Entries by Nancy Eckardt

Selection Drives Gene Escape from Centromeres

Liao et al. performed comparative phylogenomic analysis on rice centromeres. Plant Cell (2018). https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00163 By Yi Liao and Mingsheng Chen Background: Centromeres are necessary for faithful chromosome segregation in eukaryotic organisms. The genomic regions conferring centromere function/identity in most plants and animals are composed of large arrays of satellite repeats, surrounded by other highly repetitive […]

Biosynthesis of the Antidiabetic Plant Metabolite Montbretin A

Irmisch et al. investigate enzymes of the ornamental plant montbretia involved in a complex flavonoid biosynthetic system relevant to human health. https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00406   Background: Type-2 diabetes is a major health challenge of the 21st century requiring new treatments. Plants produce a vast array of natural products that are widely used in traditional and modern medicine. […]

Role of MCD1 in Positioning the Chloroplast Division Site

Chen et al. investigate the mechanism of MCD1’s action in chloroplast Z-ring positioning in dividing chloroplasts. https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00189 Background: Chloroplasts are specialized photosynthetic organelles in plants that evolved from an ancient photosynthesizing cyanobacterium through endosymbiosis. Like their ancestors, chloroplasts replicate by binary fission, which is initiated by the bacteria-like cytoskeletal FtsZ ring (Z-ring) at mid-chloroplast. A […]

Moonlighting Role of Plastidial NAD-MDH

Schreier et al. investigate the role of a plastid malate dehydrogenase in early chloroplast development. Plant Cell 30: 1745-1769 Background: Malate dehydrogenases (MDH) are enzymes that are widespread in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. MDH interconverts oxaloacetate and malate, using either NAD or NADP as a cofactor. In plant cells, forms of MDH are found in several subcellular compartments. […]

Bridging the Gap Between Pathogen Detection and Defense Activation

Bi et al. provide a link between immune receptors and MAPK cascades. Plant Cell (2018) https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00981.   By G. Bi and J.-M. Zhou Background: Plants use numerous immune receptors localized at the cell surface to detect invading pathogens. These receptors send a warning signal into the cell that triggers defenses to fend off pathogens. Much […]

Chloroplast Biogenesis in Germinating Seeds: A Multi-Dimensional Approach

Zizhen et al. perform electron tomography and correlative gene expression analyses of thylakoid assembly in greening Arabidopsis cotyledons Plant Cell (2018) https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00972 By Byung-Ho Kang Background: The chloroplast produces carbohydrates and molecular oxygen from water, carbon dioxide, and sunlight. The protein complexes that carry out photosynthesis are located in an elaborate and continuous network of […]

A New Epigenetic Switch Regulating Histone Modification

Mateo-Bonmatí et al. have found novel components of the Arabidopsis epigenetic machinery. Plant Cell (2018). https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00300  By Eduardo Mateo-Bonmatí, Lucía Juan-Vicente, Riad Nadi, and José Luis Micol Background: In multicellular organisms, most cells contain the same genetic information. However, the genes that are active or inactive differ among cells of different tissues, organs, etc. The mechanisms […]

Metabolic Fate of Modified Nucleotides after RNA Turnover, an Overlooked Issue in RNA Modification

Chen et al. reveal a multilayer molecular protection system functioning in Arabidopsis and human cells https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00236 By Mingjia Chen and Claus-Peter Witte Background: RNA possesses over 100 distinct posttranscriptional modifications in eukaryotic species. N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is the most abundant internal modification in messenger RNAs. It modulates mRNA characteristics influencing RNA processing, translation, and RNA decay. […]

Sorbitol Modulates Apple Resistance to Alternaria

Meng et al. show that sorbitol acts as a signal regulating resistance to the fungal pathogen Alternaria alternata in apple.Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00231 By Dong Meng, B. Gillian Turgeon and Lailiang Cheng Background: Sugars produced by photosynthesis fuel plant growth and development, but may also play a role in plant-pathogen interactions, acting as a carbon source […]