Recent Posts

Review: Feedback mechanisms between membrane lipid homeostasis and plant development (Dev. Cell)

Plant development is a regulated process of cell division, expansion, and differentiation. Membrane lipids are crucial to these processes, as illustrated in this review by Boutté and Jaillais. The authors discuss the major lipid components in the different membrane systems and how these vary in space…

Review. Plant nutrition for human nutrition: Hints from rice research and future perspectives

Among all the mineral elements transported from the soil to the plant, cadmium (Cd) and arsenic (As)- are toxic for all organisms whereas 13 micronutrients, including iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn), are beneficial for both human and plant nutrition. Ideally, food crops should accumulate fewer soil contaminants…

Review. Endosperm variability: From endoreduplication within a seed to higher ploidy across species, and its competence ($) (Seed Sci. Res.)

In addition to its well-known nutritive function, the endosperm of seeds has a great deal of morphological, genomic and functional diversity. In this review, Rangan summarizes endosperm variability and the molecular mechanisms behind it. Although classically described as being triploid (2n from the mother…

The genome of Prasinoderma coloniale unveils the existence of a third phylum within green plants (Nature Ecol. Evol.)

The green plant lineage (Viridiplantae) has long been described as having a single origin (starting with the engulfment of a cyanobacteria-like endosymbiont) that has led to two phyla: the Streptophyta, including embryophytes (land plants) and some algae such as chara and nitella, and the Chlorophyta,…

Mutation bias shapes gene evolution in Arabidopsis thaliana (bioRxiv)

Classical evolutionary theory states that the probability of a mutation occurring is independent of fitness consequences. However, reassessment of traditional assumptions is warranted with recent discoveries showing that cytogenetic (DNA sequences and epigenetic) features can affect local mutation probabilities.…

Plastocyanin is the long-range electron carrier between photosystem II and photosystem I in plants (PNAS)

In linear electron transport (LET), electrons are passed from photosystem II to photosystem I, but it has not been clear which of two mobile electron carriers is responsible, plastocyanin (PC) or plastoquinone (PQ). PQ carries electrons from PSII to the cyt b6f complex and PC from there to PSI. Höhner…

Vacuolar channel CLCa is involved in guard cell pH homeostasis (PNAS)

In plants, stomata are involved in a host of responses, controlled by ion homeostasis in guard cells. In an attempt to understand the function of a plant chloride channel (CLC), CLCa, which transports chloride (Cl-) and nitrate (NO3-) in guard cells, Demes and colleagues sought to establish a relationship…

MscS-like 10 as a cell swelling sensor and promotes hypo-osmotic shock responses (Curr. Biol.)

Optimal volume and turgor in the plant cell is important for metabolism, development and growth. Excessive diffusion of water into the cell will cause extreme swelling and a loss of cellular integrity. Members of the plasma membrane MscS-like (MSL) family of mechanosensitive (MS) ion channels play a…

Reprogramming of stem cell activity to convert thorns into branches (Curr. Biol.)

Thorns are modified axillary shoots with a sharp tip that helps in deterring herbivores and are found among several families of angiosperms. Thorns develop from their meristem-like tip to their base, but unlike branches they are determinate organs. The mechanism of their terminal differentiation into…