Recent Posts

Phylogenomics reveals multiple losses of nitrogen-fixing root nodule symbiosis (Science)

The ability to participate in nitrogen-fixing root nodule symbiosis shows an interesting phylogenetic pattern, with some families showing a large number of nodulating species interspersed with non-nodulating ones, and some families showing only a few nodulating species. A current model suggests that…

Pathogenic Bacteria Use A “Self-Eating” Process to Trick Plants

Üstün  et al. show that pathogenic Pseudomonas enhances the autophagic turnover of proteins in Arabidopsis https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00815. By Suayib Üstün and Daniel Hofius Background: Autophagy and the proteasome are the major pathways for protein degradation in eukaryotes. While the…

Plant exosomes mediate cross-kingdom RNA interference ($) (Science)

Small RNAs (sRNAs) trafficking between host plant and pathogens can occur in a wide range on interactions. Pathogen-produced sRNAs have been shown to suppress host plant immunity, and conversely host plant-derived sRNAs can reduce pathogen virulence by targeting pathogenic genes of the pest. Nevertheless,…

The repetitive effector Rsp3 promotes the virulence of the corn smut fungus Ustilago maydis

The corn smut fungus Ustilago maydis manipulates maize tissues and cells through the secretion of effectors that modulate host protein activities. In a recent article published in Nature Communications, Ma et al. characterize a highly repetitive effector protein family (Rsp3, repetitive secreted protein…

Opinion: Non-mycorrhizal Plants: The exceptions that prove the rule (TIPS)

Most vascular plants establish in their roots a multifunctional symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi.  Among the 29% that do not host AM fungi are 66-92%  of the members of the Brassicaceae family, including some major crops (broccoli, oilseed rape) as well as the model plant Arabidopsis…

Identification of cold tolerance genes and a functional allele that confers cold tolerance ($) (Plant Physiol.)

Xiao et al. used 1,033 rice accessions for GWAS to identify QTLs associated with cold tolerance.  In general, japonica-type varieties showed greater cold tolerance than indica types.  The authors identified many QTLs for cold tolerance at the seedling and booting (initiation of panicles) stages. They…

Small Peptide PSK Induces Plant Immunity Against Botrytis cinerea

Zhang et al. show how PSK initiates Ca2+- and auxin-dependent immunity https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00537.  By Huan Zhang, Zhangjian Hu and Kai Shi Background: During plant-microbe interactions, some small secreted peptides are secreted into the apoplast between plant cells as damage-associated…

PLANT PROTEIN MEETS HOMER´S TROJAN HORSE

By Karina van der Linde and Virginia Walbot  Background: In contrast to animals in which meiotically competent cells develop in embryos, plants switch from vegetative to reproductive growth only during flowering. In maize, the most productive cereal crop, the tassel contains male flowers in which…

A plant phytosulfokine peptide initiates auxin-dependent immunity through cytosolic Ca2+ signaling (Plant Cell)

Plants are exposed to a wide variety of biotic stressors such as herbivores and microbial pathogens. Thus, they have developed a sophisticated response system which involves different signal molecules and accurate signaling pathway responses. Among them, phytosulfokine (PSK), a disulfated pentapeptide,…