Entries by Xiaohui Li

Cortical microtubules contribute to division plane positioning during telophase in maize

During plant cell division, the new cell wall is built along a plant-specific structure named the phragmoplast. The phragmoplast is a complex array of microtubules and microfilaments that originates at the middle of the cell and expands outwards to the division site at the cell cortex. The proper orientation of the cell division depends upon […]

Excitements and Hardships for New PIs in Plant Science

Starting and running a lab is an exciting and challenging endeavor for any new principal investigator (PI). Being a PI at a university carries the great responsibility of not only doing science, but also mentoring the next-generation of scientists. To provide first-hand insight into the experience of starting and running a lab, we interviewed five […]

BIN2 signaling network constructed using proximity labeling and TurboID

The brassinosteroid (BR) signaling pathway is essential for plant growth and development. BRASSINOSTEROID-INSENSITIVE2 (BIN2) is a GSK3-like kinase, serving as a repressor of the BR signaling pathway. In the absence of BR, BIN2 phosphorylates BRASSINAZOLE-RESISTANT1 (BZR1) family transcription factors to inactivate them and retain them in the cytoplasm. Upon the perception of BR by its […]

A teosinte gene enhances seed protein content in maize

Increasing nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE) and seed protein content are important for maize breeding. Modern maize hybrids have 6.5-16.5% seed protein content, while the wild ancestor of maize, called teosinte, has ~30% seed protein content. In addition, teosinte (accession Ames 21814) contains notably higher levels of asparagine than modern maize (accession B73). Huang et al. crossed […]

TTL bridges microtubules and cellulose synthase complexes

Cellulose synthase (CESA) complexes (CSCs) synthesize the main polysaccharide component of plant primary cell wall, cellulose. The trafficking and dynamics of CSC are tightly regulated. Kesten et al. identified a new family of CSC- and microtubule-interacting proteins, named TETRATRICOPEPTIDE THIOREDOXIN-LIKE (TTL) proteins, which help to maintain cellulose synthesis under salt stress. The ttl1 ttl3 double […]

TOR complex regulates actin cytoskeleton dynamics through controlling ATP levels (PNAS)

TOR (Target of Rapamycin) complex is an information hub that integrates nutrition and energy signals and serves as a master regulator for multiple downstream cellular processes. The actin cytoskeleton in plant cells is highly dynamic, with rapid changes of its organization and constant turnover between its monomeric and filamentous forms, requiring a large energy supply. […]