Recent Posts

Review. Message in a Bubble: Shuttling small RNAs and proteins between cells and interacting organisms using extracellular vesicles (Annu. Rev. Plant Biol.)

Small RNAs have big effects and can serve to shut down or silence gene expression. Recently, studies have found that small RNAs can contribute to plant defense beyond the boundary of the plant, by being packed into extracellular vesicles (EVs) and delivered to a pathogen. Cai et al. review our current…

A bacterial effector targets a plant iron sensing protein, and benefits pathogen growth (Plant Cell)

Pathogens often appropriate iron from their hosts, as acquisition of iron is vital to sustain life for most organisms. As demonstrated in this paper by Xing et al., an effector protein, AvrRps4, from a common bacterial plant pathogen, Pseudomonas syringae, directly interacts with BRUTUS (BTS), an iron…

Review. Under siege: virus control in plant meristems and progeny (Plant Cell)

Perhaps, when our lives have been turned upside down by a human pathogenic virus, it’s easy to overlook the fact that plants too suffer from viral infections; but of course, they do. (And of course, famously, viruses were first discovered in plants). Although it is difficult to cure a plant of a virus…

Give and Take: Lipid exchanges drove the evolution of mutualism during plant terrestrialization (Science)

Plants form symbiotic associations with a variety of microbial partners, among which arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are prominent. AMF are known to enrich plants with a host of vital nutrients including the essential macronutrient phosphorus. While the finer details of plant-AMF association are known…

Review: Recent discoveries show novel sensors and regulation of reactive oxygen species (Nature Plants)

Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) are produced as metabolic byproducts and are vital participants in development and stress responses. However, ROS can be damaging, and are subcellularly localized to mitigate toxicity. Perception of pathogen attack leads to apoplastic ROS production through Respiratory Burst…

Review: One cell, many signatures: Organellar Ca2+ signaling (Plant Physiol.)

Calcium ions (Ca2+) occupy a primary position in plant cell signaling processes by virtue of their role as the so-called second messengers. Ca2+ signaling underlies plant response to various abiotic, biotic and developmental cues. Whilst this Ca2+ signaling was thought to predominantly occur in the cytoplasm,…

SeedQuant: A deep learning-based tool for assessing stimulant and inhibitor activity on root parasitic seeds (Plant Physiol.)

Parasitic plants can completely wipe out a farmer’s harvest. The seeds can lie dormant in soil until they perceive signals from potential host plants, which stimulate germination. Therefore, germination stimulants applied to fields before the crops are planted can cause the parasitic seeds to germinate…

Natural variation identifies a Pxy gene controlling vascular organization and formation of nodules and lateral roots in Lotus japonicus (New Phytol.)

Symbiosis between legumes and nitrogen-fixing bacteria such as Mesorhizobium loti requires an exchange of signals. Plants recognize both specific nod factors (lipochitooligosaccharides) as well as cell-surface exopolysaccharides through distinct pathways. The M. loti exoU mutant fails to properly form…

Plantae Presents: Sophia Stone and Sjon Hartman

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  Plantae Presents: Sophia Stone and Sjon Hartman Recorded April 14  Sophia Stone: The ubiquitin-proteasome system at the crossroads of abiotic and biotic stress tolerance Sophia Stone earned her PhD at York University, Canada, and completed an HFSP long-term fellowship at the University…