Recent Posts

TapRoot S3E2: The World According to Dan: truth, Stats, and SNPs

This season of the TapRoot is all about busting myths. In this episode, we talk with Dan Kliebenstein and bust the myth that if p < 0.5 your conclusion is correct. Dan Kliebenstein is a full professor at the University of California Davis, as well as a visiting professor at the University of…

100 "First author profiles"!

We recognize the hard work that goes into scientific discovery, and the significant challenges faced by those at the beginning of their research career: low pay, long hours, and job insecurity. And yet, without graduate students and postdocs, science would grind to a virtual halt. As publisher…

Experimental Reproducibility 101 (Part 3)

This article, by Benjamin Schwessinger and Sonali Roy, is the third of three and is based on a workshop called “Reproducibility for all” presented at PlantBio18 by Benjamin Schwessinger, Sonali Roy, and Lenny Teytelman. In Part 1 (here), the authors describe the importance of having a data management…

TapRoot S3E1: Changing the Shape of Microbes and Mentoring

This season we are busting myths, and in this episode, we discuss the myth that mentoring is a one-way street. We talk with our guest Beronda Montgomery, Ph.D., about a cyanobacterium that changes shape in response to stress, and how mentors and trainees also need to change in response to their mutual…

Worming into the Plant Chromatin: A Nematode Effector Influences Host Histone Acetylation

Plants encounter myriad invaders, including bacteria, fungi, insects, and other parasites. These pathogens generally deliver effector proteins into plants, increasing their virulence and targeting various host processes (Toruño et al., 2016). Although advances in the past two decades have led to significant…

Setting and Diffusing the Cyanide Bomb in Plant Defense

Hydrogen cyanide (HCN) is a potent inhibitor of cytochrome c oxidase, a conserved component of the respiratory electron transport chain in all aerobic life. Thus, HCN is well suited to serve as a broad-spectrum chemical defense, and indeed it plays such a role in many interactions between plants and…

Scientists reveal the mechanism of mRNA polyadenylation in auxin and plant development

(Translated from the Chinese original) Auxin is an important plant hormone that is essential for plant growth and development. At present, people's understanding of auxin signal transduction mainly focuses on the process of auxin receptor TIR1/AFBs- mediated Aux/IAAs protein degradation…

Taproot S3E0: Season 3 Starts Next #TaprootTuesday!

We are excited to announce that the first episode of Season 3 will be released next Tuesday!  This season, we have some amazing guests joining us and each episode will focus on busting a common science myth. Be sure to listen to Seasons 1 and 2 while you wait and stay tuned! http://cast.rocks/hosting/8420/S3E0-Teaser.mp3 How…

Update: Engineering of metabolic pathways using synthetic enzyme complexes

By Nicholas Smirnoff, University of Exeter. This article is part of the forthcoming Synthetic Biology focus issue. Plants provide a source of enzymes for metabolic engineering to produce valuable or useful products in micro-organisms or can themselves be engineered (Andre et al., 2016; Vickery et…