Recent Posts

Keep sugar away to stay active: glycosylation of methyl salicylate shuts down systemic signaling

Plant hormones are frequently modified by glycosylation, hydroxylation, methylation and other conjugations, and these modifications can alter the hormone’s activity and stability (Wang et al., 2019). The phytohormone salicylic acid orchestrates effective defense and mediates local and systemic-acquired…

A rice transcription factor controls grain length through cell number

Providing around 20% of global calories, rice (Oryza sativa) is one of the most important staple crops (Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP), 2013). With consumption particularly increasing in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, it is vital to increase rice yields to supply the…

UMP pyrophosphorylase-a moonlighting protein with essential functions in chloroplast development and photosynthesis establishment

Pyrimidine nucleotides (e.g., dCTP, dTTP, UTP, and CTP) are essential building blocks for DNA and RNA synthesis in all organisms. In plants, sucrose and cell wall polymer synthesis depend on pyrimidine nucleotide-derived substrates, such as UDP-glucose, and important classes of membrane lipids are made…

Heat shock proteins support refolding and shredding of misfolded proteins

Author: Masanori Izumi Affiliation: RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science, Wako 351-0198, Japan Newly synthesized proteins must be folded to form their proper 3D structures. Stresses perturb protein folding, thereby leading to the hyperaccumulation of misfolded or aggregated proteins. Such…

How plants and synthetic biology could help us fight diabetes

Dr. Raimund Nagel Iowa State University Plants produce a plethora of natural products that function as defensive compounds are frequently used by humans for medicinal purposes. A majority of these natural products, however, are either found in low concentrations, in slow growing plants, or are…

Illuminating photosynthesis in the mesophyll of diverse leaves

Meisha Holloway-Phillips Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Switzerland m.holloway-phillips@unibas.ch Since Terashima and Saeki (1983) demonstrated that light attenuation through the leaf was accompanied by spectral changes, there has been increasing interest in how light…

What is lignin made of? New components discovered!

Maria Grazia Annunziata Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, 14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany. Lignin is a class of complex aromatic polymers particularly important in the formation of cell walls, especially in wood and bark. Lignin contributes to plant structure, support and defence…

Viruses on the move in the extracellular space

Lynn GL Richardson Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824 Positive strand (+) RNA viruses act as their own messengers, encoding an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase that can replicate their sense RNA genome. This allows (+)RNA viruses to replicate outside the…

MVApp flies its flag to the challenging frontier of multivariate data analysis

Commentary by Maria Papanatsiou We live an era where omic approaches are essential to decode scientific hypotheses. Indeed, technological advances have accelerated science, resulting in a plethora of insights.  During the past decade, the plant science community has profited from using large and…