Recent Posts

“Order by disorder”- intrinsically disordered proteins (Plant Physiol.)

Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDP) have repetitive protein sequences but lack a defined 3D structure and are deployed to do some challenging functions that a protein with a defined 3D structure cannot perform. One such IDP, Oryza sativa REPETITIVE PROLINE-RICH PROTEIN (OsRePRP) is involved in inhibiting…

Hydrogen mediates tolerance to cadmium-induced root toxicity (Plant Physiol.)

Heavy metals are a potential threat to human health, especially in areas with high industrial activity where the metals leach in the soil to contaminate underground water. These metals are a threat to plants too, resulting in stunted growth and their eventual death. Wu et al. carried out a mechanistic…

The negative effect of a vertically transmitted fungal endophyte on seed longevity is stronger than that of ozone transgenerational effect ($) (Environ. Exp. Bot.)

Global environmental change brings new challenges to plants at different levels, including seed development and persistence. For example, the increasing ground-levels of ozone (O3) can affect seed viability, as a result of changes in the mother plant antioxidant machinery. These responses might depend…

Plant 22-nt siRNAs mediate translational repression and stress adaptation (Nature)

Among the myriad small interfering RNAs, 21- and 24-nucleotides siRNAs control plant development and immunity through mRNA cleavage and RNA-directed DNA methylation, respectively. Still, the regulation and biological function of 22-nt siRNAs remain unresolved. In this report, Wu and coworkers investigated…

An RNA thermoswitch regulates daytime growth in Arabidopsis (Nature Plants)

Plants are sessile organisms and as such they must be highly responsive to environmental cues including temperature, and adjust their growth and development accordingly. Considering that mean global surface temperatures are expected to continue to rise dramatically in the 21st century, it is crucial…

Intertwined signatures of desiccation and drought tolerance in grasses (PNAS)

Desiccation tolerance (i.e., the capacity of surviving with very low water content) is widespread in seeds and pollen, but quite rare in vegetative organs. Most authors agree that in angiosperms it originated multiple independent times from rewiring seed desiccation tolerance pathways. Here, Pardo et…

Mechanical shielding in plant nuclei (Curr. Biol.)

The nucleus is an organelle with tremendous shape flexibility in response to environmental cues; it has been described as the “plastic, elastic, and fantastic” organelle. The change in nuclear geometry based on mechanical stress is well documented from single cell studies in culture, but the question…

Aquaporins act in concert to regulate cold acclimation and freezing tolerance (Plant Cell Physiol.)

Aquaporins, also known as plasma membrane intrinsic proteins (PIP), are a large group of transporters that facilitate water transport through membranes. In this article, Rahman et al. explored the role of aquaporins in the cold stress response. They found that two aquaporin genes, PIP1;4 and PIP2;5,…

Reviews: The physiology of plant responses to drought, and forests and drought ($) (Science)

The increasing global population causes an increasing need for food, but the changing climate means increasing drought occurrences. The April 17 2020 special issue of Science focusses on drought and its effects on food and the environment. The issue includes a fine review by Gupta et al. that provides…