Entries by Philip Carella

A key role for flavanols in the promotion of pollen success (PNAS) ($)

The reproductive success of angiosperms relies on the fertilization of the female gametophyte (egg sac) by pollen that travels long-distances in the pistil. Previous studies suggest a role for phenylpropanoid-related metabolites (flavonoids and anthocyanins) in controlling pollen growth and fertilization, however a mechanistic understanding of their function during this critical developmental process remains unknown. In […]

Review: Nicotiana benthamiana: a workhorse of model plants (Annu Rev Phytopathol)

For years, scientists have relied on model species to investigate the fundamental nature of plants. Not surprisingly, these systems have facilitated our combined efforts for a deeper understanding of complex plant phenomena, from the coordinated orchestration of developmental programs to the emerging interconnected networks controlling responses to stressful stimuli. In an insightful review now published […]

Symplastic coordination of root nodule development (Curr. Biol.)

The establishment of root nodule symbiosis in legume roots involves the perception, infection, and accommodation of nitrogen-fixing rhizobia. The de novo formation of root nodules relies on complex developmental programs coordinated through different tissues via unknown cellular routes. Gaudioso-Pedraza et al. investigated the importance of plasmodesmatal cell-cell junctions (PD) for the initiation of root nodule […]

A conserved ABA signaling module regulates dormancy in liverworts (Curr Biol)

Plants can strategically maintain a state of dormancy to prevent germination and growth under unfavorable environmental conditions. In evolutionarily young lineages, dormancy is regulated by a canonical abscisic acid signalling pathway comprised of ABA receptors (PYR/PYL/RCAR), the negative regulator protein phosphatase 2C (PP2C) ABI1 (Abscisic acid Insensitive1), SNF1-related protein kinase2 (SnrK2), and ABA-associated transcriptional machinery […]

Glutamate is a wound-induced signal that activates long-distance calcium signaling (Science)

Several years of intensive research have revealed a suite of mobile signals that travel long-distances to inform meristems on developmental phase transitions or to protect distal plant tissues from abiotic or biotic stressors. In a new article published in Science, Toyota et al. (2018) identify a role for glutamate as a wound-induced signal that activates […]

A shoot-derived miRNA ensures susceptibility to beneficial rhizobacteria in legumes (Science)

Nitrogen-fixing rhizobacteria and leguminous plants engage in a tightly controlled root symbiosis resulting from bacteria-to-plant as well as (plant) shoot-to-root communication. This interplay controls the initiation and maintenance of root nodule development while preventing the over-production of nodules. In a keystone article published in Science, Tsikou et al. discovered that a shoot-derived microRNA is responsible […]

Arabidopsis seeds delay germination in the presence of pathogens (eLIFE)

The rhizosphere represents a complex and dynamic environment that poses many challenges for seed germination and seedling establishment. While a number of well-characterized abiotic factors and hormone signaling pathways are known to contribute to the initiation of seed germination, our current understanding of how plant pathogenic bacteria impact germination is poorly resolved. In a recent […]

Arabidopsis Formin 2 regulates cell-to-cell trafficking through plasmodesmata (eLIFE)

Plasmodesmata are cell-cell junctions that form cytosolic channels between neighboring plant cells. These junctions mediate the exchange of information between cells during various stress and developmental programs by actively regulating the aperture of the channel entrance or ‘pore’. In a new study published in eLIFE, Diao et al. discovered that the Arabidopsis actin nucleation factor […]

LTPs participate in preinvasive defense against powdery mildew pathogens (Mol. Plant Pathol.)

Plant lipid transfer proteins (LTPs) display a strikingly clear capacity to bind lipidic molecules yet their mechanistic role in plant developmental or stress physiology is not yet clear. In a recent study published in Molecular Plant Pathology, Fahlberg et al. (2018) investigated the role of glycophosphatidylinositiol-(GPI)-anchored LTPs in resistance to non-adapted powdery mildew pathogens in […]