Entries by Peter Minorsky

Phytochrome-Interacting Factors and Tomato Qualities

Phytochromes (PHYs) are red/far-red light photoreceptors that are activated by light and deactivated by dark and high temperature. Upon light exposure, PHYs are translocated into the nucleus, where they interact with PHY-INTERACTING FACTORS (PIFs) and induce the degradation of these transcription factors. Although the manipulation of light signals bears a great potential to influence fruit […]

Circadian Clock Gene Affects Aphid Feeding

Phloem sap-feeding aphids inflict plant damage by direct feeding and by acting as a vector for plant disease transmission. Their highly specialized stylets reach the phloem sieve elements, allowing aphids to extract plant photoassimilates without consuming structural tissues. Probing and feeding by aphids elicits plant defense responses, leading to retarded aphid development, reduced aphid survival […]

A Gene Affecting Chloroplast Size

During leaf growth and development, chloroplast numbers increase to maximize photosynthetic capacity. In mesophyll cells, chloroplast division takes place primarily during cell expansion and increases plastid numbers from; 10 to 20 in leaf primordia to; 100 or more in  mature mesophyll cells. Chloroplasts divide in the middle, producing populations of organelles that are generally similar […]

How Carrots Get Their Colors

Carrot (Daucus carota ssp. sativus) are classified into two groups: the carotene group (variety sativus) and the anthocyanin group (variety atrorubens). Carotene group members, also known as nonpurple carrots, accumulate massive amounts of carotenoids in their roots. Anthocyanin group members, also known as purple carrots, accumulate high levels of anthocyanins in their roots. Anthocyanins are […]

A Circadian Clock Protein Regulates Fitness under Water Limitation

The circadian clock of plants coordinates many molecular, physiological and metabolic processes to optimize the plant’s health and survival in an ever-changing environment. The core circadian clock component TIMING OF CAB EXPRESSION1 (TOC1) integrates environmental stress responses in plants through its effects on abscisic acid signaling and growth suppression. The interaction of TOC1 with PHYTOCHROME […]