Entries by Nathan Scinto-Madonich

Review: Combinatorial nutrient stresses reveal emergent properties ($) (TIPS)

Plants require at least 14 mineral nutrients to complete their life cycle. These mineral nutrients are unevenly distributed within the soil, and plants have evolved physiological adaptations (changes in root growth, exudation, symbiotic relationships with soil organisms, etc.). to address these nutrient limitations. In this review, Bouain and colleagues discuss the growing evidence supporting overlapping […]

A Transcription Factor, OsMADS57, Regulates Long-Distance Nitrate Transport and Root Elongation (Plant Phys.)

Nitrogen is a critical macronutrient for plant growth and reproduction, and it’s largely present as ammonium in flooded and acidic soils. However, structurally porous tissue in rice roots, called aerenchyma, transfer oxygen to the root system in flooded paddies, increasing nitrate abundance. Huang et al. used a transcription factor, OsMADS57, to study the complex regulation […]

Auxin-mediated statolith production for root gravitropism (New Phytol)

Plants have evolved the ability to perceive and respond to gravity, one of the most persistent external cues. This response process, termed gravitropism, has been extensively studied for its importance in plant development and its potential to improve agronomic traits of crops. The gravitropic response of plants is defined by three main steps: sedimentation of […]

EXPANSIN A1-mediated radial swelling of pericycle cells positions anticlinal cell divisions during lateral root initiation ($) (PNAS)

Lateral root development helps plants explore the soil for mineral nutrients and water, and there are environmental and internal cues that precede the formation of lateral root primordia. In Arabidopsis thaliana, some of these internal cues include increased auxin concentrations around lateral root founder cells and their radial expansion. Ramakrishna et al. used an auxin-inducible […]

Complete biosynthesis of cannabinoids and their unnatural analogues in yeast (Nature) ($)

Cannabis sativa L. produces cannabinoid compounds that interest the medical community for the treatment of symptoms that may be difficult to suppress with common medical treatments. Research on cannabinoids is limited by their low abundance in plant tissue and structurally complex chemical synthesis. Luo et al. addresses these issues through the assembly of a cannabinoid […]

Crystal structure of plant vacuolar transporter VIT1 (Nature Plants) ($)

Iron is an essential nutrient for plants that participates in cellular processes such as DNA replication, photosynthesis, and respiration. Excess iron accumulation is harmful to plants due to its participation in the generation of reactive oxygen species, which can damage cellular machinery. One of the ways to detoxify iron is to sequester it in the […]

Natural Herbicide: Cyanobacterial antimetabolite inhibits the growth of prototrophic organisms (Nature Comms)

The shikimate pathway synthesizes aromatic amino acids in microorganisms and plants, and its absence in animals makes the shikimate pathway a common target for the development of herbicides. Brilisauer et al. 2019 isolated a novel compound from the cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus—7-deoxy-sedoheptulose (7dSH)—that blocks 3-deoxy-D-arabino-heptulosonate 7-phospate (DAHP) from binding to 3-dehydroquinate (DHQ) synthase, a key step […]

Auxin efflux carrier ZmPGP1 mediates root growth inhibition under aluminum stress (Plant Physiology)

Acid soils (pH < 5.5) mobilize aluminum (Al) in the rhizosphere, which damages the root meristem and hinders exploration for nutrients and water. Zhang et al. demonstrate that a mutation in ZmPGP1, an auxin transport protein, imparts enhanced root growth under toxic Al conditions. The enhanced root growth is attributed to greater auxin accumulation, which […]