Entries by Philip Carella

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 […]

The fungal MAP kinase Pmk1 controls intracellular spread of rice blast fungus in rice cells (Science)

Magnaporthe oryzae is a devastating fungal pathogen that routinely threatens rice crop yields. Rice blast infection occurs when fungal hyphae penetrate into and proliferate within living plant cells, moving intracellulary from cell-to-cell through plasmodesmatal junctions. In a recent article published by Sakulkoo et al. (Science), chemical genetics revealed that a single MAP Kinase, Pmk1, is […]

Emergence of N-hydroxy-pipecolic acid as a key long-distance immunity signal in Arabidopsis

Systemic acquired resistance is a form of long-distance immunity employed by plants to protect distal uninfected tissues upon localized pathogen attack. Over the past two decades, a number of putative long-distance signals have been described as regulators of systemic immunity including the lysine catabolite pipecolic acid (Pip). Two recent studies expand on this knowledge (Chen […]

A Small Peptide Signal Regulates Systemic Responses to Plant Water Status ($)

Plant organs perceive their immediate environment and communicate over both short and long distances to regulate the physiology of the affected organ as well as organs distal to the perceived stress. To accomplish this, plants utilize an impressive array of signalling molecules which range from small chemical signatures to macromolecules such as proteins and RNA. […]

Similar but Different: A Functionally Conserved of COI1 Receptor Recognizes Jasmonate Precursors in the Liverwort Marchantia polymorpha ($)

Land plants evolved from freshwater charophyte algae over 450 million years ago and have since diverged into the multitude of plant lineages observed today. The extent to which prominent plant hormones and cognate receptor proteins, which play essential roles in evolutionarily young angiosperms, are conserved across the green plant lineage is currently unknown. In a […]

To the VIKtor goes the Spoils: The Phytophthora infestans Effector Pi17316 Manipulates the Host MAP3K VIK to Promote Disease Susceptibility in Potato (OA)

Phytopathogens secrete effector proteins that enter and manipulate plant cells to facilitate microbial growth in planta. This is often achieved by exerting specific activity onto key host proteins to divert host cellular functions towards supporting pathogen growth. In a recently published article in Plant Physiology (2018), Murphy et al. describe the identification of the potato […]

Viewpoint: Cell-cell junctions: What’s their function? (New Phytol)

Plasmodesmata are contiguous cell-cell junctions that provide an avenue for intracellular (symplastic) communication between neighboring plant cells. In recent years, researchers have unravelled key aspects of plasmodesmata development and function in cell-cell signalling during a multitude of responses to endogenous or external stimuli. In a recent Viewpoint article, Lu et al. discuss these advances and […]

Deep evolutionary roots for the plant hormone auxin (eLIFE)

Auxin is an endogenous plant hormone that orchestrates complex tissue development across diverse green plant lineages. In a recent article, Mutte et al. performed a deep phylogenomics analysis of known and predicted auxin signalling mechanisms present in green plants and their algal predecessors. This analysis revealed interesting contributions of ancient proteins to the auxin response […]