Entries by Nanxun Qin

An insulator of CLE-signaling boosts cell-differentiation in protophloem formation

Waddington’s epigenetic landscape, a famous metaphor in developmental biology, depicts how a stem cell progresses from an undifferentiated state to a differentiated one. To some degree this metaphor can also be applied to root cell differentiation. It’s well-known that the CLE-45 peptide and its receptor BAM3 are essential for protophloem formation in Arabidopsis, but the […]

Algal-fungal symbiosis may account for the origin of basal land plant species (eLIFE)

Light serves as the source of energy as well as an information signal for photosynthetic plants. During evolution, plants have acquired the ability to monitor environmental light radiation and adjust their developmental patterns to optimally utilize light energy for photosynthesis. However how the early-diverging terrestrial plants acquired the ability of photosynthesis when they left sea and […]

COP1 can be hijacked by photoreceptors via their VP motifs (EMBO J)

Plant development is characterized by a high degree of plasticity in response to light. Light‐activated plant photoreceptors bind and inhibit the E3 ubiquitin ligase COP1, thus protecting downstream transcription factors from degradation. However, the detailed mechanisms of how COP1 can function between upstream photoreceptors and downstream targets is enigmatic. Recently Lau et al. found that […]

A liverwort-Pseudomonas interaction reveals an ancient plant defensive mechanism (Curr Biol)

Plants are sessile organisms that have evolved sophisticated immune systems in defense of pathogens, thus maximizing the chance of survival. Most of our understanding of plant defenses comes from studies in angiosperms. Evolutionary molecular plant-microbe interactions (EvoMPMI) can reveal the origins of plant defenses, but have been limited by a lack of suitable pathosystems in […]

GmFT2a and GmFT5a collectively controls flowering of soybean (Plant Biotech. J)

Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] is a globally important high-protein crop, whose breeding is an ongoing, important objective for plant biologists. Since soybean is a short-day plant, controlling flowering time is a key step to influence its adaptation to diverse latitudes and farming system. Recently, Yupeng Cai et al found that two classical flowering regulator […]

RIN4/NOI fragments utilize different N-end rules of degradation to fight off pathogens (Plant Physiol)

To fight off invading pathogens, plants such as Arabidopsis are intrinsically programmed with a subset of defense responses often known as pattern-triggered immunity (PTI) and effector-triggered immunity (ETI). AvrRpt2, an effector secreted by the pathogen Pseudomonas syringe, is a protease that can cleave several central regulators of immune response in plants. The nitrate-induced domain (NOI) […]

Slow canopy wilting enhances drought-tolerance in soybean (J Exp Bot)

As plants are sessile organisms, they have developed highly sophisticated mechanisms to allow the modulation of development in response to environmental changes, thus maximizing their chance of survival. When soil dries, soybeans with a slow canopy wilting (SW) phenotype have delayed canopy/leaf wilting to overcome the negative impacts of drought stress. Two exotic (landraces) plant […]

Pollinators and herbivores boost the evolution of floral traits ($) Science

The characteristics of flowers, including morphology, color, nectar and fragrance, are closely related to their pollination methods. To attract pollinators, plants often produce large,  colorful, or fragrant flowers. Increasing evidence has indicated that herbivorous feeding activity also affects flower evolution, but few studies look at the effects of both pollination and insect gnawing on flower […]

Ca2+-dependent processing of immunomodulatory peptides ($) (Science)

Plants are sessile organisms that have evolved an extraordinary immune system to optimally adapt to the risky environment, which includes hazards such as insect chewing, weather damaging, and pathogen invasion. But the signaling mechanism of how the physical damage of cells triggers the intracellular defense response remains to be elucidated. Recently Hander el al. demonstrated […]