Entries by Mary Williams

Auxin production in the endosperm drives seed coat development in Arabidopsis

Seed vitality is critical for plants’ evolutionary survival and food production by economic crops such as rice, wheat, etc. Seed formation is preceded by well-coordinated events involving mainly fertilization, endosperm and seed coat formation in chronological order. How is the signal relayed from one event to another to make seeds? Is this signal maternally or […]

Clustering of sorghum defense-compound dhurrin proteins into a metabolon ($)

A metabolon is a physical clustering of metabolic pathway proteins. Until now, evidence for metabolons has been patchy, but Laursen et al. convincingly demonstrate the physical association of several enzymes involved in the production of dhurrin, a defense compound of sorghum. They use a method involving styrene maleic acid to stabilize the membrane-bound metabolon, which […]

Two-cell metabolism in multicellular cyanobacteria ($)

Nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria such as Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 have the challenge of supporting nitrogenase, an enzyme that is highly sensitive to oxygen, and simultaneously photosynthesis, an oxygen-producing set of reactions. They accomplish this by segregating these reactions into two cells, heterocysts and vegetative cells. Malatinszky et al. curate and compile a stoichiometric model of the […]

Technical Advance: A robust, high-throughput method for computing maize ear, cob and kernel attributes automatically from images

The yield of a maize plant is correlated with the size, shape and number of kernels it produces. Miller et al. have developed an automated system to quantify these crucial attributes from photographs of kernels both on and off the cob. Their methods will enable researchers and breeders to record maize traits with greater precision […]

Review: Advances on plant-pathogen interactions from molecular through systems biology perspectives ($)

In an interesting and accessible review, Peyraud et al. provide a big-picture view of how systems biology can be used to address plant-pathogen interactions. They describe the core interactions scaling from molecular to ecosystem / environment, and describe the different types of models that can be used to assess and predict the outcomes, as well […]

Genome editing in maize directed by CRISPR–Cas9 ribonucleoprotein complexes

Svitashev et al. demonstrate a new way to introduce CRISPR-Cas9 reagents into a plant cell, through the biolistic delivery of pre-assembled Cas9-gRNA ribonucleoproteins. This approach was successful in the production of engineered plants, and also demonstrated that this method can be done in a DNA- and selectable marker-free way. Nature Comm. 10.1038/ncomms13274

Metabolic Signaling Regulates Alternative Splicing during Photomorphogenesis

IN BRIEF by Kathleen L. Farquharson kfarquharson@aspb.org Alternative splicing (AS) regulates gene expression and greatly expands the coding capacity of complex genomes. By regulating which elements of an mRNA transcript are removed or retained, AS produces multiple transcripts from a single gene. Some of these transcripts contain a premature termination codon (PTC) and are targeted […]