Recent Posts

Nanoscale movements of cellulose microfibrils in primary cell walls ($)

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Cell walls are complex mixtures of cellulose microfibrils, proteins and other materials. Their mechanical properties can be measured and modeled, but it is not always simple to translate these measurements to changes at the molecular level. Zhang et al. used atomic force microscopy to provide an unprecedented…

Tomatoes turn pale in the heat: high temperature reduces red and green pigmentation via phytochromes

The gardeners among us know that direct sunlight is a prerequisite to obtain full-sized, bright red tomato  (Solanum lycopersicum) fruits. Indeed, light increases the accumulation of yellow and red carotenoid pigments, particularly lycopene, in ripe tomato fruits while it also boosts chlorophyll levels…

A Once-Hidden ER Matrix Reveals the Totally Tubular Function of LUNAPARKs in Plants

The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is an organelle that is vital for many cellular processes such as protein and lipid synthesis, calcium signaling, detoxification, and movement of other organelles. It forms an intricate meshwork in the cell cortex that is comprised of highly dynamic interconnected tubules…

The biogenesis of CLEL peptides involves several processing events in consecutive compartments of the secretory pathway (eLIFE)

Small signaling peptides are cleaved from precursor proteins by the action of proteases and are also subject to other post-translational modifications. Subtilases (SBT) are mostly extracellular proteases, but SBT6.1 is membrane-localized at the Golgi and plasma membranes. Furthermore, it has been shown…

High-throughput CRISPR/Cas9 mutagenesis streamlines trait gene identification in maize (Plant Cell)

Maize has provided some fascinating mutants and developmental insights, but its genomic complexity has made it more difficult (for example as compared to rice) to identify agronomically important genes. Liu et al. describe a new high-throughput method to integrate forward- and reverse-genetics to identify…

The photosystem factory in chloroplasts

Sun et al. reveal the subcellular organization of photosystem biogenesis in Chlamydomonas. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.19.00263 by Melissa Valente-Paterno, Yi Sun and William Zerges. Department of Biology, Concordia University.  Background: Cells localize intracellular processes to…

Arabidopsis OR Represses the Greening of Cotyledons while It Is in the Nucleus

Sun et al. showed that OR interacts with TCP14 in the nucleus of dark-germinated seedlings and reduces chlorophyll biosynthesis, thylakoid membrane development and expression of EARLY LIGHT-INDUCIBLE PROTEINS, and that subsequent illumination relieves this repression. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.…

HvCMF7 – a Key Switch of Chloroplast Differentiation in Barley

Li et al. identify the gene underlying the long-studied variegated albostrians mutant of barley. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.19.00132 By Mingjiu Li, Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), Germany Background: Chloroplasts are the site of photosynthesis, which…