Entries by Philip Carella

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 […]

Nitrogen-fixing corn slime? A Mexican maize landrace supports nitrogen-fixing microbiota in aerial root mucilage

Plants engage in intimate interactions with symbiotic microbes for the mutually beneficial exchange of nutrients. In a keystone study published in PLoS Biology, Van Deyze et al. (2018) describe the presence of nitrogen-fixing microbiota contained within an extensively carbohydrate rich mucilage found on the aerial roots of a Mexican landrace of maize (Sierra Mixe). Such […]

A conserved role for flavonoids in the protection of plant tissues from UV damage ($)

The transition from aquatic to terrestrial environments exposed the earliest land plants to higher doses of damaging ultraviolet (UV-B) radiation. To cope with this stress, land plants evolved complex signalling mechanisms and an inventory of protective ‘sunscreen-like’ flavonoids. To explore whether this paradigm is conserved in extant early divergent land plants, Clayton et al. (2018) […]

Suns out, guns out: Plant defense responses are enhanced under long-day photoperiods ($)

As sessile organisms, plants must constantly sense and respond to a dynamic range of stimuli in their environment, which includes both the duration of light (photoperiod) and the presence of microbial invaders. In a recent article published in Plant Physiology, Cagnola et al. (2018) investigate how plant defense responses are affected in Arabidopsis exposed to […]

A RopGEF regulates asexual reproduction in the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha

Complex developmental programs regulate tissue and organ formation throughout the green plant lineage, from early diverging non-vascular lineages (bryophytes) to vascular flowering (angiosperm) plants. In the model liverwort Marchantia polymorpha, epidermal patterning gives rise to surface structures such as air pore complexes and gemma cups that house asexually-derived clonal liverwort propagules (gemmae), yet the underlying […]

Aquatic fern genomes provide insight into land plant evolution and symbiosis (Nature Plants)

Land plants evolved from freshwater charophytic algae over ~450 million years ago and have since diverged into the plethora of embryophyte genera that we see today. Genomics efforts have classically focused on key angiosperm species representing experimental model systems and/or agriculturally important crops, yet an increasing amount of attention is now being given to earlier […]

The Phytophthora RXLR effector AVR3a12 suppresses ER-mediated plant immunity (Mol. Plant)

The pathogenic oomycete Phytophthora capsici secretes RXLR effector proteins into plant cells to subvert host cell machinery and facilitate disease. Several RXLR effector proteins have been characterized to date, however, Phytophthora species encode a vast array of effector molecules that likely target different cellular compartments during infection. In a recent article in Molecular Plant, Fan […]

The repetitive effector Rsp3 promotes the virulence of the corn smut fungus Ustilago maydis

The corn smut fungus Ustilago maydis manipulates maize tissues and cells through the secretion of effectors that modulate host protein activities. In a recent article published in Nature Communications, Ma et al. characterize a highly repetitive effector protein family (Rsp3, repetitive secreted protein 3) that significantly contributes to fungal virulence. The transcriptional induction of Rsp3 […]