Recent Posts

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…

NEEDLE1 encodes a mitochondria localized ATP-dependent metalloprotease required for thermotolerant maize growth ($) (PNAS)

Previously, the needle1 (ndl1) maize mutant was identified as showing a variable phenotype mainly affecting the tassel. Here, Liu et al. showed that this variability arises due to its temperature sensitivity, with strongest effects at warmer temperatures. In some cases, the plants arrest before reaching…

Evolutionary flexibility in flooding response circuitry in angiosperms ($) (Science)

Flooding is unpredictable and can lead to plant death due to insufficient oxygen (hypoxia). Some plant species and varieties are better able to survive periods of submergence. Here, Reynoso et al. looked at gene networks induced transcriptionally and translationally by flooding in rice, Medicago and…

Ethylene-mediated nitric oxide depletion pre-adapts plants to hypoxia stress (Nature Comms)

Climate projection models predict an increasingly wetter world with frequent and severe flooding events, causing loss of crops. As it is for other organisms, it is a challenge for plants to stay under water for long periods. However, how plants react to submergence is poorly understood. Environmental…

Halotropism requires phospholipase Dζ1‐mediated modulation of cellular polarity of auxin transport carriers ($) (Plant Cell Environ)

Phospholipase D (PLD) enzymes cleave phosopholipds to release phosphatidic acid (PA), which is a signal that affects membrane dynamics. Previous studies have indicated a role for PLD and PA in root responses to osmotic and salt stress, but as the Arabidopsis genome has 12 genes encoding PLD questions…

Review: Developmental thermal responses in Arabidopsis (Plant Physiol.)

Plants can modify their growth in response to environmental challenges. In a recent review, Vu et al. summarize the molecular mechanisms underlying high temperature responses during the Arabidopsis life cycle. At early stages, high temperature promotes abscisic acid (ABA) biosynthesis and decreases gibberellic…

Review: Developmental responses to water and salinity in root systems ($) (Annu Rev Cell Biol)

Plants lack organs that are analogous to human ears, eyes or fingertips, yet they can detect changes in their environment. In this review, Dinneny describes how sensing heterogeneities in salt and water leads to changes in root architecture, optimizing soil foraging. The root tip typically follows the…