Entries by Peter Minorsky

On the Inside: Molecular Regulation of Asteraceae Inflorescence Development

The reproductive structures of the Asteraceae (the sunflower family), the largest family of flowering plants, are among the most complex within the flowering plants. The species in this family develop head-like inflorescences that resemble flowers. In many Asteraceae flowers, the hermaphroditic disc flowers are less conspicuous and radially symmetrical and are located in the center […]

On the Inside: Feedback Regulation of Wood Formation in Poplar

Wood formation is controlled by a number of MYB family transcription factors, which may act as transcriptional activators or repressors. Secondary wall associated NAC domains (SNDs) and vascular-related NAC domains are master regulators controlling the expression of downstream transcription factors, including MYB proteins. There appears, therefore, to be a transcriptional regulatory network (TRN) where activators […]

On the Inside: Phytochrome B and Systemic Reactive Oxygen Species Waves

Several recent studies have revealed that reactive oxygen species (ROS)waves propagate through plants, originating at the treated, stimulated, or stressed local tissue and spreading within minutes to the entire plant. ROS waves regulate and coordinate systemic metabolic, molecular, and physiological responses among the different parts of the plant. Interestingly, in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), an excess […]

On the Inside: Altered Alternative Splicing in Virus-Infected Plants

Viruses have small genomes with limited protein-coding capacities. To compensate for this, viruses modulate plant gene expression and co-opt host factors to support their replication, cell-to-cell movement, and systemic movement. Modulation of host gene expression can lead to the development of disease symptoms in plants. An important form of post-transcriptional gene regulation in eukaryotes is […]

On the Inside: Blue Light Sensitivity in One Order of Ferns

Stomata respond to changes in the light environment through multiple mechanisms that jointly regulate the tradeoff between carbon assimilation and water loss. The rapid and highly sensitive widening of stomatal aperture in response to low-fluence blue light is present in most vascular plant groups but is widely believed to have been lost in the ancestor […]

On the Inside: Serine Hydrolases and Lipid Mobilization During Seed Germination

During seed germination, lipolytic enzymes are involved in the mobilization of lipid reserves. In particular, the lipolytic activities of lipases and esterases play crucial roles in proper seedling growth and development. Lipases and  esterases belong to the serine hydrolase (SH) superfamily. Established  genomic and proteomic approaches have provided enormous information about the presence and expressional […]

On the Inside: Cell Wall Acetylation

In plant cells, cellulose microfibrils make up the basic skeleton of the rigid cell wall while hemicellulose and pectin fill the space between cellulose microfibrils. Cell walls constitute the first wall in plant defense against pathogens and cell wall polysaccharides, and their acetylation status greatly affects responses to pathogens. Many cell wall polysaccharides undergo extensive […]