Entries by Mary Williams

Changes in anthocyanin production during domestication of Citrus

Familiar citrus fruits such as sweet orange, lemon, lime and grapefruit are hybrids of three species: Citrus reticulate (mandarin), C. medica (citron), and C. maxima (pummelo). Cultivated varieties are generally vegetatively propagated, with diversity arising from spontaneous or induced somatic mutations. Butelli et al. previously showed that anthocyanin accumulation in sweet orange is correlated with […]

Importance of fluctuations in light on plant photosynthetic acclimation

Plant growth chambers are indispensable for most plant science researchers, but of course they do not replicate the outdoor environment. Vialet-Chabrand and Matthews et al. explore the effect of realistic, dynamic fluctuating light (for example as influenced by clouds and leaves) versus light provided in more static conditions (square wave). Plants grown under fluctuating light […]

Review: Mycorrhizal ecology and evolution: the past, present and the future

There are about 50,000 fungal species that form mycorrhizal associations with about 250,000 plant species. These associations significantly increase plant productivity by increasing nutrient uptake, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus, although with a considerable carbon cost to plants. Van der Heijden et al. review the ecology and evolution of mycorrhizal associations, focusing on their biodiversity and […]

Review: Isoprene research – 60 years later, the biology is still enigmatic ($)

Sixty years ago, the first report of isoprene (C5H8; 2-methyl-1,3-butadiene) emissions from plants was published. Isoprenes are the largest source of non-methane hydrocarbons in Earth’s atmosphere; furthermore, isoprene is reactive in atmospheric chemistry and can be converted into a variety of harmful compounds. Sharkey and Monson provide a historical overview of the development of our […]

Review: Rapid long-distance signaling with Ca2+, ROS and electrical signals ($)

There is ample evidence for rapid, long-distance communication within plants, but our understanding of how these signals are transmitted is incomplete. Choi et al. review recent advances in intercellular signal propagation via Ca2+, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and electrical signals; these “fast” signals are contrasted to the “slow” signals such as jasmonates that accumulate and […]

Review: Reshaping plant biology: Qualitative and quantitative descriptors for plant morphology

As automated phenotyping platforms are becoming prevalent, scientists increasingly need to be familiar with tools used to describe and model form and growth. Balduzzi et al. provide an overview of the key concepts used in quantifying and describing plant morphology. They point to the need for a common language that can be used seamlessly by  […]

Browse The Hub – MSU resources to help graduate students build skills

The Hub – The Community of Minds, is the online presence of a group that meets weekly at Michigan State University (MSU), led by graduate student Bethany Huot. Browse the website for tons of useful information and resources about developing skills to help you navigate your career, from preparing for a postdoc interview to finding […]