Entries by Nancy Eckardt

Getting It Done On Time: How Maize Orders DNA Replication

Wear et al. examine replication programs in plants. The Plant Cell 2017. https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00037 By William Thompson, Emily Wear, and Linda Hanley-Bowdoin DNA replication is fundamental to all life, as it is the process by which genetic material is duplicated so it can be passed from cell to cell.  However, the process is complicated by the fact […]

Tiny Mutation Linked to Tastier Tomatoes

Ye et al. discover a gene affecting tomato flavor. The Plant Cell 2017. https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00211 By Jie Ye Malate—a widely occurring organic acid in plants—is an important contributor to taste. Variation in acid content has a much greater impact on flavor than does the limited variation in sugar content that exists among tomato cultivars. Additionally, plants […]

Translating to beat the heat

Zhang et al. investigate protein translation under heat stresss http://www.plantcell.org/content/29/8/1952 By Elizabeth Vierling Plants can’t move to avoid unfavorable growth conditions, such as insufficient water availability or extremes of temperature. When plants are confronted with stressful environmental conditions, you may not see any changes, but plants are busily responding, often by synthesizing new proteins to […]

From Light to Food – Organization of Photosynthetic Complexes

MacGregor-Chatwin et al. map the cellular organization of photosynthetic protein complexes http://www.plantcell.org/content/29/5/1119 Life on Earth depends on photosynthesis, the source of all of our food, oxygen, and most of our energy. Two pigment-protein complexes called Photosystems I and II drive photosynthesis. These chlorophyll-protein complexes are housed in the membranes of cyanobacteria, algae, and plants. The two […]

Maize Meristem Matters

Tsuda et al. explore the function of BLH transcription factors in maize meristems Plants have specialized tissues at the tips of roots and shoots called meristems. Meristem cells are what keep the plant growing; they are undifferentiated cells that continue to divide, providing new cells for growth. The progeny of the cells in the meristem […]

Using Metabolism to Improve Maize Breeding

Cañas et al. study the relationships between maize leaf metabolism and grain yield to identify putative markers for breeding http://www.plantcell.org/content/29/5/919 By Rafael A. Cañas, Peter J. Lea and Bertrand Hirel In crops, several metabolic pathways are involved in the control of biomass production and yield, notably those involved in primary carbon and nitrogen metabolism. For these […]

How Calcium Signals Early Warning

Liu et al. uncover a direct link between calcium signaling and a plant immune receptor http://www.plantcell.org/content/29/4/746.abstract Plants have evolved a sophisticated system to defend against pathogen attack that involves recognition of an invading pathogen and activation of the immune system. An increase in calcium concentration in the cell interior is one of the earliest responses […]

A Surprising Function for Gene Introns

Gallegos and Rose investigate how introns affect transcript initiation http://www.plantcell.org/content/29/4/843.abstract. For the information stored in the DNA of genes to be converted into functional protein products, first a molecular copy of the information called messenger RNA is made, using DNA as a template in a process called transcription. Messenger RNA molecules are then translated into […]