Recent Posts

Lipid Rafts to the Rescue! Plants under Fungal Attack Recruit Phospholipase Dδ

When your fort is under attack during battle, and the wall is breached, you can choose to fight, flee, or forgo. Plants, on the other hand, are left with little choice: they must fight. Winning any battle, though, depends on a multitude of factors, most notably your available arsenal, soldiers, and importantly,…

Attract or Defend: The CYP-associated Versatility of Terpenoids

Floral scent, a blend of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), is a communication signal central to plant interactions. For example, VOCs attract pollinators when flowers are opened (Muhleman et al., 2015). However, some plants do not cross-pollinate and depend less on VOCs. Flowers are fragile structures…

You Are What You Eat: An ATG1-Independent Path to Autophagy

Fixed carbon derived from photosynthates serves critical roles as both a chemical energy reservoir and a building block for anabolic processes.  Environmental constraints that place limitations on a plant’s fixed-carbon economy, such as prolonged darkness and photosynthetic stress, can therefore be…

Orange Is the New Green: Arabidopsis ORANGE Represses Chloroplast Biogenesis

Chloroplast development in germinating seedlings initiates upon illumination. Whereas chloroplasts in true leaves develop directly from proplastids, chloroplasts in cotyledons of dark-grown seedlings develop from an intermediate type of plastid called an etioplast. During development, etioplasts accumulate…

ADP Ribosylation: The Modification Causing a Disease Resistance Sensation

One of the key aspects of pathogenesis is the ability to sabotage host defenses and, to this end, plant pathogens produce a remarkable set of effector proteins that target host defenses at multiple levels. Plants, in turn, have defenses to counteract these effectors; one key aspect of this is the ability…

Local manufacturing: a center for photosystem biogenesis

Photosystem biogenesis in the chloroplast requires a concerted effort between synthesis and assembly of components including protein subunits, pigments, and other cofactors that varies both temporally and spatially. Sun, Valente-Paterno et al. (2019) investigate the translation zone (T-zone) of unicellular…

Micro Manager: MicroRNA Dynamics Facilitate Correct Embryo Morphogenesis and Patterning

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small (~21 nucleotide) non-coding RNAs that function as post-transcriptional repressors of gene expression. In plants, miRNAs recognize their target mRNAs based on perfect, or near-perfect, sequence complementarity, ultimately mediating their cleavage and/or translational…

Keeping an Eye on Lutein Stability

Carotenoid pigments not only produce the vibrant yellows and oranges of flowers, fruits, and autumn leaves, but they also are important in both plant and human health. They act both as accessory pigments in photosynthetic light harvesting and as photoprotectants that absorb excess energy during photosynthesis. …

Camelina: A History of Polyploidy, Chromosome Shattering, and Recovery

Following formation of a polyploid plant, cells need to manage issues such as gene dosage and chromosome pairing/segregation to help the formerly separate genomes get along in the same nucleus. As the genomes adjust, chromosomes may undergo recombination, rearrangements, gene loss, and other perturbations,…