Recent Posts

Review: Integrating cellular electron microscopy with multimodal data to explore biology across space and time

Fifty years ago (1974), Albert Claude, Christian de Duve, and George Palade were awarded the Nobel Prize for their discoveries on the structural and functional organization of the cell, which Claude eloquently framed by writing, “We have entered the cell, the mansion of our birth, and started the inventory…

Review: The exocyst complex is targeted by pathogen effectors

The exocyst complex is a conserved octameric protein complex in eukaryotic cells. Its primary function is to tether secretory vesicles to the plasma membrane during the exocytosis process, and it is also involved in autophagy and host-pathogen interactions. Intriguingly, EXO70, one of the subunits of…

Evolution of the thermostability of actin-depolymerizing factors enhances pollen germination at high temperature

In angiosperms, pollen germination leads to a period of extensive polarized growth of the pollen tube, which carries the sperm nuclei to the ovule. Studies of tip growth in both pollen tubes and root hairs have contributed to a descriptive model that involves polarized vesicle movement along the cytoskeleton…

Selective autophagy of THOUSAND GRAIN WEIGHT 6 protein

Rice is a globally important crop, therefore increasing yield without compromising quality is of much interest. A reduction in the amount of the TGW6 (THOUSAND-GRAIN WEIGHT 6) protein is associated with improved grain yield and quality in rice. However, we do not fully understand how TGW6 protein levels…

Microtubule-associated proteins regulate fruit shape in tomato

Microtubule binding proteins are important in determining fruit shape by driving changes in microtubule arrangement. However, in depth molecular studies on these in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) have been limited. Here, Bao et al. investigated the microtubule binding protein Microtubule-Associated Protein…

Review: Red macroalgae in the genomic era

I highly recommend this excellent and accessible article by Borg et al. that provides an overview of the red macroalgae, which “may have been the first eukaryotic lineage to have evolved complex multicellularity”. It’s full of fascinating information: although 97% of red algal species are marine,…

Plant Physiology Focus Issue: Plant Cell Polarity

The September issue of Plant Physiology has a focus on plant cell polarity, which plays a pivotal role in the fundamental processes that dictate plant growth, development, and adaptation. By establishing distinct regions within cells, plant cell polarity is crucial for regulating asymmetric cell divisions,…

CPK32 regulates cellulose biosynthesis through post-translational modification of cellulose synthase

Cellulose in one of the most abundant polymers on the planet and is synthesized by plasma membrane-bound cellulose synthases (CESAs). Phosphorylation plays a role in CESA regulation, however the kinases which catalyse the phosphorylation are not well described. Here Xin et al. identified calcium-dependent…

Gravity sensing involves LZY translocation from statoliths to the plasma membrane

In plants, gravity sensing is orchestrated by specialized cells called statocytes that contain starch-filled plastids (amyloplasts) called statoliths, whose positions are influenced by the direction of gravity. However, the molecular mechanisms of gravity sensing and signaling are poorly understood.…