Entries by Rory Burke

Tobacco leaf tissue rapidly detoxifies direct salt loads without activation of calcium and SOS signaling (New Phytol)

Salinity stress is one of the primary abiotic causes of crop loss worldwide. In roots, the early response to high salt levels is coordinated largely via the well characterized salt-overly sensitive (SOS) pathway, which is dependent on Ca2+ signaling. However, how plants cope with elevated salt levels in leaves is less clear. Here, Graus and […]

Synthetic genetic circuits as a means of reprogramming plant roots (Science)

Synthetic genetic circuits offer a promising method to achieve beneficial changes in plant phenotypic traits. By combining different activator or repressor transcription factors (TFs) , the expression of target genes may be fine-tuned according to Boolean operations. Here, Brophy et al. describe a method to design and test synthetic gene circuits, and show how they […]

Ectopic expression of BOTRYTIS SUSCEPTIBLE1 reveals its function as a positive regulator of wound-induced cell death and plant susceptibility to Botrytis (Plant Cell)

Programmed cell death (PCD) is a ubiquitous eukaryotic process in which specific cells are eliminated during development or in response to stress. Here, Fuqiang Cui and colleagues confirm for the first time the exact role of the BOS1 gene in the regulation of PCD in Arabidopsis thaliana. Originally identified in screen for susceptibility to the […]

Robust transcriptional indicators of immune cell death revealed by spatio-temporal transcriptome analyses (Mol Plant)

Many plants trigger a form of cell death, known as the hypersensitive response (HR), immediately upon pathogen recognition. To minimize damage to the plant, this cell death must be highly localized to the site of attack, while more distal cells survive and activate other immune responses. However, the transcriptomic programs underlying these disparate cell fates […]

Spermine inhibits PAMP ROS and Ca2+ burst and reshapes the transcriptional landscape of PAMP-triggered immunity in Arabidopsis (bioRxiv)

Polyamines are endogenous cationic amines that have been shown to regulate a plethora of biological processes in plants, including the hypersensitive response. However, the importance of polyamines in other aspects of plant immunity has not yet been fully explored. In this new preprint, Zhang and colleagues examine the role of two polyamines, spermine and putrescine, […]

A mitochondrial RNA processing protein mediates plant immunity to a broad spectrum of pathogens by modulating the mitochondrial oxidative burst (Plant Cell)

Phytophthora are a group of oomycete pathogens that infect a wide range of plants and cause disease in many important crop species. Large scale mutant screens have previously been used to identify Arabidopsis thaliana mutants with enhanced resistance to P. parasitica. Here, Yang and colleagues investigate the mechanisms underlying resistance in one such mutant, rtp7. […]

Chloroplast protein import determines plant proteostasis and retrograde signaling (bioRxiv)

The neurological condition Huntington’s disease is caused by mutated versions of the Huntingtin gene that encode expanded stretches of polyglutamine repeats, resulting in protein aggregation. However, despite the widespread presence of polyglutamine repeat regions in plant proteomes, similar pathologies have yet to be observed. To investigate this paradox, Llamas and colleagues expressed aggregation-prone fragments of […]

Arabidopsis CHROMATIN REMODELING 19 acts as a transcriptional repressor and contributes to plant pathogen resistance (Plant Cell)

Chromatin remodellers are highly conserved eukaryotic proteins with regulatory roles in various aspects of DNA metabolism including DNA repair, gene expression and mitosis. Here, Kang et al. examine the function of the CHROMATIN REMODELLING19 (CHR19) in Arabidopsis thaliana. Using two T-DNA insertion lines, the researchers first showed that unlike its animal and yeast homologues, CHR19 […]