Entries by Pavithran Narayanan

Go polar: Regulation of Rho GTPases by ARO proteins (Nature Plants)

Polar cell growth is a key feature in plant organs like root hairs, trichomes and pollen tubes. Kulich and co-workers have identified novel regulatory elements governing the polar growth of root hairs and trichomes in Arabidopsis thaliana. Studying a group of proteins named ARMADILLO REPEAT ONLY (ARO), the authors found them to specifically localize to […]

Calcium dynamics during trap closure visualized in transgenic Venus flytrap (Nature Plants)

For centuries, carnivorous plants and the mechanisms they use to capture prey have been enigmas. While some clarity regarding the molecular mechanisms is beginning to emerge, Suda and colleagues have uncovered a vital role for calcium (Ca2+) signals in trap closure in Venus flytrap. The researchers introduced the genetically encoded Ca2+ sensor GCaMP6f using an […]

SNAP ‘n’ Track: Protein localization using fluorescent dyes (Plant Cell)

Proteins’ sub-cellular localizations provide a wealth of information regarding their functional attributes. Protein localization in plant cells is usually done through genetically combining fluorescent proteins to the protein-of-interest. Now, Iwatate and colleagues report the successful localization of target proteins in planta by adding to the protein of interest a tag that is subsequently covalently attached […]

Going my own way: Ethylene-independent ACC signaling in pollen tube attraction (Nature Comms.)

1-Aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) is the precursor of the phytohormone ethylene. Here, Mou and co-workers show ACC to act independent of ethylene in the ovule to attract growing pollen tubes. Mutants impaired in ACC biosynthesis had less fertilization and seed setting events. Fertilization and seed set were both rescued by external application of ACC but not ethylene. […]

Calcium binding by arabinogalactan polysaccharides is important for normal plant development (Plant Cell)

Arabinogalactan proteins (AGPs) are a class of apoplastic carbohydrate-binding proteins with a carbohydrate portion that can also bind to calcium (Ca2+) ions in a pH-dependent manner. Here, Lopez-Hernandez and colleagues have probed the role of AGPs and the functional significance of their Ca2+-binding using mutants deficient in enzymes required for the assembly of carbohydrate moieties. […]

A FRET sensor reports kinase activity in planta (eLIFE)

Abscisic acid (ABA) is a phytohormone involved in imparting tolerance to a variety of stress conditions. Importantly, ABA is involved in stomatal closure, mediated by the sucrose non-fermenting1-related protein kinase 2 (SnRK2) family of proteins. To report SnRK2 activity in vivo, Zhang and co-workers developed a FRET-based fluorescent sensor (named SNACs for SnRK2 activity sensor). […]

Shedding light on plant immunity: Light-regulated defense against P. infestans (PNAS)

While infection by pathogens and the reciprocal immune responses are well studied in plants, the influence of other abiotic factors on these processes is not very clear. In an attempt to understand the role of light on plant defense, Gao and colleagues have shown that the AVRvnt1 effector protein secreted by Phytophthora infestans gives rise […]