Recent Posts

Review: Potential applications of plant biotechnology against SARS-CoV-2 (Trends Plant Sci.)

For those of you about to start teaching again, here’s a great article to share with your plant science students, showcasing the ways that plant biologists are contributing to the international efforts to develop diagnostic reagents, vaccines, and antiviral drugs to combat the global COVID-19 pandemic.…

Complete microviscosity maps of living plant cells and tissues with a toolbox of targeting mechanoprobes (PNAS)

Biological processes are ruled by physical as well as chemical forces and properties, but the former are much less well understood and studied. Here, Michels et al. describe a collection of fluorescent probes that provide a quantitative visual readout of microviscocity, reflecting the physical properties…

The key role of terminators on the expression and post-transcriptional gene silencing of transgenes (Plant J.)

Transgene introduction has been a major tool in modern plant science, but the ability of plants to distinguish ‘self’ from ‘non-self’ can lead to transgene silencing. This mechanism is mediated by the recruitment of RDR6 (an RNA-Dependent RNA polymerases) leading to the production of several…

The CDK inhibitor SIAMESE targets both CDKA;1 and CDKB1 complexes to establish endoreplication in trichomes (Plant Physiol.)

Endoreplication is a process in which DNA doubles without cell division. Trichomes (epidermal hairs) serve as a good system in which to study endoreplication. Cyclin (CYC) and cyclin dependent kinases (CDK) promote cell division and inhibit endoreplication. In plant trichomes, two CDK/CYC complexes,…

Antagonistic regulation of the gibberellic acid response during stem growth in rice (Nature)

Stem growth determines the final height of graminaceous plants and greatly influences productivity in cultivated species (e.g., short internodes in semi-dwarf rice varieties to increase lodging resistance) and adaptation in wild species (e.g., elongated internodes in tall deepwater rice to help survive…

Dynamic regulation of Pep-induced immunity through post-translational control of defense transcript splicing (Nature Plants)

In plant immunity, signal transduction is tightly modulated through mechanisms including controlled stoichiometry of key regulators. Dressano et al. identified the novel IMMUNOREGULATORY RNA-BINDING PROTEIN (IRR) as a negative regulator of immunity in both maize and Arabidopsis through a screen of Plant…

The Apple miR171i and its target SCL26.1 enhance drought tolerance (Plant Physiol.)

Drought is one of the most important abiotic factors affecting plant growth and development. MicroRNAs are a class of small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs) consisting of 21-24 nucleotides, that play critical roles in many biological processes by regulating target gene expression. Apple is one of the most economically…

Driving factors of disease spread in natural plant-pollinator communities (Nature Ecol. Evol.)

Disease spread within species-rich communities is hard to predict and prevent due to the dynamic transmission of parasites between multiple hosts that change in abundance and composition over time. To better understand the temporal dynamics of bee parasites in communities of plants and pollinators, Graystock…

Alpine plant growth and reproduction dynamics in a warmer world (New Phytol.)

Climate warming affects plant performance in warm and dry regions. In cold regions, warming stimulates growth and reproduction, but its effects can vary depending on location and species. Whether herbaceous plants can adapt to increasing temperatures is unclear and a matter of concern. In this study…