Entries by Mary Williams

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 […]

Improving carotenoid production in synthetic maize through data-driven mathematical modeling ($)

Carotenoids are nutritionally important phytonutrients. Comas et al. describe a strategy to enhance the production of cartotenoids in the seed endosperm. They start with quantitative metabolomics and gene expression data which they feed into mathematical models to determine which gene(s) need to be engineered. Some of the genes they identify have been identified and verified […]

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. […]