Recent Posts

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…

To Grow or to Defend: That is the Question for Plant Central Metabolism

Fusari et al. perform GWAS to explore primary plant metabolism https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00232 By Corina M. Fusari and Rik Kooke Background: Primary metabolites such as sugars, organic acids, and amino acids are essential chemical compounds that drive plant growth and development by providing…

How Meiotic Chromosomes Cluster into a “Bouquet”

Zhang et al. explore the behavior of chromosomes during meiosis. The Plant Cell (2017). https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00287 By Fanfan Zhang Background: In meiosis, plants, animals, and fungi reduce their chromosome numbers by half to form gametes (sperm and eggs) that can fuse to form a cell…

Space-Time Continuum of Gene Expression in Lateral Root Development

Walker et al. explore how the environment shapes root architecture. The Plant Cell 2017.  https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.16.00961 By Liam Walker Background: To acquire nutrients and anchor themselves, plant roots spread both vertically and horizontally in soil. Plants typically have a primary root…

A Plant Protein That Foils Aphid Feeding

Kloth et al. probe aphid feeding behavior. The Plant Cell 2017  doi: 10.1105/tpc.16.00424 By Karen Kloth Background: Aphids are phloem-feeding insects. They penetrate plants with a piercing-sucking mouth. Once they reach a tube where the plant transports its sugar-rich phloem sap, they can take…

Flowering Versus Runnering: A Very Important Decision in Strawberry

Tenreira et al. find a gene responsible for the differentiation of the stolon in strawberry. The Plant Cell 2017. https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.16.00949 Asexual reproduction produces offspring that are genetically identical to the parents. This process takes many forms in flowering plants, including…

Light Helps Plants Cope with Phosphate Starvation

Liu et al. focus on transcriptional regulation of PHR1 expression. The Plant Cell 2017. https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00268 Phosphorus (P) is an essential micronutrient for plant growth, development, and metabolism. Phosphate (Pi), the major form of P used by plants, is highly immobile in most soils,…