Recent Posts

Review: Plant immunity, refining the model (Trends in Plant Sci and Curr Opin Plant Biol)

Interactions between plants and microorganisms occur in many different ways and on many different levels. Scientists have been attracted to this field of research because of the need to identify the agents causing infectious diseases in economically important crops. Models have been developed to describe…

A bifunctional dipeptide functionalizes crop surfaces for sustainable pest management (Green Chemistry)

Most synthetic pesticides do not stick well on plants especially during raining season and can be washed off during irrigation shorty after application. Therefore, the farmer may need to apply several times or hope for dry days to spray. Swinges et al. developed a synthetic peptide with two separate…

Insight: Rapid evolution in plant – microbe interactions (New Phytol)

Plants and associated microbes co-exist and co-evolve over time. The rate of evolution is higher in pathogens as compared to plants. Although the phenotypic consequences of rapid evolution in pathogens are well studied, changes at genomic level are not as well known, and are the subject of a recent review…

High resolution mapping of RphMBR1012 conferring resistance to Puccinia hordei in barley (Front Plant Sci)

Barley leaf rust (Puccinia hordei) is a biotrophic fungus, in which mutations cause newly virulent races (pathothypes) with severe effects on cultivars. Marker-assisted Selection for Rph (Resistance to P. hordei) genes has been studied to provide sustainable control of this disease. Fazlikhani et al.…

Characterizing the serotonin biosynthesis pathway upon aphid infestation in Setaria viridis leaves (bioRxiv)

In response to biotic stresses, plants produce chemical defenses to reduce damage. Adaptations to insect infestation involve synthesis of Trp-derived metabolites, leading to metabolome alterations. Here, Dangol et al. analyzed the transcriptomic and metabolomic effects after herbivore feeding in Setaria…

Reflections on Classics: Plant Cell‘s 30th anniversary

“The 1980s were an exciting and revolutionary time for biology, and plant molecular biology in particular,” begins an editorial by Bob Goldberg, Brian Larkins, and Ralph Quatrano, the three Founding Editors of The Plant Cell. They describe why the American Society of Plant Physiologists (ASPP; later,…

NRT1.1B is associated with root microbiota composition and nitrogen use in rice ($) (Nature Biotechnol)

Availability of nitrogen has always been a limiting factor for rice production. Different soil inhabitants and root-associated bacterial populations are involved in making nitrogen available to plants in organic as well as in inorganic forms. However, plant absorption of nitrogen is selective and affects…

Linking CRISPR-Cas9 interference in cassava to the evolution of editing-resistant geminiviruses (Genome Biol)

CRISPR/Cas9 is a promising gene editing tool that has already been successfully used to modify many plant genes. In these applications, the gene editing machinery is transiently employed to make a stable genomic change which is then passed on to the progeny. A different application is to use CRISPR/Cas9…

Review. Chemical convergence between plants and insects: biosynthetic origins and functions of common secondary metabolites (New Phytol)

Plants and insects aren't closely related, but they have a plethora of similar chemical weapons used for their interactions (defense, attraction, etc.). Beran et al. describe the function and biosynthesis of secondary metabolites that are shared in both insects and plants. The monoterpenes and…