Entries by Mary Williams

Biosynthesis of the nitrogenase active-site cofactor precursor NifB-co in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (PNAS)

Nitrogenases are large, multisubunit enzymes that require complex metal cofactors. They are the only enzymes capable of fixing N2 into usable form, and are only produced by some archaea and bacteria; “nitrogen-fixing” legumes actually depend on the presence of their bacterial symbionts for this function. Because applying nitrogenous fertilizers to crops is environmentally costly, many […]

Dynamic ubiquitination determines transcriptional activity of the plant immune coactivator NPR1 (eLIFE)

Dynamic ubiquitination determines transcriptional activity of the plant immune coactivator NPR1 Plants (and animals) need to strike a delicate balance when activating their immune responses: not too much and not too little. The transcriptional coactivator NPR1 [nonexpressor of pathogenesis-related (PR) genes 1] has long been known to have a key role in this balance, and […]

The use of high throughput phenotyping for assessment of heat stress-induced changes in Arabidopsis (bioRxiv)

With global temperatures rising, tolerance to heat is becoming increasingly important as a breeding target for crop plants, but it is a highly complex response that includes processes including plant cooling capacity, growth recovery, and maintenance of photosynthesis. Using Arabidopsis, Gao et al. developed a pipeline to look for scorable early phenotypic responses to heat, […]

Evolution of carnivorous traps from planar leaves through simple shifts in gene expression (Science)

When is a leaf not a leaf? When it’s a trap. Just about everyone, including Charles Darwin, has been fascinated by carnivory in plants, which involves the development of structures that capture or trap food. Whitewoods, Gonçalves, Cheng et al. investigated how traps form in the humped bladderwort Utricularia gibba. They imaged developing leaflet and […]

Genetic contribution of paleopolyploidy to adaptive evolution in angiosperms (Mol Plant)

Genetic contribution of paleopolyploidy to adaptive evolution in angiosperms Comparative genomics has revealed that the angiosperms have experienced numerous whole-genome duplications (WGD), which have been proposed to have contributed to their global dominance. Following WGD, many of the extra gene copies are lost, but many are retained. Wu et al. explore the consequences of WGD […]

Plant science research weekly: November 29

Review: Design and engineering of advanced plant optogenetics systems Optogenetics uses light-sensitive proteins to trigger specific outputs in the cell in response to particular wavelengths of light. Many optogenetic systems use chimeric proteins that contain different sensor and effector domains; with this, it is possible to use light to modulate DNA-binding activity, gene expression, or […]

Applications now open for the 2020 Plantae Fellows program

Are you a creative, articulate and web-savvy plant scientist looking to connect with other like-minded folks? We need your help to nurture and grow Plantae, the online community for the global plant science community.  We are looking for individuals who are interested in becoming highly engaged by creating and curating content, facilitating and hosting discussions and […]