Recent Posts

Prohibitin shuttles between mitochondria and the nucleus to control genome stability during the cell cycle

The prohibitin (PHB) protein family is highly conserved from prokaryotes to eukaryotes (Van Aken et al., 2010). Initially identified as a tumor suppressor in rat liver, PHBs in animals are localized in various cell compartments, including mitochondria, nuclei, and plasma membranes, and function as scaffold…

Of storage and stems: examining the role of stem water storage in plant water balance

Robert Skelton1 1 Dept. of Integrative Biology, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, 94707. Stems of land plants provide mechanical support and long-distance transport of water and carbohydrates. Although it has long been recognized that plant stems can also store water, it remains…

The Immune Redoxome: Effector-Triggered Immunity Switches Cysteine Oxidation Profiles

By Tessa Moses, The Institute of Quantitative Biology, Biochemistry and Biotechnology (IQB3), The King’s Buildings, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 3FF, United Kingdom Photosynthesis is the process in which solar energy is used to fix atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) to chemical energy in…

Hijacking the ER membrane – lessons from Turnip mosaic virus

By Lynn GL Richardson Positive-strand (+)RNA viruses account for the majority of plant viruses. Apart from their significant impact on worldwide agriculture, they also inform our understanding of basic virus biology (Scholthof et al., 2011). Upon entry into the cells of their host, (+)RNA viruses…

Another gun Dismantled: ABSCISIC ACID INSENSITIVE4 Is Not a Target of Retrograde Signaling

By Amna Mhamdi and Charlotte M.M. Gommers The nuclear genome encodes the majority of chloroplast-localized proteins and, in return, chloroplasts exert some control over nuclear gene expression via so-called retrograde signals. These signals derive from developing chloroplasts (referred to as biogenic…

Moonlighting Enzymes: How Often Are We Missing Secondary Functions?

We think of enzymes as highly specific catalysts that carry out one reaction and show nearly absolute substrate specificity. However, absolute specificity is the exception, not the rule, as most enzymes accept several structurally similar substrates. Moreover, many enzymes catalyze alternative reactions…

Plant Cell Wall Composition: Does Ploidy Matter?

Most of the carbon dioxide sequestered by plants during photosynthesis is converted into sugars and stored into polysaccharide-enriched cells walls that constitute the majority of the plant biomass. While plants have long been considered a valuable resource of biomaterials for the chemical and textile…

Highlighting the fast signals that establish remote metabolite profiles

By Amna Mhamdi and Scott Hayes They say you can get too much of a good thing, and for plants that is certainly true. Light is essential for growth, but excessive light causes an overloading of the plant’s photosynthetic machinery. This excess energy can spill out and, through formation of reactive…

Spot the Difference: Distinct Cargo-Specific Functionality of Two Closely Related SNAREs

Exocytosis is a form of an active transport in which vesicles fuse with the plasma membrane. This vesicle transport secretes soluble cargo proteins and polysaccharides into the apoplast, but also delivers membrane lipids and transmembrane proteins to the plasma membrane. Vesicle trafficking is initiated…