Recent Posts

Keep cool and open up: temperature-induced stomatal opening

When air temperatures rise above the comfortable level, plants initiate a cooling mechanism to prevent heat stress. High ambient temperatures induce a specific set of growth responses, termed thermomorphogenesis, which includes enhanced hypocotyl and petiole elongation, and leaf hyponasty (reviewed by…

A Tale of Two Isoforms: Calcium-dependent Inhibition of SnRK2 by SnRK-Calcium-binding Sensor

Magdalena Julkowska Magdalena.Julkowska@kaust.edu.sa  Reacting to the environment requires not only activating signaling cascades but also modulating the activity of individual components in a context- and time-dependent manner. For example, under non-stress conditions protein phosphatases 2C…

The protein phosphatase PP2A-B’γ takes control over salicylic acid to suppress defense and premature senescence

Amna Mhamdi Ghent University, Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, and VIB Center for Plant Systems Biology, 9052 Ghent, Belgium Address correspondence to amna.mhamdi@psb.ugent.be Long thought to be unselective and often referred to as "housekeeping" enzymes, type 2A Protein…

Paving the way for C4 evolution: study of C3-C4 intermediate species in grasses

C4 photosynthesis originated as an adaptation to low atmospheric CO2 concentrations 30-35 million years ago (Sage, 2016). Although accounting for only 3% of the vascular plants on earth, C4 plants contribute 25% of terrestrial photosynthesis (Westhoff and Gowik, 2010), thus providing a highly desirable…

Variation in xylem resistance to cavitation explains why some leaves within a canopy are more likely to die under water stress

Meisha Holloway-Phillips Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Switzerland m.holloway-phillips@unibas.ch When trees are subjected to soil water deficits, some leaves and branches show signs of stress or die before others in the canopy. Why is that? Here I highlight recent…

Rapid changes: ABA-independent SnRK2s target mRNA decay

Magda Julkowska Magdalena.Julkowska@kaust.edu.sa   In response to stress, secondary messengers and rapid and reversible protein phosphorylation contribute to signaling cascades that generate unique signatures indicating stress type and severity. Activation of stress-induced signaling cascades…

Adapting to high light: At a different time and place?

When rays of light enter a plant cell, they find their way to the chlorophyll pigments located in the chloroplast. Chlorophyll molecules are embedded in the light reaction complexes photosystem I (PSI) and photosystem II (PSII), which capture and store the energy needed for carbon fixation in the Calvin…

Enhanced Metabolic Degradation: The Last Evolved Glyphosate Resistance Mechanism of Weeds?

For the past two decades, glyphosate has been the most used herbicide worldwide, resulting in prolonged, extreme selection pressure for glyphosate-resistant (GR) weeds.  Glyphosate’s only target as a herbicide is 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS), an enzyme of the shikimate pathway. …

A novel upstream regulator of trichome development inhibitors

Much like the spikes that deter birds from sitting on fences, trichomes — hair like projections on the leaf surface — are the epidermis’ first line of defence, discouraging insects and other pests (Levin, 1973). In addition to their role protecting the plant, trichomes are an excellent marker to…