Recent Posts

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…

Seed traits determine species responses to fire under varying soil heating scenarios ($) (Funct. Ecol.)

Soil seed banks allow plants to persist in fire-prone ecosystems. However, if seeds are buried too deep, seedling emergence can be inhibited. The maximum depth at which seeds can be buried without hampering recruitment is expected to be shaped by different seed traits, although this has been seldom tested.…

Identification of novel seed longevity genes by GWAS and reverse genetics (Plant Cell Environ.)

Seed longevity (i.e., the inherent lifespan of a seed) is a polygenic feature that demands the coordination of multiple biological processes, and that shapes the persistence of seeds in the soil and the time they can be stored ex situ. Recent studies on this trait highlight the role of the antioxidant…

Robotic Assay for Drought (RoAD): An automated phenotyping system for brassinosteroid and drought response (bioRxiv)

  Developing drought tolerant plants is an important challenge in agriculture. Drought responses and plant growth are regulated by several signaling pathways, one of which is activated by brassinosteroids (BRs), a group of plant steroid hormones. In order to better understand the crosstalk…

Systemic signaling during abiotic stress combination in plants (PNAS)

In nature, plants face multiple environmental stresses simultaneously. Plant responses to combined stresses are often not merely the sum of responses to individual stresses; in the tissue that initially perceive stresses (local tissue), plants can integrate different stress signals to elicit unique responses.…

UDP-glucosyltransferase regulates grain size and abiotic stress tolerance associated with metabolic flux redirection in rice (Nature Comms.)

Climate change severely affects plant growth and jeopardizes yields of essential seed crops such as rice. Still, the mechanisms underlying the synergistic regulation of abiotic stress response and important agronomic traits remain poorly understood. Dong et al. cloned and characterized a major QTL in…

Water availability effects on germination, membrane stability and initial root growth of Agave lechuguilla and A. salmiana (Flora)

Low water availability limits seed germination in arid environments, such as the ones that Agave plants inhabit. As a result, vegetative propagation has been considered their most effective and successful method of reproduction. However, agaves produce several hundreds of seeds, and their natural populations…

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…