Recent Posts

Ligand-induced monoubiquitination of BIK1 regulates plant immunity (Nature)

The plant immune system has been a keenly researched area in plant sciences in the past decade. Elicitors present in microbes are compounds that induce response from plants when under attack. These elicitors are conserved in many pathogens and are called microbe associated molecular patterns (MAMPs).…

Review: The bHLH network underlying plant shade-avoidance (Physiol. Plant.)

Shade avoidance is a complex phenomenon in which plants avoid shade by altering their developmental program in various ways including early flowering, hypocotyl elongation, and more. Many photoreceptors and transcription factors (TFs) are involved in regulating shade avoidance, including the bHLH (basic…

Nutrient dose-responsive transcriptome changes driven by Michaelis–Menten kinetics underlie plant growth rates (PNAS)

Plants can increase their growth and biomass proportionately to an increase in nutrient dose and, conversely, their growth is limited by limiting nutrients. In this study, Swift et al. explored the molecular underpinnings of the nutrient dose-response phenomenon. The authors first show that nitrogen-dose…

How do auxin temporal dynamics regulate patterning? (eLIFE)

Auxin forms spatial gradients that are implicated in organ morphogenesis. However, it is not known how temporal auxin gradients are integrated with the spatial information. In this paper, Galvan-Ampudia, Cerutti et al., showed using a ratiometric quantitative auxin reporter (quantitative DII-VENUS) that…

Design principles of a minimal auxin response system (Nature Plants)

Auxin controls virtually all facets of growth and development. This plant hormone is sensed by TIR1/AFB F-box receptors which promote ubiquitin-mediated degradation of AUX/IAA transcriptional repressors, releasing ARF transcription factors from inhibition. Phylogenetic analyses divide the ARF family…

Plant synthetic promoters to fine tune expression of engineered genes (bioRxiv)

Synthetic genetic circuits allow the reconstruction of metabolic pathways in plant systems for production of many natural products including pharmaceuticals. A challenge in genetic engineering these circuits is precisely and predictably regulating gene expression, especially when genes may be desired…

Genomic history and ecology of the geographic spread of rice (Nature Plants)

Originating in China’s Yangtze Valley ~9,000 years ago, rice (Oryza sativa) is a staple food for over half of the world’s population. While rice domestication has been well-researched, studies addressing the species' diversification and spread post-domestication are lacking. Here, Gutaker et al. tell…

ARGONAUTE2 enhances grain length and salt tolerance by activating BIG GRAIN3 to modulate cytokinin distribution in rice (Plant Cell)

Is it possible to simultaneously increase two incompatible features like grain yield and stress tolerance? Yin et al. suggest that optimizing cytokinin distribution in plant tissues is a promising strategy for that. ARGONAUTE2 (AGO2) and BIG GRAIN3 (BG3) genes work together promoting at the same time…

How does fire affect germination of grasses in the Cerrado? ($) (Seed Sci. Research)

Fire shapes tropical savannas through direct (i.e., heat and smoke) and indirect (i.e., opening gaps) effects on the vegetation. However, its effects on seeds from neotropical grasses have seldom been addressed. In this paper, Dariel and Fidelis assessed the longevity and the impact of fluctuating temperatures…