Recent Posts

Nanoscale movements of cellulose microfibrils in primary cell walls ($)

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Cell walls are complex mixtures of cellulose microfibrils, proteins and other materials. Their mechanical properties can be measured and modeled, but it is not always simple to translate these measurements to changes at the molecular level. Zhang et al. used atomic force microscopy to provide an unprecedented…

Burning grasses, poor seeds: Post-fire reproduction of early-flowering Neotropical savanna grasses produces low-quality seeds (Plant Ecol.) ($)

Fire is a disturbance that underpins several ecological processes in tropical savannas. For instance, some plant species from these ecosystems are traditionally known for relying on fires to reproduce. However, this dependency remains to be formally tested. Also, the impact of fire on seed quality…

Seed germination of mudflat species responds differently to prior exposure to hypoxic (flooded) environments (Seed Sci. Res.) ($)

Mudflats species experience rapid changes in their environment due to wetlands' drawdown and refill throughout the year. For instance, species that inhabit these sites deal with contrasting oxygen environments: hypoxic when the water level is high, and aerobic when it recedes. Most studies have aimed…

Combinatorial engineering of signaling networks for drought tolerance (Plant Biotechnol. J.)

Several potential targets have been suggested to improve drought tolerance and water-use efficiency of crops, but many genes when upregulated can cause negative growth trade-offs. Stress recognition and signaling proteins are attractive targets as they may exert control over multiple downstream pathways…

Review: Dry architecture: towards the understanding of the variation of longevity in desiccation- tolerant germplasm ($) (Seed Sci. Res.)

Most seeds, pollen grains, and fern spores are desiccation-tolerant, meaning they remain viable after drying to low water contents. Given this property, they can be stored in cold and dry conditions and potentially remain alive for several years. However, there is increasing evidence that seed longevity…

Arabinogalactan-proteins of Zostera marina L. contain unique glycan structures and provide insight into adaption processes to saline environments (Sci. Reports)

Seagrasses are fascinating examples of adaptation. Like dolphins and other sea mammals, they are marine-dwelling descendants of species that had fully adapted to life on land. To survive submerged in saltwater has necessitated morphological, anatomical and physiological adaptations. Recent genome analysis…

A prion-like domain in ELF3 functions as a thermosensor in Arabidopsis (Nature)

As sessile organisms, sensing the external conditions is critical for plants to complete their life cycle and temperature is one of the major factors. In Arabidopsis, the evening complex senses the temperature and it consists of EARLY FLOWERING3 (ELF3), a scaffolding protein; ELF4, helical protein; LUX…

KIN10 promotes stomatal development through stabilization of the SPEECHLESS transcription factor (Nat. Commun.)

Plants communicate with the environment through stomata (i.e., pores found on leaf surfaces) and regulate gas exchange depending on internal and external cues by optimizing stomata density. Still, how plants integrate metabolic and environmental signals remain to be determined. Here, Han and colleagues…

Root angle modifications by the DRO1 homolog improve rice yields in saline paddy fields (PNAS)

The spatial configuration of roots is a complex and critical trait for productivity that is impacted by abiotic stresses such as drought, waterlogging, and salinity. Soil salinity is expected to affect 50% of agricultural land worldwide by 2050. This research describes that the loss of function of qSOR1…

A protoxylem-specific NAC transcription factor modulates heat and drought stress in maize (PNAS)

Excessive heat and water deficit coincide with flowering and result in developmental defeats such as male floral organs browning, infertile pollen, and failure in fertilization: a syndrome known as “tassel blasting” in maize. The genetic pathway underlying tassel blasting is not well characterized.…