Recent Posts

Twin-Positive Motifs Function as Specific Plastid Targeting Signals

Precise trafficking of proteins to their proper destinations in the cell, whether to an organelle, a membrane, or the cytoplasm, is required for optimal cellular function. Because most plastid proteins are nucleus-encoded and translated in the cytoplasm, proper targeting and import relies on the presence…

Exosome-Deficient Mutants Reveal Rare Promoter Upstream Transcripts (PROMPTs) in Arabidopsis

In eukaryotes and archaea, protein-coding DNA is transcribed to messenger RNA (mRNA) via a preinitiation complex (PIC) composed of over 100 proteins, among them regulatory proteins, numerous transcription factors, and RNA polymerase II—the enzyme that produces precursor messenger RNA (pre-mRNA). Although…

The Way Out: A Transcriptionally Unique Group of Endosperm Cells Implicated in Nutrient Export to the Embryo

Successful development of the maize (Zea mays) kernel requires proper nutrient transport and signaling among its genetically distinct components: the embryo that gives rise to the next generation, the endosperm that nourishes the embryo, and the maternal tissues that surround the embryo and the endosperm…

The R-loop: An Additional Chromatin Feature for Gene Regulation in Arabidopsis

R-loops are three-stranded nucleic acid structures composed of a DNA-RNA hybrid and a displaced single-stranded DNA. R-loops are stable structures as they form an intermediate A/B conformation of the RNA-DNA hybrid that is more stable than the B form of dsDNA or A form of the dsRNA. Recent evidence reveals…

A Closer Look at Acyl-ACPs in Lipid Metabolism

Acyl lipids are a wide range of compounds that have diverse functions in membrane synthesis, energy storage, and signal transduction. Fatty acids are key building blocks of acyl lipids that are synthesized by the fatty acid synthase complex via sequential condensation of two-carbon units to reach lengths…

Say “Ah!” The Right Amounts of Brassinosteroids and Hydrogen Peroxide Open the “Mouths” of Plant Leaves

Stomata, from the Greek “mouths,” are tiny pores in the epidermis of many plant aerial tissues that are “fed” carbon dioxide for making sugar. But plants also lose water through these same pores via transpiration. Stomatal aperture regulation in response to environmental cues is therefore of…

Round Effects: Tasg-D1 is Responsible for Grain Shape in Indian Dwarf Wheat

Wheat (Triticum spp.), one of the oldest cultivated cereals, is a major food crop grown in many regions with temperate climates. At present, wheat is grown over a wider area than any other commercial crop. Given its importance, extensive marker-assisted breeding of wheat varieties has been undertaken…

The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway: DELLA-Interacting GROWTH REGULATING FACTORS Mediate Plant Growth in Cold Stress

The gibberellin (GA) hormone signaling pathway is a key regulator of major plant developmental processes such as seed germination, cell elongation, and flowering time. The influence of GA is mediated by DELLA repressor proteins which, in the absence of GA, inhibit the activity of transcription factors.…

The Case of Virus-Induced Plant Autophagy: Cui Bono?

Plant-viral interactions, like other plant-pathogen interactions, involve a molecular arms race. When plants mount a defense response against an unwanted viral invasion, the invaders eventually evolve mechanisms to thwart or sabotage the defense response, thus placing plants back under pressure to evolve…