by the fungus requires the formation of an appressorium, a specialized structure that builds up sufficient pressure to burst through the plant cuticle. Previous work showed that cell cycle progression is required for […]

Homeodomain protein underpins leaf shape variation in cotton ($)

Homeodomain transcription factors are well-known as regulators of developmental patterning, including in leaves. Andres et al. examine the molecular basis behind leaf shape in cotton, particularly the Okra locus that was identified by breeders as a regulator of leaf shape. They show that the Okra locus encodes a homeodomain transcription factor, and that different leaf […]

Review: The many roles of AVP1, a H+-PPase ($)

The AVP1 gene encodes a proton-pumping pyrophosphatase (H+-PPase) localized to the vacuolar membrane, which means that it pumps H+ into the vacuole using energy stored in pyrophosphatase (PPi). The direct consequences of its action are the acidification of the vacuole and the removal of PPi from the cytosol. Indirect consequences derived from these direct effects […]

Review: Adaptive strategies for N metabolism in P deficient legume nodules ($)

Legume nodules fix N, but their function has a high requirement for P, making nitrogen-fixation highly sensitive to P deficiency. Valentine et al. review how P limitation affects nodule function and also how nodules respond and adapt to P deficiency, drawing largely on studies of Virgilia divaricata, a legume endemic to P-poor soils of South […]