Recent Posts

BRacing for water stress: Brassinosteroid signalling promotes drought survival in wheat

Brassinosteroids (BRs) have come a long way since their first identification in 1979 as pollen-derived, growth-promoting hormones. Multiple studies have demonstrated roles for BRs in the control of cell elongation, pollen fertility, root architecture, seed germination, stomatal patterning, vascular development,…

Two is better than one: Dual SEC11 binding sites regulate SYP121-mediated vesicle trafficking

Vesicle trafficking is indispensable, playing critical roles in plant growth, development, and stress responses, and trafficking to the plasma membrane is an important contributor to cell expansion and cell wall remodeling (reviewed in Lipka et al., 2007; Grefen and Blatt, 2008). Vesicle budding, trafficking…

Cutting the mustard: Evolving ER structures into ER bodies for plant defence

The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) has been likened to the manufacturing and packaging department of a factory, an action packed production area that distributes things to the rest of the cell. The ER does this by forming complex networks of tubules and cisternae that connect to other membranous organelles.…

Plastid Sulfate Transporters Open Doors To Abiotic Stress Resistance

Climate change is causing more extreme weather patterns and increasing challenges for agriculture. The unusually dry European summer of 2018 caused an 8% drop in cereal production (source: https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/food-farming-fisheries/farming/documents/short-term-outlook-autumn-2018_en.pdf).…

A Bridge Between Kingdoms: Introduction of a Golden Gate-based Tool Kit for Cyanobacteria

One goal of synthetic biology is to build artificial pathways for bioengineering of high value compounds. To this end, pathways are not only split into individual reactions, but the expression of one enzyme is also split into individual parts (e.g., promotors, ribosomal binding sites, coding sequences,…

Epigenetic regulation of mRNA polyadenylation site selection

The transcription of many genes is regulated through alternative splicing, with over 60 percent of genes in Arabidopsis thaliana producing more than one mRNA [1]. The most common forms of alternative splicing are intron retention and the use of alternative polyadenylation sites that result in transcripts…

Diverse strategies coping with winter in barley and its relatives

The Poaceae is one of the largest plant families in angiosperms, containing more than 12,000 grass species, which are classified into two major clades: PACMAD (Panicoideae, Arundinoideae, Chloridoideae, Micrairoideae, Aristidoideae and Danthonioideae) and BOP (Bambusoideae, Oryzoideae and Pooideae) (Fig.…

Salicylic acid, senescence, and heterosis

For a number of crops agricultural yields have been boosted by the phenomenon of heterosis or hybrid vigour, where a hybrid outperforms either parent. Understanding the various mechanisms by which heterosis arises may facilitate the breeding of hybrids with increased vigour for further crop varieties…

Roles of the clock in controlling starch metabolism

Author: Masanori Izumi Affiliation: Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Sciences, Tohoku University, Sendai 980–8578, Japan Plants are photoautotrophs that grow via photosynthetic energy production. Under irradiation, chloroplasts in the plant’s green tissues convert light energy…