Recent Posts

Single-cell genomics unveils an ectosymbiont cyanobacteria associated with a dinoflagellate host (PNAS)

Cyanobacteria are important contributors to global carbon fixation. They can be free-living in many different environments, but also form close symbiotic associations with various eukaryotic organisms. Nakayama et al. have idea identified a new type of cyanobacteria that lives as an ectosymbiont in a…

Lignin-based resistance to Cuscuta campestris in tomato (bioRxiv)

Dodder (Cuscuta campestris) is a plant that parasitizes other plants by forming penetrating haustoria through which they tap into the host’s vascular tissues and extract nutrients. Most tomatoes are susceptible, but a few varieties are resistant. Jhu and Farhi et al. examined these resistant varieties…

Root development is maintained by specific bacteria-bacteria interactions (bioRxiv)

Understanding plant-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions is challening. Both kinds of interactions have significant impacts on plant health and nutritional uptake. Finkel et al. address how microbe-microbe interactions shape plant phenotypes by using the synthetic microbial community (SynCom) consisting…

Update. GMO-free RNAi: exogenous application of RNA molecules in plants (Plant Physiol)

Criticism of transgenic plants and GMOs motivates research into effective GMO-free RNA delivery methods. In this review, Dalakouras et al. discuss different strategies for exogenous application of RNA molecules (dsRNAs, siRNAs) into plants to trigger RNA interference (RNAi) against various targets, such…

Conserved biochemical defenses underpin host responses to oomycete infection in liverwort (Curr Biol)

Marchantia polymorpha is an emerging model for plant molecular biology and has contributed to studies on development and plant-microbe interactions. Here, using RNA-seq and proteomics, Carella et al. present a detailed time-course analysis of Marchantia molecular responses to pathogen infection triggered…

A liverwort-Pseudomonas interaction reveals an ancient plant defensive mechanism (Curr Biol)

Plants are sessile organisms that have evolved sophisticated immune systems in defense of pathogens, thus maximizing the chance of survival. Most of our understanding of plant defenses comes from studies in angiosperms. Evolutionary molecular plant-microbe interactions (EvoMPMI) can reveal the origins…

RIN4/NOI fragments utilize different N-end rules of degradation to fight off pathogens (Plant Physiol)

To fight off invading pathogens, plants such as Arabidopsis are intrinsically programmed with a subset of defense responses often known as pattern-triggered immunity (PTI) and effector-triggered immunity (ETI). AvrRpt2, an effector secreted by the pathogen Pseudomonas syringe, is a protease that can…

PEN3 and PDR12 secrete camalexin to the apoplast to limit pathogen growth in Arabidopsis (Plant Cell)

Phytoalexins are important antimicrobial compounds that plants synthesize to fend off invading pathogens. In the Brassica family, the tryptophan (trp)-derived phytoalexin ‘camalexin’ provides broad-spectrum resistance against bacterial, fungal, and oomycete pathogens. The regulation of camalexin…

Drought conditions reduce root-feeding nematode predator populations (PNAS)

Climate change is expected to cause numerous negative impacts on plant populations. An under considered area that will be affected are the communities of soil organisms that rely on a delicate balance of environmental conditions, particularly in grasslands that receive moderate precipitation (mesic grasslands).…