Recent Posts

Shedding light on plant immunity: Light-regulated defense against P. infestans (PNAS)

While infection by pathogens and the reciprocal immune responses are well studied in plants, the influence of other abiotic factors on these processes is not very clear. In an attempt to understand the role of light on plant defense, Gao and colleagues have shown that the AVRvnt1 effector protein secreted…

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…

Horizontal gene transfer of Fhb7 from fungus underlies Fusarium head blight resistance in wheat (Science)

Mycotoxins are fungal toxins with harmful health effects on humans and other animals. Fusarium head blight is a fungal disease of wheat inflorescences that can contaminate the grain and harm its consumers. Previously, Fhb7 was identified in the wheat relative Thinopyrum elongatum as a quantitative trait…

Plant Science Research Weekly: May 29th

Review: The bHLH network underlying plant shade-avoidance Shade avoidance is a complex phenomenon in which plants avoid shade by altering their developmental program in various ways including early flowering, hypocotyl elongation, and more. Many photoreceptors and transcription factors (TFs) are involved…

The Butterfly Effect: Natural Variation of a Chloroplast tRNA-Modifying Enzyme Leads to Pleiotropic Developmental Defects in Rice

Translation of RNA information into protein is a fundamental process ensuring the production of functional proteins in cells. Transfer RNA (tRNA) is a vital component of the translation machinery as it delivers the correct amino acids to the elongating peptide chain based on codon-anticodon recognition.…

MYB30 Promotes PIF4 and PIF5 Accumulation in the Light

Yan et al. discovered that MYB30, an R2R3-MYB family transcription factor, is a negative regulator of Arabidopsis photomorphogenic development and promotes PIF4 and PIF5 accumulation under prolonged red light irradiation. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.19.00645 By Yan Yan and Jigang Li, China…

Review: Devastating intimacy: the cell biology of plant–Phytophthora interactions (New Phytol)

Phytophthora are plant-destroying oomycetes. Within this genus are several infamous disease-causing agents: P. infestans of the potato late-blight fame, P. sojae of soybean root rot, P. ramorum of sudden oak death, and many other lesser-known species. This fine new review by Boevink et al. explores the…

Review: Enzymes as parts in need of replacement – and how to extend their working life (Trends Plant Sci)

The ability of biological systems to self-repair is a huge motivator in all sorts of synthetic biology projects. Taking this cell-as-factory to the next step comes the question of how often do the parts need replacing? Tivendale et al. address this through a discussion of Catalytic Cycles until Replacement…

Review: Ten years of the maize nested association mapping population: Impact, limitations, and future directions (Plant Cell)

Linking phenotype to genotype is a major obstacle in plant biology, and conventional approaches (linkage analysis, association mapping) have limitations. Here Gage et al. review the past, present, and future impacts of a maize Nested Association Mapping (NAM) population developed throughout the 2000s.…