Recent Posts

How Marchantia polymorpha avoids bug bites (bioRxiv)

Plants took hundreds of million years to evolve from aquatic to land environments. Biotic and abiotic stress adaptation contributed to the transition. In this preprint, Romani et al. elucidated functions of the transcription factor CLASS I HOMEODOMAIN LEUCINE-ZIPPER (C1HDZ) in the early land plant Marchantia…

Review: How mycorrhizal associations drive plant population and community biology ($) (Science)

Great strides have been made in discovering the molecular players that allow plants and mycorrhizal fungi to establish their symbiosis. Here, Tedersoo et al. look beyond the single plant and address how these associations affect plant communities. Notably, they review the functions of the four evolutionarily…

Two MYB proteins in a self-organizing activator-inhibitor system produce spotted pigmentation patterns (Curr. Biol.)

The questions of how patterns are formed is one of the oldest in biology, and even considered by the famous mathematician Alan Turing, who proposed that reaction-diffusion (RD) models underly de novo pattern formation. Briefly, a reaction that takes place in one place sends a signal that leads to a different…

Hybrid autoimmunity and a plant resistosome complex ($) (Cell Host Microbe)

Hybrid necrosis occurs when the progeny of a cross between two different plants show widespread cell death. It can be caused by autoactivation of nucleotide-binding and leucine rich repeat domain (NLR) proteins, intracellular immune receptors that play a central role in plant resistance to diverse pathogens.…

Mildew Locus O facilitates colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in angiosperms (New Phytol.)

In plants, disease resistance genes typically act in a dominant way – the presence of a resistance allele, even a single copy, is enough to confer resistance. The barley gene Mildew Resistance Locus O (MLO1) is different, as it acts in a recessive way; loss-of-function mlo1 plants are resistant to…

Some mycoheterotrophic orchids depend on carbon from deadwood: novel evidence from a radiocarbon approach (New Phytol.)

A mycoheterotrophic ("fungal-other-eating") plant takes carbon nutrients from a fungus, but as fungi are not themselves photosynthetic, the (ectomycorrhizal) fungus must get its carbon from somewhere, usually a plant. Thus the typical flow of carbon goes from autotrophic photosynthesizing plant to fungus…

Reprogramming of root cells during nitrogen-fixing symbiosis involves dynamic polysome association of coding and noncoding RNAs ($) (Plant Cell)

The symbiotic relationship between Rhizobium bacteria and leguminous plants like Medicago results in the development of secondary root organs called nodules. The bacteria housed in the nodule infection zone assimilate atmospheric nitrogen for plant growth. In this paper, Traubenik et al. used (RNA-seq)…

Rhizosphere microbiome mediates systemic root metabolite exudation ($) (PNAS)

Roots exude metabolites that affect the composition and activities of their microbiome. Korenblum et al. show that the microbiome in turn affects metabolite exudation, not only locally but also systemically (shown using a split-root system). They call this response SIREM: systemically induced root exudation…

Insect herbivory antagonizes leaf cooling responses to elevated temperature in tomato (PNAS)

Plants have strategies to cool themselves when the temperature is hot. These include increasing their rate of transpirational cooling through stomatal opening and raising their leaves, which can enhance air flow. Previous studies have shown a role for the heat shock proteins (HSPs) and their cochaperone…