Entries by Nick Segerson

Drought conditions reduce root-feeding nematode predator populations (PNAS)

Climate change is expected to cause numerous negative impacts on plant populations. An under considered area that will be affected are the communities of soil organisms that rely on a delicate balance of environmental conditions, particularly in grasslands that receive moderate precipitation (mesic grasslands). A recent study from Franco et al. aims to address how […]

Generating novel, dual herbicide-resistant crops using CRISPR-mediated gene editing (Plant Physiol)

There is an ever-growing need for novel herbicides as more weeds are becoming resistant to commonly used herbicides. In a recent report from Hu et al., the authors identified that a previously described cellulose biosynthesis-inhibiting chemical, C17, possesses an herbicidal quality. The authors showed that the treatment with C17 resulted in the depletion of cellulose […]

An aberrant protein phosphatase 2C confers abscisic acid tolerance and drives high transpiration during drought conditions in a parasitic plant, Striga ($) (Nature Plants)

Striga hermonthica is a parasitic plant which infects major crops in arid environments. The rate of transpiration in Striga is higher than that of the host plant, thus maintaining a water potential gradient from the host to the Striga plant. Until recently, the exact mechanism has been poorly understood. A recent study from Fujioka et […]

Leaf senescence in Arabidopsis thaliana is regulated by a histone H3K4 demethylase (Plant Cell)

Leaf senescence is the final stage of leaf development where the organ turns yellow and programmed cell death occurs. While it is generally understood that the regulation of senescence associated genes (SAGs) is dependent on the trimethylation of histone H3 at lysine 4 (H3K4me3), the exact mechanism is unknown. In a new study, authors Liu […]

Endogenous control of root system architecture through hypoxic conditions (Mol Plant)($)

The three-dimensional structure of plant roots, often referred to as the root system architecture (RSA), is important for soil exploration and nutrient acquisition. The regulation of the RSA is important to prevent overuse of resources and to ensure efficient function. A recent study from Shukla et al. found that regulation of RSA occurs through the […]

Xylan and lignin deposition are independent of cellulose in the secondary cell wall (Plant Cell)

The secondary cell wall (SCW) plays an important role in the structural integrity of plants and is key to efficient water conductivity. Despite the important role of the SCW, little known about how and when SCW components are assembled. Currently, it is understood that cellulose deposition is a precursor for other components including hemicelluloses and […]