Entries by Mary Williams

Plant Science Research Weekly: October 4th

Letter. The human health benefits from GM crops If you’ve ever spoken publicly about GM crops, you’ve probably heard people express concern about how eating GM crops might affect their health. Smyth lays out a positive case for the human health benefits of GM crops, which will be a useful resource for science communicators. Here […]

Ray parenchymal cells contribute to lignification of tracheids in developing xylem of Norway spruce (Plant Phys)

Lignin makes up to 27% of the dry weight of wood and is important structurally as well as serving as an effective carbon sink. Lignin is produced from monolignol precursors that are released into the apoplast and then polymerized. Previous studies have suggested that the monolignols are produced not only from the developing conducting cells […]

Evolutionary flexibility in flooding response circuitry in angiosperms ($) (Science)

Flooding is unpredictable and can lead to plant death due to insufficient oxygen (hypoxia). Some plant species and varieties are better able to survive periods of submergence. Here, Reynoso et al. looked at gene networks induced transcriptionally and translationally by flooding in rice, Medicago and two Solanum species. They identified several gene families with at […]

A virtual nodule environment (ViNE) of metabolic integration during symbiotic nitrogen fixation (bioRxiv)

Genetic and molecular studies have revealed a complex exchange of signals and metabolites accompanying the development and process of symbiotic nitrogen fixation. Clearly, the photosynthesis-capable plant provides fixed carbon to the bacterial symbiont, which uses some of this energy for its core metabolism and some to drive energetically-expensive nitrogen fixation by nitrogenase. For a greater […]

A novel hypothesis for the role of photosynthetic physiology in shaping macroevolutionary patterns (Plant Physiol)

In the 450 million(ish) years since plants acquired the ability to live on land, they have caused dramatic changes in the concentrations of atmospheric CO2 and O2 levels. As an example, due to tremendous increases in photosynthesis, CO2 levels dropped and O2 levels rose dramatically in the late Paleozoic (about 300 million years ago), but […]

Exploring the hydraulic failure hypothesis of esca leaf symptom formation (Plant Phys)

Esca is a leaf scorch (necrosis) disease of grapevine that causes tremendous yield losses. Bortolami et al. have investigated the etiology of this condition, which is known to be a consequence of fungal pathogen infection. But how exactly does the fungal infection contribute to the observed symptoms? One hypothesis is that the leaf tissues die […]

Plant Science Research Weekly: September 27th

Evolutionary flexibility in flooding response circuitry in angiosperms ($) Flooding is unpredictable and can lead to plant death due to insufficient oxygen (hypoxia). Some plant species and varieties are better able to survive periods of submergence. Here, Reynoso et al. looked at gene networks induced transcriptionally and translationally by flooding in rice, Medicago and two […]

Chemical screening pipeline for identification of specific plant autophagy modulators ($) (Plant Physiol)

Autophagy is a recycling pathway that supports numerous processes, from nutrient remobilization to abiotic and biotic stress responses. Dauphinee, Cardoso et al. have developed a multi-step pathway that allows them to screen for inhibitors of autophagy in order to build a repertoire of new tools. For a high-throughput screen of autophagy inhibition, they start by […]