Recent Posts

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…

Alternative Splice Variant Sheds Light on Temperature Acclimation in Algae

Climate change is a potent environmental force that all living organisms must contend with. This is especially true for photosynthetic, microalgae that are forced to acclimate to ever changing water temperatures and coordinate changes in their physiology and growth rates (Singh and Singh, 2015). These…

Discovery of mitochondrial endonucleases

Prokaryotic endosymbiont-derived organelles (i.e. mitochondria and chloroplasts), contain their own genomes and the copy number of organelle genomes per cell is high; indeed, a previous study calculated that in Arabidopsis thaliana, each cell has 1000 to 1700 copies of the chloroplast genome (Zoschke…

Setting and Diffusing the Cyanide Bomb in Plant Defense

Hydrogen cyanide (HCN) is a potent inhibitor of cytochrome c oxidase, a conserved component of the respiratory electron transport chain in all aerobic life. Thus, HCN is well suited to serve as a broad-spectrum chemical defense, and indeed it plays such a role in many interactions between plants and…

Autophagy and Chloroplast Quality Control: Fatty Acid Synthesis Counts

Plants devote more than 70% of their available nitrogen to maintaining chloroplast function (Makino and Osmond, 1991). During senescence or under stress conditions, chloroplasts are degraded and their constituent components are recycled. Chloroplasts can be degraded through at least three pathways: (1)…

Autophagy and Chloroplast Quality Control: Fatty Acid Synthesis Counts

Plants devote more than 70% of their available nitrogen to maintaining chloroplast function (Makino and Osmond, 1991). During senescence or under stress conditions, chloroplasts are degraded and their constituent components are recycled. Chloroplasts can be degraded through at least three pathways: (1)…

Setting and Diffusing the Cyanide Bomb in Plant Defense

Hydrogen cyanide (HCN) is a potent inhibitor of cytochrome c oxidase, a conserved component of the respiratory electron transport chain in all aerobic life. Thus, HCN is well suited to serve as a broad-spectrum chemical defense, and indeed it plays such a role in many interactions between plants and…

Stress Management: OsIDS1 Modulates Histone Deacetylation to Repress Salt Tolerance Genes

Plants evolved to react to the changing environment by developing sensing and signal transduction mechanisms, which ultimately lead to changes in gene expression and altered plant performance. Transcription factors (TFs) are key to regulating the expression of individual genes. TFs can confer sequence…