Entries by Tatsuya Nobori

Extracellular proteolytic cascade in tomato activates immune protease Rcr3 (PNAS)

The plant apoplast is a sea of immune-related proteins that facilitate robust defense against pathogens. Rcr3 is a tomato secreted apoplastic protease that contributes to both basal defense and gene-for-gene resistance against pathogens. Rcr3 is activated by the cleavage of its autoinhibitory prodomain, and it has been considered that the catalytic activity of Rcr3 is […]

An optogenetic tool for plants grown in ambient light (Nature Methods)

Optogenetics has revolutionized mammalian biology by its ability to fine-tune gene expression in individual cells by pulses of light. However, its application in plants has been challenging because the white light required for plant growth misfires the system. Ochoa-Fernandez et al. solved this problem by engineered photoreceptors that can repress and induce gene expression driven […]

Plant-herbivore chemical communication decoded (Science)

Chemical communications between species are prevalent in nature. For instance, herbivorous insects can spot their host plants by sensing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by plants. Despite our knowledge about interactions between individual plant and herbivore species, little is known about how chemical communications are structured and maintained in the ecological context. Zu et al. […]

Review. The plant microbiome: From ecology to reductionism and beyond (Annu. Rev. Microbiol.)

The last two decades have witnessed tremendous progress in our understanding of plant microbiota. Fitzpatrick, Salas-González et al. highlight recent discoveries from culture-dependent and culture-independent approaches and discuss the future path towards integrating these approaches. Culture-independent approaches are census studies of microbial communities in various ecological contexts. Such studies reveal four factors that affect variation […]

Plant genes for defense against insect eggs (bioRxiv)

Plants can recognize eggs of herbivorous insects deposited on leaves and mount defense responses to avoid the future threat of herbivory. Similar to plant hypersensitive response against pathogens, plants can cause localized cell death to defend themselves against insect eggs. This response is called a hypersensitive-like response (HR-like). Despite similarities between HR-like and well-studied plant […]

Systemic signaling during abiotic stress combination in plants (PNAS)

In nature, plants face multiple environmental stresses simultaneously. Plant responses to combined stresses are often not merely the sum of responses to individual stresses; in the tissue that initially perceive stresses (local tissue), plants can integrate different stress signals to elicit unique responses. Plants can also respond to stresses systemically by sending signals from the […]

Measuring both microbial load and diversity with a single amplicon sequencing library (bioRxiv)

Amplicon sequencing of microbial DNA is a gold standard for analyzing the relative abundance of microbes in host-associated microbiomes. To gain more accurate insights into microbiome changes, it is crucial to know the absolute abundance of microbes, which can be analyzed by integrating relative abundance information with the total microbial load measured, which is measured […]

Hungry bumblebees bite plants to accelerate flowering (Science)

Bumblebees receive nutrition from flowers in exchange for aiding plant fertilization. This mutualistic relationship relies on timely availability of flowers for the pollinators, but annual variation in flowering time in changing environments can pose a challenge. Pashalidou and Lambert et al. now found that bumblebees can actively control the flowering of plants. The authors observed […]

Rhizosphere microbiome protects plants from a pathogen via iron competition (Nature Microbiol)

Iron is an essential element for most living organisms, including plant-associated bacteria. As iron is insoluble in most soils, many soil-borne bacteria scavenge iron using siderophores, a chemically diverse group of secondary metabolites with a high affinity for iron. Siderophores are known to drive inter-species interactions of bacteria through competition for iron. To explore the […]