Entries by Nanxun Qin

Viewpoint: The Poisonous Pollens, why do they exist? (New Phytol)

Besides being the carrier of male gametes in plants, pollen cells also unexpectedly contained some toxic properties that are collectively called “Pollen Defensive Compounds”. This raises the question: what is the evolutionary significance of these toxic compounds? In this Viewpoint by Rivest and Forrest, three hypotheses are presented, particularly as they pertain to the role […]

A single amino-acid substitution impairs PTI and ETI in an SA-dependent manner in rice ($) (Plant Physiol)

Plants possess two immune strategies to prevent invasion by pathogens called pattern-triggered immunity (PTI, typically mediated by cell-surface receptors) and effector-triggered immunity (ETI). During ETI, intracellular resistance (R) proteins perceive specific pathogen effectors. Tang et al. describe a gain-of-function rice R gene mutant designated as weaker defense (wed), in which disease resistance conferred by both […]

The N-terminus of AtMSL10 interacts with its own C- terminus (bioRxiv)

Plants are equipped with multiple mechanosensitive (MS) ion channels that respond to external and internal mechanical perturbations. When one of these, AtMSL10, is overexpressed it leads to a cell death phenotype, although there is no discernible phenotype associated with its loss of function. Recently Basu et al. demonstrated a novel activation mechanism of AtMSL10 when […]

ABA receptor abundance, thus ABA sensitivity, is regulated by ALIX ($) (Plant Cell)

To balance water loss and CO2 assimilation, stomatal aperture is tightly controlled in accordance with environmental changes, mediated by ABA signaling. Here, García-León et al. found that ABA sensitivity and stomatal aperture are regulated by the trafficking and vacuolar degradation of ABA receptors (PYLs). This turnover is regulated by an ESCART-III-associated protein ALIX, which is […]

Glyphosate-based herbicide effectiveness can be maximized by considering plant circadian rhythms (Nature Comms)

Plants’ internal circadian clocks regulate the timing of many physiological and developmental processes. This circadian clock also controls plant sensitivity to the herbicide glyphosate, which is maximally effective at dawn. Here, Belbin et al. showed that the minimum effective dose varies with time of day, and that Arabidopsis plants with abnormalities in their clock showed […]

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 […]