Entries by Mary Williams

Congratulations to Yoshinori Ohsumi

Warmest congratulations to Yoshinori Ohsumi, 2016 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, “for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy”.  Autophagy (self-eating) is a process through which cells selectively degrade and recycle cellular components. Ohsumi’s research has primarily focused on yeast, but he has also studied autophagy in plants. In fact, for the past twenty years  […]

Another Step Closer to Understanding Plant Cell Wall Biosynthesis: The Crystal Structure of FUCOSYLTRANSFERASE1[

IN BRIEF by Nancy R. Hofmann  nhofmann@aspb.org Plant cell walls consist of cellulose microfibrils embedded in a matrix of polymers including hemicelluloses. As one of the main hemicelluloses in the cell walls of dicots, xyloglucan is an important target of study to understand plant cell walls in general and for polymer applications in biotechnology. Xyloglucan […]

It’s Not Easy Not Being Green: Breakthroughs in Chlorophyll Breakdown

IN BRIEF by Jennifer Mach jmach@aspb.org Plants can dispose of organs such as leaves and recycle the nutrients in these organs into new leaves, seeds, or storage organs. However, when separated from its photosystem proteins, chlorophyll can be phototoxic, absorbing light and producing high-energy electrons. The complex chlorophyll degradation pathway solves this problem by breaking […]

Field of Genes: Uncovering EGRINs (Environmental Gene Regulatory Influence Networks) in Rice That Function during High-Temperature and Drought Stress

IN BRIEF by Jennifer Lockhart jlockhart@aspb.org Heat and drought stress greatly restrict crop productivity, but most of what we know about a plant’s response to these stresses comes from controlled laboratory studies. This factor, along with the complex nature of these responses, has hampered efforts to breed and engineer crops with improved stress tolerance. Plants […]

Recognizing featured Plant Cell first authors, September 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 September issue of The Plant Cell. Inmaculada Couso, featured first author of Synergism between inositol polyphosphates and TOR kinase signaling in nutrient sensing, growth control and lipid metabolism in Chlamydomonas Current […]

Recognizing featured Plant Cell first authors, August 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 August issue of The Plant Cell. Aman Y. Husbands and Vasudha Aggarwal, featured first authors of In Planta Single-Molecule Pull-down (SiMPull) Reveals Tetrameric Stoichiometry of HD-ZIPIII:LITTLE ZIPPER Complexes. Aman Y. Husbands […]

Counting Carbs: Tracking Fluctuations in Starch-Derived Metabolite Levels Uncovers Their Crucial Roles in Osmotic Stress Tolerance

IN BRIEF by Jennifer Lockhart jlockhart@aspb.org At first glance, starch is just an inert, calorie-laden material produced by plants to store excess carbohydrates derived from photosynthesis. Starch accumulates in leaf mesophyll cells during the day and is metabolized at night. The precise circadian control of this process ensures optimal energy utilization. Starch also accumulates in […]

Examination of Protein Complexes Gets SiMPull

IN BRIEF by Jennifer Mach jmach@aspb.org Assessing protein-protein interactions remains a fundamental challenge for plant biologists. Current methods such as coimmunoprecipitation (co-IP), yeast two-hybrid, bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC), and others can produce artifacts and also yield only a bulk “ensemble” readout that is difficult to quantify, much less examine statistically. For example, the fluorescent protein […]