Recent Posts

Moonlighting Role of Plastidial NAD-MDH

Schreier et al. investigate the role of a plastid malate dehydrogenase in early chloroplast development. Plant Cell 30: 1745-1769 Background: Malate dehydrogenases (MDH) are enzymes that are widespread in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. MDH interconverts oxaloacetate and malate, using either NAD or…

Studies have found that key enzymes of plant oxalate metabolism affect corn nutrition quality

(From a press release written in Chinese - original here) On September 10th , The Plant Cell published a research paper entitled Maize Oxalyl-CoA Decarboxylase1 Degrades Oxalate and Affects the Seed Metabolome and Nutritional Quality by the Wu Yongrui Research Group of the Institute of Plant and Plant…

The spermine synthase OsSPMS1 regulates seed germination, grain size, and yield (Plant Physiol)

Polyamines including spermine and spermidine are present in all eukaryotes and have diverse roles. In plants they have been implicated in responses ranging from abiotic and biotic stresses to grain filling. Tao et al. examined the function of OsPMS1, encoding a spermine synthase, through genetic methods…

Molecular events marking the onset of berry ripening in grapevine (Plant Physiol)

Do you know the difference between a wine made from Pinot noir grapes and one made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes? Most people can taste a difference, but to really understand the wines you might want to go a bit deeper through metabolomic and transcriptomic approaches, as done by Fasoli et al. (in a…

Special issue: Orchestrating the proteome with post-translational modifications (J. Exp. Bot.)

I guess we're well past the stage of thinking "one gene - one protein", but even a single polypeptide isn't really one protein, due to the huge number of different types of post-translational modification (PTM) it can be subjected to. These are summarized in the illustration that accompanies the editorial…

Carboxysome encapsulation of the CO2-fixing enzyme Rubisco in tobacco chloroplasts (Nature Comms.)

One of the fundamental challenges facing terrestrial plants occurs when CO2 levels are depleted at Rubisco, causing its inefficient oxygenase activity to dominate. Some plants minimize this problem by adding a carbon-fixing step upstream of Rubisco, and various algae and cyanobacteria sequester Rubisco…

Agrobacterium tumefaciens enhances biosynthesis of two distinct auxins in crown galls ($) (Plant Cell Physiol.)

Kiyoshi et al. investigated auxin biosynthesis during the formation of crown galls by Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Agrobacterium introduces into the plant T-DNA containing two auxin biosynthesis genes iaaM (TRYPTOPHAN-2-MONOOXYGENASE) and iaaH (INDOLE-3-ACETAMIDE HYDROLASE). The authors used LC-MS/MS to…

A rationally designed JAZ subtype-selective agonist of jasmonate perception (Nature Comms.)

Many plant hormones have pleiotropic effects, switching on and off multiple, seemingly unrelated processes. As an example, jasmonates both turn on herbivore defense responses and suppress growth. Takaoka et al. have elegantly separated these, by developing a jasmonate mimic that only activates defences.…

Metabolic Fate of Modified Nucleotides after RNA Turnover, an Overlooked Issue in RNA Modification

Chen et al. reveal a multilayer molecular protection system functioning in Arabidopsis and human cells https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00236 By Mingjia Chen and Claus-Peter Witte Background: RNA possesses over 100 distinct posttranscriptional modifications in eukaryotic species. N6-methyladenosine…