Recent Posts

Saddle Up, Soybean Seed Pigments: Argonaute5 in Spatially Regulated Silencing of Chalcone Synthase Genes

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Most soybean seeds you see, whether in bins at the store, or in train cars as a commodity crop, have a yellow seed coat that may have only a tiny fleck of dark pigment at the hilum, where the seed attaches to the pod. The predominant yellow color results from silencing of chalcone synthase (CHS) genes…

Family Chores: TRAF-Family Proteins Help Recycle Cellular Rubbish by Regulating Autophagy Dynamics

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IN BRIEF by Jennifer Lockhart jlockhart@aspb.org Plant cell components that are no longer needed are degraded in the vacuole, but they don’t get there by magic. Sack-like double-membrane structures called autophagosomes engulf this cellular rubbish and neatly transport it to the vacuole for degradation.…

Threonine Phosphorylation Regulates Polar Localization of the Boric Acid Transporter NIP5;1 in Root Cells

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IN BRIEF by Gregory Bertoni gbertoni@aspb.org Proper localization of proteins in the plasma membrane is critical for proper functioning of plant cells, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood (Łangowski et al, 2016). This is especially true for transporter proteins that move necessary…

A Kinase- and Proteasome-Mediated Link Between Lipid Biosynthesis and Energy Homeostasis

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IN BRIEF by Nancy R. Hofmann nhofmann@aspb.org The economy of living cells includes energy production, energy utilization, and energy storage. Thus, a plant’s energy budget must connect the decision to produce lipids (for energy storage) with its overall energy status. Energy sensor kinases, such…

A Histone Chaperone and a Specific Transcription Factor Modulate GLABRA2 Expression in Root Hair Development

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IN BRIEF by Jennifer Mach jmach@aspb.org To navigate its essential function of producing mRNAs, RNA polymerase II (Pol II) must navigate the thread of DNA, which winds around thousands of nucleosomes. If you’ve ever tried to use a sewing machine but got your bobbin thread tangled, then the task faced…

Recognizing featured Plant Cell first authors, January 2017

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Recently, we’ve been profiling first authors of Plant Cell papers that are selected for In Brief summaries. Here are the first-author profiles from the December issue of The Plant Cell. Michael Sandmann, featured first author of Targeting of A. thaliana KNL2 to centromeres depends on the conserved…

Photodamaged Chloroplasts Are Targets of Cellular Garbage Disposal

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IN BRIEF by Gregory Bertoni gbertoni@aspb.org Autophagy, or "self eating," is the process cells use to consume unwanted intracellular structures such as damaged organelles, excess membranes, and unneeded cellular proteins (Mizushima and Komatsu, 2011). Typically, the unwanted structure becomes surrounded…

Loose-Knit Family: Tracing the Evolution of Actin Depolymerizing Factors that Sever or Join the Actin Cytoskeleton

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IN BRIEF by Jennifer Lockhart jlockhart@aspb.org The interior of a plant cell is supported by the actin cytoskeleton, a complex network of yarn-like fibers whose form changes as the cell develops, grows, and divides. Actin fibers readily come apart (sever) and join back together, depending on the…

Basal vs. Non-basal Polarity: Different Endomembrane Trafficking Pathways Establish Different Patterns

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IN BRIEF: Nancy R. Hofmann nhofmann@aspb.org Plant development and responses to the environment hinge on the ability to target proteins to different areas of the plasma membrane within a cell. Indeed, the establishment of polar distributions of proteins such as PIN auxin transporters is among the…