Recent Posts

Nanoscale movements of cellulose microfibrils in primary cell walls ($)

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Cell walls are complex mixtures of cellulose microfibrils, proteins and other materials. Their mechanical properties can be measured and modeled, but it is not always simple to translate these measurements to changes at the molecular level. Zhang et al. used atomic force microscopy to provide an unprecedented…

Biosynthesis of Montbretin, an Anti-Diabetes Drug

Diabetes and obesity are major health challenges. Diabetes alone affects over 422 million people worldwide and is among the top ten leading causes of death. Type-2 diabetes (T2D) is characterized by the body’s inefficient use of insulin, which leads to elevated blood Glc levels with detrimental effects…

Villin and GLABRA2 Regulate Root Hair Growth

The enhanced elongation of root hairs in response to mild water deficiency permits more effective water and nutrition uptake. The growth of root hairs is regulated in part by actin dynamics. Thick actin-filament bundles (“thick bundles”) in the apical and subapical area of root hairs, for example,…

A Novel Form of Crosstalk Between Gibberellic Acid and Abscisic Acid

The negative interaction between gibberellic acid (GA) and the stress hormone abscisic acid (ABA) has been studied for many years in numerous plant species. These studies suggest that GA and ABA negatively affect each other’s biosynthesis and signaling. The nuclear DELLA proteins suppress almost all…

Self-Incompatibility Can Cause Death in Vegetative Cells

Self-incompatibility (SI) is a mechanism  used by flowering plants to prevent self-fertilization. It is controlled by a multi-allelic S-locus that allows self/non-self-recognition between pistil and pollen. In several SI systems, when male and female S-determinants match, self pollen is recognized and…

METHYLTRANSFERASE1 and Ripening in Vivipary

During fruit ripening in tomato and other flowering plants, the seeds contained within the fruit normally become dormant. However, under certain physiological conditions, seeds can germinate within fruits, a phenomenon called vivipary. Vivipary can substantially reduce yield and product quality in vegetables,…

Calmodulin and Salt Tolerance

Salt stress is a major abiotic factor restricting crop growth and productivity. Excess sodium (Na+) causes ion toxicity and ion imbalances.  Maintaining lower Na+ accumulation in shoots is crucial for salt tolerant plant species and genotypes under salt stress.  Lower shoot Na+ accumulation in plants…

Cyclic Nucleotide-Gated Channels and Temperature Stress

Extreme temperatures often negatively impact plant productivity. Both heat and cold induce transient Ca2+ influx into the cell cytoplasm. Cui et al. (10.1104/pp.20.00591) have investigated the function of two closely related cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channel (CNGC) proteins, OsCNGC14 and OsCNGC16,…

Apical Membrane Traffic In Pollen Tube Tips

Pollen tubes elongate very rapidly at rates of several micrometer per minute and strictly in one direction: this process involves the intense local secretion of cell wall material at the tube tip. Consequently, there is a massive incorporation into the plasma membrane (PM) of excess membrane material…

Cutin Synthesis and Deposition

The waxy cuticle that covers the aerial parts of leaves, fruits, and nonlignified stems of land plants is chemically heterogeneous, with lipids representing between 60% to 80% of the cuticle, depending on the plant organ and species. These lipids can be polymerized, represented by cutin, or non-polymerized,…