Recent Posts

Photosynthetic machinery protection induced by UV-B in Chlamydomonas

Light is good, too much light is bad. Photosynthetic organisms can dissipate excess light through a variety of means including non-photochemical quenching. Czechowski et al. show that in Chlamydomonas perception of UV-B light via the nuclear/cytosolic receptor UVR8 induces accumulation of proteins that…

Reviews: Seed dormancy and germination ($)

A pair of reviews in J. Exp. Bot. covers aspects of seed dormancy and germination. Steinbrecher and Leubner-Metzger (10.1093/jxb/erw428) provide an excellent introduction to materials science including stress-strain curves and Young’s Modulus, which they then apply to an understanding of the biophysics…

Review: Nuclear Ca2+ signaling in endosymbiosis

The Common Symbiosis Signaling Pathway (CSSP) conveys the perception of endosymbionts (rhizobia or mycorrhizal fungi) at the plasma membrane to the nucleus to initiate transcriptional responses. Calcium oscillations are core to the CSSP, whether the endosymbiont is fungal or bacterial. Barker et al.…

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…