Recent Posts

Editorial: Rigorous Science: a How-To Guide

Casadevall and Fang set out several proposals for research training to help ensure scientific “rigor”, which they define as promoting confidence in the truth or accuracy of the findings. The authors propose and elaborate on five foundations for scientific rigor: Redundancy in experimental design,…

Update: Modeling stomatal conductance

Robust models of stomatal conductance are greatly needed to predict plant-atmosphere interactions in a changing climate, and to integrate new knowledge in physiology and ecological theory. Recent years have brought major advances in the experimental and theoretical understanding underpinning both process-based…

The PLETHORA Gene Regulatory Network Guides Growth and Cell Differentiation in Arabidopsis Roots

Due to plant cells’ shared walls and immobility, cell division, differentiation and expansion must be tightly regulated across space and time. The six members of the PLETHORA (PLT) transcription factor family distribute in gradients through the root tip and are largely responsible for its developmental…

Perspective: Computational Modeling of Auxin: A Foundation for Plant Engineering

Auxins are a class of phytohormones that regulate many aspects of plant development. Morales-Tapia and Cruz-Ramírez review the current status of the available auxin-driven computational models and discuss plausible integration of these into a single model for plant development. Computational modeling…

Growth-ring studies show no growth enrichment in Canadian boreal forests despite 50 years of CO2 enhancement

It has been argued that rising atmospheric CO2 levels might benefit plants by providing them more substrate for photosynthetic carbon-fixation. However, numerous studies have indicated that other factors interfere with a so-called CO2-fertilization benefit. Girardin et al. explore recent tree growth…

Integrating omics reveals insights into grape response to high temperature

Heat stress is one of the main abiotic stresses plants encounter. Jiang et al. used combined transcriptomic and proteomic data to explore the responses of grape leaves to elevated temperatures (35, 40, 45°C). Using high-throughput sequencing and the iTRAQ (isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation)…

Genome sequence and genetic diversity of European ash trees

Ash dieback (a fungal disease) and the beetle Agrilus planipennis (a herbivore) are crushing ash tree populations in the Northern Hemisphere. To shed light on the genetic basis of the trees' susceptibility and to understand the genetic diversity of these trees, Sollars et al. have sequenced one individual…

S-phase checkpoints regulate appressorium-mediated plant infection by rice blast fungus

The rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae causes a devastating disease of rice that can reduce harvests by 30%. Infection of plant tissues by the fungus requires the formation of an appressorium, a specialized structure that builds up sufficient pressure to burst through the plant cuticle. Previous work…

UV-B perceived by the UVR8 photoreceptor inhibits plant thermomorphogenesis

Ambient temperature can influence plant architecture, an effect termed thermomorphogenesis.  In A. thaliana, thermomorphogenesis phenotypes include stem elongation and changes in leaf elevation angles.  Increased auxin biosynthesis involving the transcription factor PIF4 is required for thermomorphogenesis,…