Recent Posts

Default activation and nuclear translocation of the plant cellular energy sensor SnRK1 ($) (Plant Cell)

When I’m using my laptop without it being plugged in, at some point it enters battery saving mode as it senses that the battery charge is getting low. Organisms also sense their low energy reserves and activate alternate metabolic processes to ensure survival. The core energy sensor is a hetero-trimeric…

Drop-Seq for plants: High-throughput, single cell transcriptomics (Cell Reports)

Drop-Seq is an exciting high-throughput technology for single cell transcriptomics. Using microfluidics, single cells are encapsulated in drops with beads carrying “bar-coded” primers. The RNA from each individual cell is labeled with a unique primer code, then sequenced. Now, Shulse et al. have…

HORT1 retrotransposon causes harlequin/black flowers in Phalaenopsis orchids (Plant Physiol)

Phalaenopsis orchids produce beautiful, long-lived flowers and are widely popular houseplants. In 1996, a new variety was identified with intensely dark, nearly black pigmentation. Hsu et al. have identified the molecular basis for this phenotype; a Gypsy-like retrotransposon inserted in the promoter…

Low oxygen levels are needed to regulate shoot meristem activity (Nature)

Little is known about the stimuli that regulate time intervals for new leaves production (plastochrone) at the shoot apical meristem (SAM). Oxygen is a diffusible molecule with potential to regulate this process. The use of a micro-scale Clark-type oxygen electrode allowed Weits et al. to measure oxygen…

β-cyclocitral, a novel regulator of root growth ($) (PNAS)

Root growth and branching have essential roles in nutrient and water uptake, and are common targets in crop improvement. Dickinson et al. looked for novel apocarotenoids involved in root development and found that dihydroactinidiolide (DHAD) and β-cyclocitral increase lateral root (LR) branching in…

Characterizing the serotonin biosynthesis pathway upon aphid infestation in Setaria viridis leaves (bioRxiv)

In response to biotic stresses, plants produce chemical defenses to reduce damage. Adaptations to insect infestation involve synthesis of Trp-derived metabolites, leading to metabolome alterations. Here, Dangol et al. analyzed the transcriptomic and metabolomic effects after herbivore feeding in Setaria…

Using “Scientists Who Selfie” to disrupt stereotypes of scientists (PLOS One)

Public engagement has been a long-term challenge for scientists. The rise of social media has generated a novel avenue for connecting with a wider audience; however, many scientists walk a fine line between being personal and professional, often posting images of their work but not themselves. A recent…

Population genomic analysis of mango suggests a complex history of domestication ($) (New Phytol)

Mango trees have been cultivated for approximately 4000 years which places their domestication in the same timeline as that of walnut, peach, sweet orange, lychee, citron, sweet orange, lemon, and jujube. Throughout the process of domestication, most crops undergo severe bottlenecks which decrease genetic…

Plant Science Research Weekly: May 24th

Default activation and nuclear translocation of the plant cellular energy sensor SnRK1 ($) When I’m using my laptop without it being plugged in, at some point it enters battery saving mode as it senses that the battery charge is getting low. Organisms also sense their low energy reserves and activate…