Recent Posts

Enzyme helps as a transcription factor in lignin production

Arjen Dijkgraaf | Wednesday, July 4, 2018 (Originally published in C2W Boeken. Translation by Google Translate) In poplars a protein appears to have a bizarre double function: it makes building blocks for amino acids but also regulates the production of lignin. It could be a new way to create…

A pretty plant of summer produces a promising anti-diabetes compound

Discovery of the biosynthetic pathway of a plant metabolite lays the groundwork for its use as an anti-diabetes drug Roughly half of the western medicines used today were derived from naturally occurring plant metabolites. Plants produce over 200,000 of these specialized metabolites, but identifying…

A Molecular Gatekeeper of Algal Biofuel Synthesis

Algae undergo a complete metabolic transformation under stress by arresting cell growth, inducing autophagy, and hyper-accumulating biofuel precursors such as triacylglycerols and starch. However, the regulatory mechanisms behind this stress-induced transformation are still unclear. Understanding the signaling…

Diverse border crops and neighboring crops aid urban agriculture (eLIFE)

As more people move to cities, urban agriculture will make larger contributions to food security. There has been little investigation on the role of plant biodiversity in urban agricultural systems. Wan and colleagues use monitoring data collected from community farms in Shanghai, China, to investigate…

Mutations in a subfamily of ABA receptor genes promote rice growth and productivity ($)

Like all plant hormones, ABA controls diverse processes, including stomatal aperture and seed dormancy, and growth rate. Miao et al. have used CRISPR/Cas9 technology in rice to selectively mutant subsets of the 13-member PYL family of ABA receptors.  They found notable differences when mutating group…

CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene targeting in Arabidopsis using sequential transformation (Nature Comms)

Genome modification is a powerful tool, yet precise genome engineering in plants remains challenging. Miki et al. report on the sequential transformation method for gene targeting in Arabidopsis. The parental plants expressing CRISPR/Cas9 under the egg cell- and early embryo-specific DD45 promoter were…

RecQ Proteins: Masters of Genome Surveillance

Wiedemann et al. show that RecQ6 in Physcomitrella enhances homologous recombination and gene targeting https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00632.  Background: All living cells have mechanisms to protect their DNA against breaks during duplication and against damage by UV-light or chemicals. RecQ helicases…

Update: The role of trehalose 6-phosphate in crop yield and resilience

By Matthew J. Paul, Asier Gonzalez-Uriarte, Cara A. Griffiths, and Keywan Hassani-Pak Significant increases in global food security require improving crop yields in favourable and poor conditions alike. However, it is challenging to increase both the crop yield potential and yield resilience simultaneously,…

Unleashing meiotic crossovers in hybrid plants ($) (PNAS)

To generate new plant varieties with desirable traits, plant geneticists cross existing varieties that contain the characters they want to combine. The genetic variability is obtained thanks to events called crossovers, in which segments of homologous chromosomes are swapped during meiosis. The frequency…