Recent Posts

Review. Plant immunity: Danger perception and signaling (Cell)

Research from the last three decades has discovered many genes and pathways involved in plant immunity and how they are connected. Here, Zhou and Zhang highlight new research regarding activation and signaling of cell surface pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) and intracellular nucleotide-binding,…

Review. The plant microbiome: From ecology to reductionism and beyond (Annu. Rev. Microbiol.)

The last two decades have witnessed tremendous progress in our understanding of plant microbiota. Fitzpatrick, Salas-González et al. highlight recent discoveries from culture-dependent and culture-independent approaches and discuss the future path towards integrating these approaches. Culture-independent…

Multidimensional gene regulatory landscape of a bacterial pathogen in plants (Nature Plants)

The outcome of a plant-bacteria interaction is determined by the bacterial virulence and plant immune systems. Individually, these systems, and to an extent their interactions, have been well studied. However, certain aspects of their interactions remain elusive, particularly how plant immunity affects…

Co‐catabolism of arginine and succinate drives symbiotic nitrogen fixation (Mol Sys Biol)

Symbiotic nitrogen fixation is a mutualistic relationship between plants and microbes in which plants supply fixed carbon to bacteria in exchange for nitrogen. During this process, the microbes use nitrogenase enzyme to convert atmospheric nitrogen into a plant-usable form, but the metabolic interaction…

An aphid RNA transcript migrates systemically within plants and is a virulence factor (PNAS)

Aphids are an important insect pest that can cause significant yield loss to crops, particularly through feeding damage and as vector for devasting plant pathogens. How aphids and other sap-feeding insects use their stylet to penetrate the plant vascular tissues is well studied but the factors involved…

Review: An extended root phenotype: the rhizosphere, its formation and impacts on plant fitness (Plant J.)

The rhizosphere is a continuous space for microbial colonization that comprises the rhizospheric soil, the rhizoplane (root surface), and the root endosphere, which is the apoplastic space in the root cortex. It is inhabited by unique populations of microorganisms, influenced by plant genotype and the…

A chemical elicitor, 4- fluorophenoxyacetic acid suppresses insect pest populations and increases crop yields (PNAS)

Plant strengtheners, synthetic chemical elicitors, have been shown to enhance plant resistance against various insect pests without toxic effects on the environment, but evidence is lacking for a significant increase in crop growth and yield after using these elicitors. To address this, Wang et al. studied…

Horizontal gene transfer of Fhb7 from fungus underlies Fusarium head blight resistance in wheat (Science)

Mycotoxins are fungal toxins with harmful health effects on humans and other animals. Fusarium head blight is a fungal disease of wheat inflorescences that can contaminate the grain and harm its consumers. Previously, Fhb7 was identified in the wheat relative Thinopyrum elongatum as a quantitative trait…

Review: Devastating intimacy: the cell biology of plant–Phytophthora interactions (New Phytol)

Phytophthora are plant-destroying oomycetes. Within this genus are several infamous disease-causing agents: P. infestans of the potato late-blight fame, P. sojae of soybean root rot, P. ramorum of sudden oak death, and many other lesser-known species. This fine new review by Boevink et al. explores the…