Entries by Rose McNelly

Review: Genome evolution in plants and the origins of innovation

Land plants have enormous diversity; however we do not fully understand how this has arisen. In this review article James Clark discusses how genome dynamics and gene loss contribute to genome evolution and the generation of diversity and complexity. He explains how genome evolution is non-homogenous across time with specific periods where plants underwent rapid […]

Microtubule-associated proteins regulate fruit shape in tomato

Microtubule binding proteins are important in determining fruit shape by driving changes in microtubule arrangement. However, in depth molecular studies on these in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) have been limited. Here, Bao et al. investigated the microtubule binding protein Microtubule-Associated Protein 70 (MAP70), which is highly expressed in developing tomato fruits. Knocking out map70-1 and its […]

Genetic architecture of heterostyly and domestication history of common buckwheat

Common buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) is a self-incompatible orphan crop which is gaining interest as it can be grown worldwide and grows well in low fertility soil. However, there are limited genomic resources available for common buckwheat. Here Fawcett et al. combined Illumnia short-read data with PacBio HiFi long-read data to produce a 1.27 Gb chromosome-level […]

A chloroplast protein atlas reveals punctate structures and spatial organization of biosynthetic pathways

Chloroplasts are the location of key processes including photosynthesis, starch synthesis and lipid synthesis. However, many chloroplast proteins have unknown functions,  a problem that can in part by addressed through high-resolution localization data. Here, 1034 putative chloroplast- localized proteins were tagged with a C-terminal fluorescent Venus tag, constitutively expressed in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, […]

Compartmentation of photosynthesis gene expression in C4 maize depends on time of day

C4 photosynthesis involves the compartmentalization of the photosynthetic reactions across bundle sheath and mesophyll cells, which requires cell-specific gene expression; however, we do not fully understand how this occurs or how photoperiod impacts it. Here maize (Zea mays) was grown in constant light/temperature conditions, and chlorophyll fluorescence and carbon assimilation were measured over 14-hours. The […]

Evolution of cytosolic and organellar invertases empowered the colonization and thriving of land plants

Invertases catalyse the conversion of sucrose into glucose and fructose. In plants, invertases fall into two clades – the mitochondrially/plastid localized α clade and the cytoplasmically localized β clade. However, we do not fully understand how these clades evolved. Here Wan et al. identified 665 invertases from 77 species across the plant kingdom. Phylogenetic analysis […]

CPK32 regulates cellulose biosynthesis through post-translational modification of cellulose synthase

Cellulose in one of the most abundant polymers on the planet and is synthesized by plasma membrane-bound cellulose synthases (CESAs). Phosphorylation plays a role in CESA regulation, however the kinases which catalyse the phosphorylation are not well described. Here Xin et al. identified calcium-dependent protein kinase 32 (CPK32) as an interactor of CESA3 in a […]

Soluble and insoluble α-glucan synthesis in yeast by enzyme suites derived from maize endosperm

Starch is a polymer of α-glucose which is assembled into insoluble, semi-crystalline granules in plants. It is not known why we see only insoluble starch granules in plants and no soluble α-glucan polymers. To investigate this, Boehlein et al. took a synthetic biology approach. Eleven starch metabolism genes from maize endosperm were expressed in differing […]