Entries by Tatsuya Nobori

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 […]

Mechanistic insights into host perception by a fungal pathogen (PNAS)

Host perception is crucial for soil-borne microbes to successfully colonize plant roots. Ding et al. conducted transcriptome analysis of the fungal pathogen Fusarium graminearum (Fg) in the presence of its host plant Brachypodium distachyon (Bd), either without direct contact (precontact) or during colonization. Fg showed distinct transcriptome patterns between the precontact and colonization stages. The […]

A molecular toolkit for screening elite rhizobia (PNAS)

N2-fixing rhizobia bacteria are able to establish symbiotic interactions with legumes in specialized organs called root nodules. Identifying elite rhizobia that are both competitive for nodule occupancy and effective in N2 fixation in agricultural environments is crucial for maximizing the yield of legumes. Mendoza-Suárez et al. developed a high-throughput strategy for simultaneously assessing competitiveness and […]

A plant secondary metabolite selectively targets bacterial pathogenicity (Cell Host Microbe)

Plants have a variety of secondary metabolites that are associated with defense against pathogens, but the mode of action of such metabolites is poorly understood. Wang et al. revealed that the Arabidopsis secondary metabolite sulforaphane (SFN), which is derived from aliphatic glucosinolate, suppresses transcript accumulation of genes involved in the type III secretion system (T3SS), an essential […]

How plants keep their microbiota healthy (Nature)

The large apoplastic intercellular space of plant leaves creates nutrient-rich niches for microbial colonization. To date, whether and how plants control the composition of leaf microbiota is poorly understood. Chen et al. reported that the Arabidopsis quadruple mutant (min7fls2efrcerk1 or mfec) defective in pattern-triggered immunity and a vesicle trafficking pathway (MIN7 encodes an ARF-GEF protein) showed tissue damage phenotypes […]

Review: A CRISPR way for accelerating improvement of food crops (Nature Food)

CRISPR technologyhas become indispensable for basic plant biology research and has the potential to profoundly impact future agriculture. Zhang et al. provide an overview of CRISPR technology and discuss how this technology will revolutionize future crop breeding. CRISPR technology can not only introduce DNA breaks for gene knockout, but it can also precisely edit bases. […]

Auxin response factor targeted by viruses (PNAS)

Auxin regulates various aspects of plant growth and development and it also contributes to plant defense. Auxin activates downstream signaling by promoting degradation of the repressor Aux/IAA proteins to liberate the key transcription factors ARFs (auxin response factors). Pathogens have been known to mitigate plant defense by targeting Aux/IAA proteins to manipulate plant auxin signaling […]

Unlocking interspecies grafting (bioRxiv)

Plant grafting is an agricultural technique that joins plant tissues (e.g., the shoot and root) to confer beneficial traits from one plant to another. Although interfamily grafting is difficult in general, Notaguchi et al. found that Nicotiana benthamiana (Nb) has a strong potential to graft with phylogenetically distant plant species. Transcriptome analysis revealed that genes […]