Entries by Mary Williams

Review: Sulfated plant peptide hormones (J. Exp. Bot)

It’s hard to believe that when I was a student we were taught that “plants don’t have peptide hormones”. Since then we’ve discovered many diverse families of plant peptide hormones (see the Teaching Tool on peptide hormones for an excellent overview). Here, Kaufmann and Sauter review one family, the sulfated peptide hormones. Tyrosine sulfation is […]

Perspective: Grazing animals drove domestication of grain crops (Nature Plants)

Here’s an interesting question: Without human intervention, why would one find a dense stand of plants, growing in rather nutrient-rich soil? Perhaps you recognized that these conditions suggest seed dispersal by endozoochory, which involves passage through an animal’s digestive tract. Spengler and Mueller suggest that human domestication of some grain crops may have started from […]

Reconstituting an NLR cell death branch (Plant Cell)

Arabidopsis genetics has identified numerous genes required for pathogen perception and defense response activation. Some of these genes are functionally conserved across plants and others are not. Toll-Interleukin1-Receptor (TIR)-domain NLRs (TNLs) are immune receptors that function upstream of EDS1 (enhanced disease susceptibility) genes. Lapin, Kovacova, Sun, et al. set out to investigate the phylogeny and […]

Compositional analysis of genetically engineered GR2E “Golden Rice” (J. Agric. Food Chem.)

In Southeast Asian countries, rice accounts for two-thirds of the caloric intake for many people. This narrow dietary base is often correlated with vitamin A deficiency, which can cause blindness, anemia and weakened immunity. In an effort to enhance vitamin A consumption, rice has been engineered to produce provitamin A carotenoids in the grain; this […]

Plant Science Research Weekly: July 26th

Review: Sulfated plant peptide hormones It’s hard to believe that when I was a student we were taught that “plants don’t have peptide hormones”. Since then we’ve discovered many diverse families of plant peptide hormones (see the Teaching Tool on peptide hormones for an excellent overview). Here, Kaufmann and Sauter review one family, the sulfated […]

Interviews with Synthetic Biologists: Cathie Martin

Synthetic biology is a set of tools, a way of thinking, the integration of engineering principles into biological sciences, and potentially the biggest opportunity for advances in plant sciences since PCR. Yet many struggle to define it, and fewer still grasp its full potential. In August 2019, a Plant Synthetic Biology meeting will be held in San Jose, […]

Recognition of sequence-divergent CIF peptides by the plant receptor kinases GSO1/SGN3 and GSO2 (bioRxiv)

SCHENGEN 3 [SGN3, also known as GASSHO1 (GSO1)] is a leucine-rich repeat receptor kinase (LRR-RK) previously shown to interact with CIF peptides (CASPARIAN STRIP INTEGRITY FACTORS) to regulate the development of the Casparian strip boundary in roots. Here, Okuda et al. characterize the CIF/LRR-RK interaction. They show that that there is a wide range of […]