Recent Posts

Review: 3D electron microscopy for imaging organelles in plants and algae (Plant Physiol)

Have you noticed that the quality and resolution of cell images has been getting better and better? Weiner et al. review the recent advances in 3D electron microscopy (EM) technologies that have provided these strikingly beautiful and informative images. Like “classic” transmission EM, EM tomography…

Review: Illuminating the hidden world of calcium ions in plants with a universe of indicators (Plant Physiol)

Calcium ions (Ca2+) are ubiquitous and essential signals, with a very steep concentration gradient from outside to inside the cell. Numerous studies from across the kingdoms have demonstrated that transient Ca2+ fluxes convey information of many types. Here, Grenzi et al. provide an Update on the tools…

Review: The long road to engineering durable disease resistance in wheat (Curr. Opin. Biotechnol.)

This review by Wulff and Krattinger is a beautifully written “must read”. As the title suggests, it takes the reader on a journey of scientific progress, starting from the “first controlled cross between two wheat species” to the present, with a look into the future. Triticum aestivum (bread…

Review: Cycling in a crowd: coordination of plant cell division, growth and cell fate (Plant Cell)

Unlike animal cells, plant cells cannot migrate due to the presence of interconnected rigid cell walls, thus plant development relies on a continuous supply of new cells, (fueled by the cell cycle) to form new organs throughout their life. This excellent review by Sablowski and Gutierrez focuses on the…

Seed biologists beware: End-of-trial estimation of initial viability may be error-prone (preprints)

Assessing the viability of ungerminated seeds at the end of a trial is a common practice in seed germination experiments. By doing this, researchers aim to establish the number of viable seeds that were sown in an experiment and estimate germination parameters accordingly. Still, can we be sure that…

Ten simple rules for choosing a PhD supervisor (PLOS Comput. Biol.)

Choosing a PhD supervisor is one of the most important and difficult decisions of an academic career. This new entry by Jabre et al. in the “Ten simple rules” series endeavors to highlight some of the factors to consider when faced with this decision. These span from the early steps of identifying…

Lessons on textile history and fibre durability from a 4,000-year-old Egyptian flax yarn (Nature Plants)

“Food, fuel, and fiber” sometimes is used to describe our utter dependence on plants, but often, other than cotton, the “fiber” part is under appreciated. However, there is a growing interest in bio-based materials, both for their greater recyclability and as an alternative to petroleum-derived…

Review: Fifteen compelling open questions in plant cell biology (Plant Cell)

As part of The Plant Cell’s upcoming celebration of plant cell biology, Roeder et al. write about fifteen of the “open questions” in the field. This, and the other reviews that make up the focus issue, provide valuable insights into the leading edge of the discipline. Among the questions posed:…

Review: Bryophytes as model systems for studying evolutionary cell and developmental biology (Plant Cell)

The development of Arabidopsis as a model system greatly advanced the field of plant cell biology by bringing in molecular approaches, so much of our conceptual foundation rests on studies from angiosperms. More recently, model bryophytes, particularly Marchantia polymorpha (liverworts) and Physcomitrium…