Recent Posts

Enhancing wheat Rubisco activase thermostability by mutagenesis of conserved residues from heat-adapted species

Maria Grazia Annunziata Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, 14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany. Annunziata@mpimp-golm.mpg.de ORCID ID: 0000-0001-8593-1741 Rubisco (ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase) is the central enzyme of photosynthetic carbon assimilation in the…

Burying your head in the sand: heading belowground to find future targets of selection in roots

Author: Skelton, Robert Paul skelrob@berkeley.edu Institution: Department of Integrative Biology, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, 94720. Burying one’s head in the sand is usually synonymous with avoiding an issue, but in this volume of Plant Physiology Colombi et al. (2019)…

Keep sugar away to stay active: glycosylation of methyl salicylate shuts down systemic signaling

Plant hormones are frequently modified by glycosylation, hydroxylation, methylation and other conjugations, and these modifications can alter the hormone’s activity and stability (Wang et al., 2019). The phytohormone salicylic acid orchestrates effective defense and mediates local and systemic-acquired…

A rice transcription factor controls grain length through cell number

Providing around 20% of global calories, rice (Oryza sativa) is one of the most important staple crops (Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP), 2013). With consumption particularly increasing in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, it is vital to increase rice yields to supply the…

UMP pyrophosphorylase-a moonlighting protein with essential functions in chloroplast development and photosynthesis establishment

Pyrimidine nucleotides (e.g., dCTP, dTTP, UTP, and CTP) are essential building blocks for DNA and RNA synthesis in all organisms. In plants, sucrose and cell wall polymer synthesis depend on pyrimidine nucleotide-derived substrates, such as UDP-glucose, and important classes of membrane lipids are made…

Heat shock proteins support refolding and shredding of misfolded proteins

Author: Masanori Izumi Affiliation: RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science, Wako 351-0198, Japan Newly synthesized proteins must be folded to form their proper 3D structures. Stresses perturb protein folding, thereby leading to the hyperaccumulation of misfolded or aggregated proteins. Such…

How plants and synthetic biology could help us fight diabetes

Dr. Raimund Nagel Iowa State University Plants produce a plethora of natural products that function as defensive compounds are frequently used by humans for medicinal purposes. A majority of these natural products, however, are either found in low concentrations, in slow growing plants, or are…

Illuminating photosynthesis in the mesophyll of diverse leaves

Meisha Holloway-Phillips Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Switzerland m.holloway-phillips@unibas.ch Since Terashima and Saeki (1983) demonstrated that light attenuation through the leaf was accompanied by spectral changes, there has been increasing interest in how light…

What is lignin made of? New components discovered!

Maria Grazia Annunziata Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, 14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany. Lignin is a class of complex aromatic polymers particularly important in the formation of cell walls, especially in wood and bark. Lignin contributes to plant structure, support and defence…