Entries by Peter Minorsky

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 […]

On the Inside: APETALA-2 and Meristem Arrest

The number of flowers that an inflorescence is able to produce, and therefore the number of fruits and seeds, depends on the activity of the shoot apical meristem (SAM) and the length of the flowering period. In monocarpic plants, the end of flowering is associated with a senescence process called global proliferative arrest (GPA). GPA […]

A Molecular Determinant of Rice Plant Architecture

Plant architecture is a major determinant of rice (Oryza sativa) productivity. Rice plant architecture is mainly defined by plant height, the spatial pattern of leaves, and tiller and inflorescence branching patterns. Plant height and tiller branching determine the biomass and harvest index, while the spatial pattern of leaves, including leaf shape and angle, influences the […]