Recent Posts

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…

Whitefly hijacks a plant detoxification gene that neutralizes plant toxins (Cell)

The sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, are devastating crop pests that lower yields and transmit viruses. They feed off more than 600 species, most of which produce toxic phenolic glycosides. Xia et al. investigated how the whiteflies manage to avoid the effects of the toxin. They found convincing…

Review: Microbiota-root-shoot-environment axis and stress tolerance in plants ($) (COPB)

Roots and shoots exist in different environments and have different functions, but each depends on the actions of the other. In recent years, many factors have been identified that move from root to shoot or vice versa to integrate their actions; these include hormones, small RNAs, peptides, and transcription…

Not PTI or ETI: PTI and ETI (Nature)

Two very exciting papers have come out this week in Nature that address a long-standing question about the relative contributions of two different plant immunity pathways. PTI (pathogen-triggered immunity) recognizes conserved pathogen signatures at the plant cell surface; a model system for PTI is the…

Phytoplasma effector physically interacts with host proteasome to promote bacterial growth

As a way to circumnavigate the plant innate immune system, phytopathogens evolved effector molecules that protect the pathogen from the plant’s defenses. SAP05, an effector from the insect-vectored phytoplasma Candidatus (a bacterial obligate parasite), is responsible for the plant phenotype observed…

Review: Plant evolution driven by interactions with symbiotic and pathogenic microbes (Science)

One of the great questions in plant science has been, “How do plants recognize friend from foe?” Like most great questions, this one benefits from a historical perspective. In their new review, Delaux and Schornack look at plant evolution through the lens of plant interactions with symbiotic and…

A stable antimicrobial peptide with dual functions of treating and preventing citrus Huanglongbing (PNAS)

Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB) caused by the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) is the most destructive disease of citrus and currently has no cure. Current management practices are also not effective. Huang et al. used comparative analysis of small RNAs and mRNAs between HLB-sensitive and…

Rhizobia use a pathogenic-like effector to hijack leguminous nodulation signaling (Sci Reports)

Symbiotic interactions between legume plants and compatible rhizobia bacteria lead to the formation of nitrogen-fixing nodules in the host plant root. Compatibility between rhizobia and host plants is determined by various factors like plant species-specific flavonoid secretion, extracellular polysaccharides…