Entries by Rachel Shahan

Tempting Fate: A Guanylate-Binding Protein Maintains Tomato Fruit Cell Differentiation

Tissues are composed of specialized cell types. As a cell matures, it acquires the characteristics associated with a specific identity, or fate. This process is called cell differentiation and is crucial for proper organ development. However, after a differentiation program is initiated, the mechanisms underlying its maintenance are often unclear. Here, Musseau et al. (2020) […]

It’s All in the Neighborhood: SHORTROOT-mediated Intercellular Signals Coordinate Phloem Development in the Root

In all multicellular organisms, tissue patterning and organogenesis are governed by asymmetric cell divisions (ACDs) and the cellular exchange of positional cues. Plants, unlike animals, undergo post-embryonic organogenesis due to the maintenance of stem cells in specialized niches. One such niche, the root apical meristem, is found near the tip of the root. Many studies […]

Father Knows Best? Small RNA Pathway Controls Endosperm Response to Paternal Genomic Dosage

In flowering plants, seed viability is dependent upon the endosperm, a triploid tissue produced by fertilization of a diploid central cell by a haploid sperm. Most endosperm genes are expressed in a 2:1 maternal to paternal ratio reflecting the genomic DNA content. Consequently, balance between maternal and paternal genome dosages is important for proper endosperm, […]

The Future is Now: Gene Expression Dynamics at Single Cell Resolution

For the past 10 years, a popular method to study global gene expression changes has been RNA sequencing of bulk tissues. However, an inherent limitation of this approach is the confounding of multiple cell types or multiple developmental stages. By contrast, new technologies enable transcriptional profiling of thousands of cells at single cell resolution. Single […]