Recent Posts

Review: Physics of pollinator attraction

Flowers use a variety of strategies to attract pollinators and ensure successful pollination, including color and scent. Moyroud and Glover review some of the less familiar strategies including physical alterations to reflected light. As one example, conical epidermal cells on snapdragon flower petals…

Metabolic control of tobacco pollination ($)

A germinated pollen grain extends a pollen tube through the stigma and style of the flower to deliver two sperm cells to an ovule.  Tip-directed growth of the pollen tube requires a large energy input, but how does the pollen tube obtain energy while growing through the flower tissues?  Goetz et al.…

Learning by association in plants

Animals can easily establish associations between environmental cues and food sources, acquiring conditional information that guides their foraging behaviour and in consequence, their survival. Proving whether plants show association or conditional learning has been tricky, but fortunately for us, Gagliano…

Genetic basis of primrose floral dimorphism

Self-fertilization in Primula is avoided by the production of two flower forms (morphs), one with a long style in which the stigma is elevated above the anthers (the L morph or pin) and one with a short style in which the anthers are well above the stigma (the S morph or thrum), although there are also…

A dephytylase involved in chlorophyll turnover

Chlorophyll has an aliphatic phytol side chain that anchors it to light-harvesting complexes. During senescence, chlorophyll is degraded first by the enzymatic removal of Mg to produce pheophytin, which is dephytlated by pheophytinase. Through the identification of a mutant allele with elevated enzymatic…

Review: The Plant Microbiota: Systems-Level Insights and Perspectives ($)

Terrestrial plants are hosts to diverse types of microbes, predominantly bacteria, that affect plant health and growth in numerous ways. The major types of plant microbiota include plant pathogens, arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, endophytes (residing within plant tissues), epiphytes (residing on plant…

Review: Volvox as a developmental model

Matt and Umen introduce the multicellular green alga Volvox carteri as a model for developmental studies. They provide an overview of embryonic patterning including the role of asymmetric cell divisions, inversion, (a process with some similarities to vertebrate gastrulation), and the role of cell size…

Review: Competence to flower

The transition between vegetative and reproductive stages in the plant life cycle implies a change in the developmental program of the shoot apical meristem to stop developing leaves and start developing floral buds. The factors that allow this transition to happen are many and the underlying mechanisms…

It was a Great, Green Year: Identification of a Chlorophyll Dephytylase That Functions in Chlorophyll Turnover

IN BRIEF by Jennifer Mach jmach@aspb.org Green may have been the Pantone Color of the Year for 2013 (http://www.pantone.com/color-of-the-year-2013), but 2016 was a great year for papers on chlorophyll research, at The Plant Cell and beyond. In this year, we saw a pile of interesting papers examining…