Recent Posts

Over‐accumulation of abscisic acid in transgenic tomato plants increases the risk of hydraulic failure (Plant Cell Environ.)

ABA enhances stomatal closure and so decreases transpiration. Several studies have shown that increasing ABA levels can increase water-use efficiency, so this strategy has been investigated with the goal of obtaining “more crop per drop”. Lamarque et al. investigated physiological and hydraulic effects…

Review: Molecular bases of responses to abiotic stress in trees (J. Exp. Bot)

Much of our understanding of abiotic stress response comes from studies on short-lived annual plants, for good reasons: they are small and easy to study, their short-generation time makes them amenable to genetic studies, and most of our food comes from annual plants. Trees are more difficult to study,…

Review: Pervasive human-driven decline of life on Earth points to the need for transformative change (Science)

Reading this review by Diaz et al. feels a bit like reading a bad report card. Although we know we’re failing in our role as Earth’s stewards, we don’t always want to be reminded of this. But, in this case we need to read and act on the suggestions for improvement. The authors review the findings…

CSN5 of COP9 signalosome modulates heat-response of Arabidopsis (biomolecules)

COP9 signalosome (CSN) is a conserved multi-subunit complex in higher eukaryotes that was originally identified as a regulator of plant photomorphogenesis. It functions by regulating ubiquitin-mediated protein stability, through the deneddylase enzymatic acitivity of the CSN5 subunit. CSN5 is encoded…

The use of high throughput phenotyping for assessment of heat stress-induced changes in Arabidopsis (bioRxiv)

With global temperatures rising, tolerance to heat is becoming increasingly important as a breeding target for crop plants, but it is a highly complex response that includes processes including plant cooling capacity, growth recovery, and maintenance of photosynthesis. Using Arabidopsis, Gao et al. developed…

Review: The role of peptides cleaved from protein precursors in eliciting plant stress reactions (New Phytol)

Although the first signaling peptide identified in plants, systemin, is involved in stress responses, developmentally important peptide signals have largely occupied the limelight. This Tansley Review by Chen et al. summarizes recent insights into peptides with a role in stress responses: wounding, pathogen…

Review: Genetic strategies for improving crop yields (Nature)

Simply put, as food demand increases due to population growth and increased affluence, crop yields are likely to decrease due to the changing climate. Plant scientists will be familiar with many research avenues that aim to address this disconnect, ranging from increasing crop resilience to abiotic stresses,…

Machine learning enables high-throughput phenotyping for analyses of the genetic architecture of bulliform cell patterning in maize (G3)

Bulliform cells lie in rows along the upper (adaxial) surface of the maize leaf, and through changes in volume contribute to leaf-rolling, which is a response to water deficit. Several mutants have been identified that affect bulliform cell formation and function, but as yet their occurance in natural…

Fine control of aerenchyma and lateral root development through Aux/IAA- and ARF-dependent auxin signaling ($) (PNAS)

Auxin plays a major role in plant development and can alter the developmental program following the stress response. In this paper, Yamauchi et al., have identified the auxin signaling cascade involved in the development of aerenchyma and regulators of this auxin signaling might also be involved in lateral…