Recent Posts

Nanoscale movements of cellulose microfibrils in primary cell walls ($)

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Cell walls are complex mixtures of cellulose microfibrils, proteins and other materials. Their mechanical properties can be measured and modeled, but it is not always simple to translate these measurements to changes at the molecular level. Zhang et al. used atomic force microscopy to provide an unprecedented…

METHYLTRANSFERASE1 and Ripening in Vivipary

During fruit ripening in tomato and other flowering plants, the seeds contained within the fruit normally become dormant. However, under certain physiological conditions, seeds can germinate within fruits, a phenomenon called vivipary. Vivipary can substantially reduce yield and product quality in vegetables,…

Calmodulin and Salt Tolerance

Salt stress is a major abiotic factor restricting crop growth and productivity. Excess sodium (Na+) causes ion toxicity and ion imbalances.  Maintaining lower Na+ accumulation in shoots is crucial for salt tolerant plant species and genotypes under salt stress.  Lower shoot Na+ accumulation in plants…

Cyclic Nucleotide-Gated Channels and Temperature Stress

Extreme temperatures often negatively impact plant productivity. Both heat and cold induce transient Ca2+ influx into the cell cytoplasm. Cui et al. (10.1104/pp.20.00591) have investigated the function of two closely related cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channel (CNGC) proteins, OsCNGC14 and OsCNGC16,…

Apical Membrane Traffic In Pollen Tube Tips

Pollen tubes elongate very rapidly at rates of several micrometer per minute and strictly in one direction: this process involves the intense local secretion of cell wall material at the tube tip. Consequently, there is a massive incorporation into the plasma membrane (PM) of excess membrane material…

Cutin Synthesis and Deposition

The waxy cuticle that covers the aerial parts of leaves, fruits, and nonlignified stems of land plants is chemically heterogeneous, with lipids representing between 60% to 80% of the cuticle, depending on the plant organ and species. These lipids can be polymerized, represented by cutin, or non-polymerized,…

Allyl-GSL Catabolites and Root Development

In order to survive attacks by pathogens and herbivores, plants have developed a variety of defense mechanisms and resistance strategies, including the production of defensive chemicals. Such defense chemicals, however, can have detrimental effects on growth or can introduce ecological costs by attracting…

Root Foraging under Low Nitrogen Depends on Brassinosteroids

Plant root systems alter their architecture upon encountering  spatial heterogeneity in the nutrient concentrations of the soil. For example, when roots are subjected to decreasing N availability that causes mild N deficiency, lateral root emergence increases moderately, whereas elongation of primary…

Melatonin Represses Oil and Anthocyanin Accumulation in Seeds

Melatonin is a highly conserved bioactive molecule present in all plant species. It is produced from serotonin through two consecutive enzymatic steps. Serotonin is converted into either N-acetylserotonin by serotonin N-acetyltransferase (SNAT) or into 5- methoxytryptamine by caffeic acid O-methyltransferase…

Role of Cell Wall Invertase in Ovule Development

Apart from its well-known function in Suc unloading, cell wall invertase (CWIN), an enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of Suc into Fru and Glc, also plays a role in sugar signaling and plant development.  As an  example of CWIN playing a role in plant development, Liao et al. (10.1104/pp.20.00400)…