Recent Posts

Letters to the Editor: Does C4 photosynthesis occur in wheat seeds?

In 2016, Rangan et al. reported on “New evidence for grain specific C4 photosynthesis in wheat,” but later that year Busch and Farquhar responded with “Poor evidence for C4 photosynthesis in the wheat grain.” Now these two groups continue their arguments for and against wheat seed C4 photosynthesis,…

CrY2H-seq: a massively multiplexed assay for deep-coverage interactome mapping ($)

Protein-protein interactions are crucial to our understanding of biology but can be hard to detect. Trigg et al. developed a sophisticated yeast two-hybrid assay augmented with Cre recombinase (CrY2H-seq) to identify the Arabidopsis transcription factor protein-protein interactome.  In this method,…

Structure of a symmetric photosynthetic reaction center–photosystem ($)

Plants, green algae and cyanobacteria carry out oxygenic photosynthesis through the coordination of two photosystems, PSI and PSII. Many other photosynthetic prokaryotes use a single reaction center to carry out anoxygenic photosynthesis. Gisriel et al. describe the structure of a photosynthetic reaction…

In vivo FRET–FLIM reveals cell-type-specific protein interactions in Arabidopsis roots ($)

Long et al. examined transcription factor complex formation in vivo in Arabidopsis roots using a technique that combines FRET (Förster Resonance Energy Transfer) and FLIM (Fluorescence Lifetime imaging Microscopy). Using this method, the authors were able to observe cell-type specific complex formation…

Metabolic engineering of anthocyanin and betalain pigments for health and aesthetics: Purple rice, blue chrysanthemums and violet tomatoes

Pigment engineering was featured in three recent papers. Anthocyanins are blue pigments valued for their antioxidant health benefits and for their beauty, but their biosynthesis and chemistry is complex. Noda et al. introduced two genes to produce blue anthocyanins in chrysanthemum petals (Sci Advances…

Rhamnose-containing cell wall polymers suppress helical plant growth independently of microtubule orientation

Saffer et al. identified an Arabidpsis mutant with swirled petals and with petal epidermal cells that show a left-handed (but never right-handed) twist. They mapped the mutation to the RHAMNOSE BIOSYNTHESIS1 (RHM1) gene, which is most highly expressed in petal epidermal cells and encodes an enzyme that…

LAZY1 family contributes to gravity signaling within statocytes and branch angle control of roots and shoots

It’s easy to demonstrate that plants sense gravity, and we also know that statocytes are involved in the perception of gravity. Statocytes are gravity-sensing cells that contain dense starch-containing amyloplasts that move within the cell in the direction of gravity. Differential growth to accommodate…

Stem parasitic plant Cuscuta australis (dodder) transfers herbivory-induced signals among plants

Parasitic plants such as Cuscuta astralis (dodder) form connections with their host plants through which nutrients and other molecules pass. Using mutant plants and transcriptomic assays, Hettenhausen and Li et al. showed that two or more plants connected by Cuscuta bridges shared information through…

Systemic transport of trans-zeatin and its precursor have differing roles in Arabidopsis sho

Plant hormones are made in one tissue and usually transported to act in another. One example of this is the transport of cytokinin.  In the root, the precursor trans-zeatin riboside (tZR) is synthesized, then xylem loaded and transported to the shoot. Once at a site of action like the leaf or shoot…