Entries by Nancy Eckardt

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 […]

Evolution of Gene Regulation During Domestication

Liu, et al. examine how wound response and its control mechanism differs between domesticated and wild tomato. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00194. By Ming-Jung Liu and Shin-­Han Shiu Background: Two related species accumulate differences between each other over time. If one of the species is domesticated due to human selection of desirable traits, the domesticated species experiences […]

Dynamic Alternative Splicing Response to Cold

Calixto et al. demonstrate a rapid wave of alternative splicing as temperatures drop. The Plant Cell (2018) https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00177. By Cristiane Calixto and John Brown Background: Alternative splicing (AS) allows a single gene to produce more than one transcript, which can affect protein production and function. AS is common and essential for eukaryotes to control gene […]

Old Gene, New Function

Xie et al. discover an EPSP synthase gene involved in the transcriptional regulation of the phenylpropanoid pathway in Populus trichocarpa The Plant Cell (2018). https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00168. By Meng Xie, Wellington Mechuro, Jin-Gui Chen, and Gerald A. Tuskan Background: 5-enolpyruvylshikimate 3-phosphate (EPSP) synthase is an enzyme existing in plants and microorganisms. EPSP synthase catalyzes the sixth reaction […]

Tectonic Movements Across the Tomato Genome

Corem et al. demonstrate a switch in DNA methylation patterns across the tomato genome. The Plant Cell (2018). https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00167. By Shira Corem, Tzahi Arazi and Nicolas Bouché Background: Crop genomes are covered by transposons, which are DNA sequences that can jump from one place to another. Transposon mobility must be tightly controlled to avoid deleterious […]

Autophagy During Viral Infection: Viruses Fight Back!

Yang et al. investigate the role of autophagy in the ongoing arms race of plant defense and viral counterdefense. The Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00122 By Meng Yang and Dawei Li Background: Most plants have defense mechanisms that enable resistance to pathogens. One of theses is autophagy, which is a major cellular degradation pathway in eukaryotes. Disfunctional […]

Genome-Wide Assessment of Alternative Splicing in Maize

Chen et al. higlight the importance of AS in diversifying gene function and regulating phenotypic variation. The Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00109 Background: Alternative splicing (AS) of precursor mRNAs is an essential regulatory mechanism that greatly enhances transcriptome and proteome diversity. AS is prevalent in plants and functions in a wide range of growth and development processes. […]

Heterochromatin keeps RNA-directed DNA methylation in place?

Fu et al. demonstrate a requirement for the heterochromatin factors CMT and DDM1 in RNA-directed DNA methylation in maize. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00053 By Fang-fang Fu and Jonathan I. Gent
 Background: DNA methylation is a chemical modification of DNA consisting of addition of a methyl group to cytosine nucleotides in the DNA molecule. There are three major […]