Entries by Pavithran Narayanan

A moonlighting kinase induces immune responses in rice and Arabidopsis ($) (Plant Physiol.)

Bacterial infections are a serious issue for crop plants and it is thus imperative to understand the mechanisms employed by plants to develop resistance against pathogens. Malukani et al. have identified a receptor kinase in rice, WALL-ASSOCIATED KINASE-LIKE 21 (OsWAKL21.2) that perceives pathogen-induced damage to the plant cell wall. Overexpression of this kinase in rice […]

Review: More than a pinch of salt: How plants tolerate salty conditions (Annu. Rev. Plant Biol.)

High soil salinity has implications greater than what meets the eye; in addition to the apparent ‘ionic’ stress caused by the toxic sodium (Na+) and chloride (Cl–) ions, it causes osmotic stress (drought-like condition), altered potassium (K+) homeostasis, inhibition of photosynthesis and a plethora of other effects. Plants have evolved complex signaling pathways to deal […]

Self-isolation to the rescue – how plasmodesmata initiate signaling in response to chitin (PNAS)

Plant cells are known to initiate local and systemic signaling in response to certain stressful conditions to safeguard cells in the immediate vicinity as well as that are far from the site of stimuli. In this study, Cheval and co-workers have characterized a pathway in plant cells for sensing and responding to chitin, a polysaccharide […]

Review. Twenty years of CBL-CIPKs: The knowns and the unknowns (Trends Plant Sci)

What are the chances that homologs of a vital animal protein could be found in plants, and how much structural and functional similarity would they share? These questions led to the discovery of Calcineurin B-like (CBL) and CBL-interacting protein kinase (CIPK) protein families in plants. In this review, Tang and co-workers discuss how knowledge of […]

“The secret is how to die!”: CPK1 controls cell death via phosphorylation of ORE1 (Plant Cell)

Cell death, like all other cellular processes, is controlled by a highly complex signaling network. A search for the targets of Arabidopsis calcium dependent protein kinase1 (CPK1) by Durian and co-workers has revealed that it phosphorylates ORESARA1 (ORE1), a master regulator of leaf senescence responses, in a region necessary for its downstream gene activation. Characterization […]