Recent Posts

Introducing CRISPR-TSKO: A Breakthrough in Precision Gene Editing

An excellent way to explore the function of a gene is to knockout its expression and see what happens. The development of the targeted gene editing system CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) has triggered scores of gene knockout studies. CRISPR is based on a defense system…

Tissue-specific Gene Elimination in Plants

Decaestecker and Buono et al. develop a system for tissue-specific gene knockout to enable phenotypic analysis of context-specific gene function. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.19.00454 By Ward Decaestecker, Rafael Andrade Buono, Moritz Nowack and Thomas Jacobs Background: As plant molecular…

Mellowed Yellow: WHITE PETAL1 Regulates Carotenoid Accumulation in Medicago Petals

Carotenoids are tetraterpenoid (C40) lipophilic compounds that are widely distributed in nature and play key roles in pigmentation, photosynthesis, and development (Nisar et al., 2015). Detailed biochemical and genetic analyses have uncovered the carotenoid biosynthetic pathway, which generates a diverse…

Saffron Red Pigment Is Stored in Vacuoles through Active Transport

Demurtas et al. developed a high-throughput approach to identifying vacuolar transporters and used it to explore transport of crocins in saffron. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.19.00193 By Olivia C. Demurtas and Giovanni Giuliano Background: The saffron spice is made of dried stigmas from…

The ABCCs of Saffron Transportomics

Saffron spice is prized for its aroma, flavor, and color. The latter derives from highly concentrated apocarotenoid glycosides called crocins.  Accumulation of specialized metabolites like crocins often requires their sequestration in the vacuole to prevent cellular toxicity, feedback inhibition of…

A Plant Metabolon Efficiently Mass-produces Phytochemical Defenses

When plants are under attack, they activate defense programs including the biosynthesis of chemical defense compounds. The biosynthesis of these phytochemicals has to occur rapidly and represents a major sink of nutrients and amino acids. How plants optimize the mass production of chemical weapons remains…

Recognizing Plant Cell first authors: Tianhu Sun

Tianhu Sun, fist author of ORANGE Represses Chloroplast Biogenesis in Etiolated Arabidopsis Cotyledons via Interaction with TCP14 Current Position: Post-Doctoral Associate, Plant Breeding and Genetics, Cornell University Education: PhD in Biology and BS in Plant Biology from Nanjing University (Nanjing,…

The common symbiosis pathway: More common than we thought?

Cope et al. show how lipochitooligosaccharides produced by the mycorrhizal fungus Laccaria bicolor enhance colonization of Populus roots  Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00676 By Kevin R. Cope, University of Wisconsin–Madison (currently at S. Dakota State Univ.) and Jean-Michel Ané,…

Different partners, different roles!

You et al. show that LEUNIG_HOMOLOG Facilitates Jaresponses via interactions with the histone acetyltransferase HAC1 and the Mediator complex coactivator MED25.   Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.19.00115 By Yanrong You and Chuanyou Li, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese…