Recent Posts

Improving on the Humble Spud

The humble spud. Simple, unassuming, yet vital in supporting a large proportion of the world’s population. Historically speaking, much of the research performed on potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) has gone into enhancing their disease resistance, justifiably so given the severe famines brought about through…

The Long and the Short of It: GA 2-oxidaseA9 Regulates Plant Height in Wheat

The discovery of semidwarfing genes in wheat and rice was a crucial turning point of the Green Revolution in the late 1960s. The Green Revolution aimed to maintain per capita food supplies worldwide despite the projected doubling of global population by the end of the 20th century. Its main features…

MicroProteins as the First Step toward a Master Key for Posttranslational Regulation

Determining the function of a gene often relies on transgenic plants with altered transcriptional or translational levels. This is usually achieved through overexpression, knockout, or knockdown. However, each of these approaches has specific advantages and drawbacks. For instance, knockouts, which…

Coordinating Cell Walls and Cell Growth: A Role for LRX Extensin Chimeras

To regulate the addition of cell wall components as cells expand and to control changes in cell wall composition as cells differentiate, there must be a feedback system that senses the state of the cell wall and transmits this information. The mechanisms underlying cell wall-intracellular signaling remain…

A Novel Role of Ring Chromosomes as Evolutionary Drivers of Herbicide Resistance

In eukaryotes, chromosomes are linear structures; in contrast, a ring-shaped chromosome is a rare structure that results from the fusion of broken ends of linear chromosomes. Ring chromosomes may be induced by radiation or may occur spontaneously. In humans, ring chromosomes occur in approximately 1:50,000…

Sugar Coating the Phloem Sieve Element Wall

Whereas fluorescent tagging of proteins has dramatically advanced the study of protein function in cell biology, similar approaches with walls have been difficult due to the few methods available to visualize polysaccharides and monitor their dynamic modifications. What has become increasingly clear…