Recent Posts

Granting an Extension: mRNAs Produced by Read-through from Small Nuclear RNAs

The C-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) extends from the catalytic core and consists of repeats of a seven-amino acid motif. The CTD functions in the regulation of Pol II function and is subject to just about every protein modification you can think of, including methylation, acetylation,…

Disarming the Assassins Within: Plant Cells Use S-Nitrosylation to Deactivate the HopAI1 Effectors

The assassin who injects a bead of poison by stabbing his victim with the tip of his umbrella has got nothing on plant pathogenic bacteria such as Pseudomonas syringae, which injects dozens of effector proteins into plant cells. These effectors act as tiny assassins to take out host defenses by diverse…

Blue Light Perception via Chlorochrome? — Give Us the Greens of Summer

What do photosynthesis, neonatal jaundice, and a next-generation solar cell have in common? All involve tetrapyrroles, complex molecules with four linked pyrrole rings, each ring containing one nitrogen and four carbon atoms. Tetrapyrroles exist in either cyclic or linear form and have a wide variety…

Nanopore Sequencing Comes to Plant Genomes

The next generation of next-generation sequencing is upon us. Third-generation sequencing aims to provide long stretches of sequence – ultimately to the chromosome level – at bargain basement prices. Progress is being made toward those goals with the emergence of long-read sequencing techniques and…

How Plants Keep Troublemakers Out and Water In

Kaundal et al. examine how a protein keeps plants safe from invading pathogens and dehydration http://www.plantcell.org/content/29/9/2233 By Amita Kaundal, Vemanna S. Ramu, Kirankumar S. Mysore Background: To cause disease in plants, bacteria must enter plant tissue and multiply. Bacteria and…

Tomato Genome Goes Nano

Schmidt et al. demonstrate that nanopore technology can be applied to plant genomes https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00521 By Schmidt, M. H.-W., Vogel, A., Denton, A. K., Bolger, A. M., Bolger, M. E., and Usadel, B. Background: An organism’s genome contains all the necessary information for its…

An Ion Channel Active in Plant Drought Response

Eisenach et al. discover A new ion channel of the plant vacuole helps plants react to drought https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00452 By Cornelia Eisenach Background: Stomata are small pores on plant surfaces that facilitate diffusion of CO2, O2 and water vapor between plant and atmosphere.  During…

Photosynthesis in Desert Plants: It’s About Time

Boxall et al. investigate CAM photosynthesis in Kalanchoë fedtschenkoi The Plant Cell (2017). https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00301 Background: During photosynthesis, most plants use the enzyme Rubisco to capture CO2 during the day. Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) plants such as prickly pears,…

Keeping Walls on Track

Schneider et al. explore how secondary cell walls are made. The Plant Cell 2017.  https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00309 Background: Plant cells are surrounded by robust cell walls that function as dynamic extracellular skeletons and protect plants against their environment. The cell walls make up…