Entries by Mary Williams

Recognizing featured Plant Cell first authors, July 2016

Recently, we’ve been profiling first authors of Plant Cell papers that are selected for In Brief summaries. Here are the first-author profiles from the July issue of The Plant Cell. Fangwei Gu, featured first author of Arabidopsis CSLD5 functions in cell plate formation in a cell cycle-dependent manner Current Position: Communication Specialist at WuXi AppTec. […]

Divide and Conquer: Introducing a Novel Player in Cell Plate Formation

IN BRIEF by Kathleen L. Farquharson kfarquharson@aspb.org Polysaccharide-rich cell walls are a distinguishing feature of plants that influence many aspects of growth and development, including cell division. Whereas contractile rings pinch dividing cells into two daughter cells in other eukaryotes, newly built cell walls partition the products of plant cell division. The phragmoplast guides construction […]

Invisible No Longer: Peptidoglycan in Moss Chloroplasts

IN BRIEF by Nancy Hofmann nhofmann@aspb.org Most bacteria have a peptidoglycan layer between the inner and outer membranes (reviewed in Typas et al., 2012). The cyanobacterial endosymbiont that gave rise to plastids would have contained such a peptidoglycan wall including d-amino acids. Indeed, peptidoglycan can be visualized by electron microscopy in the envelope of cyanelles, […]

Review: Biotechnology and synthetic biology approaches for metabolic engineering of bioenergy crops

Shih et al. review how the many and diverse tools of plant synthetic biology can be applied towards bioenergy crops, focusing on traits related to lignocellulose, oil, and soluble sugars. Tools include those that edit genes, those that alter protein activities, and those that enable gene stacking in crop plants. Examples of successful manipulation of […]

Shape-Shifters: How Strigolactone Signaling Helps Shape the Shoot

IN BRIEF by Jennifer Lockhart jlockhart@aspb.org When a deer eats the primary shoot of a plant, this can activate a nearby dormant axillary bud, causing it to form a secondary shoot. Genetic and environmental factors also affect shoot architecture, which strongly influences crop productivity. Changes in shoot architecture are mediated by long-distance signals, including phytohormones. […]

Ticket to Ride: tRNA-Related Sequences and Systemic Movement of mRNAs

IN BRIEF by Jennifer Mach jmach@aspb.org Movement of macromolecules through the plant phloem provides a mechanism for long-distance signaling that plants use in development, disease resistance, and other adaptive responses (reviewed in Spiegelman et al., 2013). For example, full-length RNAs, such as the Arabidopsis thaliana GIBBERELLIC ACID INSENSITIVE and potato (Solanum tuberosum) BEL5 mRNAs, and […]

Thinking Outside the Plant: Exploring Phloem Development Using VISUAL

IN BRIEF by Jennifer Lockhart  jlockhart@aspb.org Investigating how plants grow and develop often requires a bit of creativity. For example, deep within the plant, the vascular cambium, a layer of embryonic, highly cytoplasmic cells, gives rise to xylem and phloem tissue, which must expand throughout the plant’s lifetime. Water and nutrients primarily flow through the […]

Review: Plant synthetic biology for molecular engineering of signalling and development

Nemhauser and Torii define synthetic biology as “an engineering approach to design, build and analyize dynamic molecular devices and/or pathways from biological components to produce cells and organisms with customized functionality.” In their review, they describe several plant synthetic biology approaches and outcomes, including efforts to identify and remediate toxins, engineer receptors, modify signals and […]