Recent Posts

Review: Feedback mechanisms between membrane lipid homeostasis and plant development (Dev. Cell)

Plant development is a regulated process of cell division, expansion, and differentiation. Membrane lipids are crucial to these processes, as illustrated in this review by Boutté and Jaillais. The authors discuss the major lipid components in the different membrane systems and how these vary in space…

The biogenesis of CLEL peptides involves several processing events in consecutive compartments of the secretory pathway (eLIFE)

Small signaling peptides are cleaved from precursor proteins by the action of proteases and are also subject to other post-translational modifications. Subtilases (SBT) are mostly extracellular proteases, but SBT6.1 is membrane-localized at the Golgi and plasma membranes. Furthermore, it has been shown…

Review: Functions of anionic lipids in plants (Annu. Rev. Plant Biol.)

Moving materials within and out of cells requires that membranes carry identification labels, but when the membrane itself moves, that ID label must be updated. These requirements are met ingeniously by the anionic lipids, which are both a modifiable information system and simultaneously modify the physicochemical…

Review: Devastating intimacy: the cell biology of plant–Phytophthora interactions (New Phytol)

Phytophthora are plant-destroying oomycetes. Within this genus are several infamous disease-causing agents: P. infestans of the potato late-blight fame, P. sojae of soybean root rot, P. ramorum of sudden oak death, and many other lesser-known species. This fine new review by Boevink et al. explores the…

“Order by disorder”- intrinsically disordered proteins (Plant Physiol.)

Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDP) have repetitive protein sequences but lack a defined 3D structure and are deployed to do some challenging functions that a protein with a defined 3D structure cannot perform. One such IDP, Oryza sativa REPETITIVE PROLINE-RICH PROTEIN (OsRePRP) is involved in inhibiting…

Mechanical shielding in plant nuclei (Curr. Biol.)

The nucleus is an organelle with tremendous shape flexibility in response to environmental cues; it has been described as the “plastic, elastic, and fantastic” organelle. The change in nuclear geometry based on mechanical stress is well documented from single cell studies in culture, but the question…

Nitrate defines shoot size through compensatory roles for endoreplication and cell division (Curr. Biol.)

In this paper, Moreno et al. investigate how nitrate affects the balance between cell proliferation and cell expansion in shoots during early seedling development. They note that the cells in Arabidopsis cotyledons undergo considerable enlargement, and that the increase in cell size is correlated with…

Evolution of tetraploid meiosis (PNAS)

Genome duplications are common in plants and thought to be an important contributor to evolutionary innovations, but the increase in ploidy that results from a genome duplication also presents challenges for reproduction. Because there are four sets of homologous chromosomes in the derived tetraploid…

How to transfer lipids from one membrane to another during thylakoid biogenesis (PNAS)

The thylakoid membranes are located in the stroma of chloroplasts and house the machinery for the photosynthetic light reactions. They emerge largely de novo during the transition from pro-plastids into mature, photosynthesizing chloroplasts. Generating new thylakoid membranes requires a supply of lipids,…