Entries by Mary Williams

An evidence-based 3D reconstruction of Asteroxylon mackiei, the most complex plant preserved from the Rhynie chert (bioRxiv)

The Rhynie chert holds some of the oldest and best-preserved fossils of vascular plants (Rhynie is a village in north-east Scotland, and chert is a type of sedimentary rock). Analysis of thin section of fossils from here have provided the earliest cellular details of “rhizoid-based rooting systems, germinating spores and fossilised meristems.” But as Hetherington […]

SeedQuant: A deep learning-based tool for assessing stimulant and inhibitor activity on root parasitic seeds (Plant Physiol.)

Parasitic plants can completely wipe out a farmer’s harvest. The seeds can lie dormant in soil until they perceive signals from potential host plants, which stimulate germination. Therefore, germination stimulants applied to fields before the crops are planted can cause the parasitic seeds to germinate and die in the absence of their host. Many compounds […]

Plant Science Research Weekly: April 30th, 2021

Review: Ageing beautifully: can the benefits of seed priming be separated from a reduced lifespan trade-off? Seed priming is a family of presowing techniques that control water uptake in seeds, so they are dehydrated once metabolic activities have restarted but before the end of germination. Primed seeds have shown increased and more synchronized germination, especially […]

Plantae Presents: Julia Bailey-Serres and Rashmi Sasidharan

Plantae Presents: Julia Bailey-Serres and Rashmi Sasidharan “Life in the wet zone: how plants and two moms survive inundation” Recorded April 28  – 10am EDT, 3pm GMT, 4pm CET Julia Bailey-Serres Julia Bailey-Serres is a distinguished professor of genetics and the MacArthur Foundation chair at the University of California, Riverside. A native of California, she received […]

Plantae Presents: Jim Birchler, Evan Forsythe, and Tom Jacobs

Plantae Presents: Jim Birchler, Evan Forsythe, and Tom Jacobs Special Event: The Plant Cell Focus Issue on the Biology of Plant Genomes Recorded Wednesday, April 21st Advances in genome sequencing have yielded insights into aspects of plant biology; elucidating the course of evolutionary history; uncovering novel metabolic pathways defining transcriptional complexity; and serving as the […]

Review: CRISPR screens in plants: Approaches, guidelines, and future prospects (Plant Cell)

We don’t need to remind you of the tremendous positive impact that CRISPR-based technologies have had on the life sciences through enabling any gene to be edited precisely. Here, Gaillochet et al. provide an up-to-date review of a lesser-known application of CRISPR, its use in large-scale screening strategies. The authors start with a refresher in […]

Magnesium and calcium over-accumulate in the leaves of a schengen3 mutant of Brassica rapa (Plant Physiol)

Magnesium (Mg) and calcium (Ca) are essential nutrients for plants and also the animals that eat them. Human deficiencies of these elements are not uncommon. Here, Alcock et al. used Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy to measure the elemental composition of a mutagenized population of Brassica rapa. They identified a line carrying a recessive mutation […]

Plant Science Research Weekly: April 16, 2021

Review: CRISPR screens in plants: Approaches, guidelines, and future prospects We don’t need to remind you of the tremendous positive impact that CRISPR-based technologies have had on the life sciences through enabling any gene to be edited precisely. Here, Gaillochet et al. provide an up-to-date review of a lesser-known application of CRISPR, its use in […]