Recent Posts

MYB Transcription Factors Regulate Secondary Metabolism

Secondary cell walls play important roles in providing long-distance water transport, mechanical support, and plant defense. The main components of secondary cell walls are cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. The synthesis of lignin monomers involves the phenylpropanoid pathway, which is also shared…

Temperature Signaling in Guard Cells

The elucidation of plant temperature signaling networks is confounded by the fact that commonly measured physiological outputs of temperature change (e.g., stem elongation and flowering time) can be temporally and spatially distant from the temperature perception event, requiring intercellular, intertissue,…

Cold-Induced Proteomic Changes in the Chloroplast Envelope

As a cold-hardy species, Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), is a useful model for the investigation of the molecular and physiological mechanisms underlying cold acclimation in plants. Chloroplasts harbor the enzymatic machinery required for photosynthetic CO2 fixation, starch production, nitrite and…

Shared Genetic Control of Root Traits across Taxa

Root system architecture (RSA) plays a crucial role in plant productivity and tolerance to environmental stresses. The maize (Zea mays) root system, composed of the embryonic primary root and variable numbers of seminal roots, as well as postembryonic shoot-borne and lateral roots, is both different…

Auxin and Microtubule Array Patterning

The Arabidopsis hypocotyl is a valuable model for studying axial growth phenomena in flowering plants owing to its dramatic cell elongation in the absence of cell division and its sensitivity to environmental cues. When grown in the dark, a hypocotyl rapidly elongates, using the energy reserves in the…

The Nuclear Envelope and Stomatal Dynamics

Eukaryotic nuclei are double membrane-bound organelles with distinct inner nuclear membranes (INM) and outer nuclear membranes (ONM). The site where the INM and ONM meet forms the nuclear pore, where nucleocytoplasmic transport occurs. Spanning the INM and the ONM are protein complexes known as “linkers…

Natural Variation in the Amylose Content of Starch

Starch is the major storage carbohydrate in plants. It occurs as semi-crystalline, insoluble granules consisting of two Glc polymers: amylopectin and amylose. Amylopectin, the major polymer, gives rise to the semi-crystalline matrix of the granule. Amylose is believed to reside in amorphous regions…

Malate Transport and Apple Tartness

Acidity is a major contributor to apple (Malus domestica) fruit quality, including fruit overall taste and flavor. Organic acids collectively are responsible for acidity, but malic acid accounts for more than 90% of the total acid and largely controls apple fruit acidity. Most of the malic acid in apple…

How to Make a LAZY Plant Weep

The LAZY gene family, discovered through the characterization of a rice (Oryza sativa) mutant with unusually wide tiller angles, encodes proteins that function in gravitropism.  Gravitropism begins with a perception process that ultimately causes a difference in the cell elongation rate across the…