Recent Posts

Auxin production in the endosperm drives seed coat development in Arabidopsis

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Seed vitality is critical for plants’ evolutionary survival and food production by economic crops such as rice, wheat, etc. Seed formation is preceded by well-coordinated events involving mainly fertilization, endosperm and seed coat formation in chronological order. How is the signal relayed from…

Review: Programmed Cell Death in Development and Disease

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Programmed cell death (PCD) is an active process that occurs as part of normal development and also contributes to defense against pathogens. While there are many similarities in developmental PCD (dPCD) and pathogen-triggered PCD (pPCD), there are also differences. Huysmans et al. review and contrast…

Another Step Closer to Understanding Plant Cell Wall Biosynthesis: The Crystal Structure of FUCOSYLTRANSFERASE1[

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IN BRIEF by Nancy R. Hofmann  nhofmann@aspb.org Plant cell walls consist of cellulose microfibrils embedded in a matrix of polymers including hemicelluloses. As one of the main hemicelluloses in the cell walls of dicots, xyloglucan is an important target of study to understand plant cell walls…

A Breakthrough in Monocot Transformation Methods

IN BRIEF by Nancy Hofmann nhoffman@aspb.org The ability to generate transgenic plants without regard to cultivar or genotype can be considered a holy grail of cereal crop transformation. Despite years of effort, it has been remarkably difficult to develop efficient methods for transformation of…

Examination of Protein Complexes Gets SiMPull

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IN BRIEF by Jennifer Mach jmach@aspb.org Assessing protein-protein interactions remains a fundamental challenge for plant biologists. Current methods such as coimmunoprecipitation (co-IP), yeast two-hybrid, bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC), and others can produce artifacts and also yield…

Divide and Conquer: Introducing a Novel Player in Cell Plate Formation

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IN BRIEF by Kathleen L. Farquharson kfarquharson@aspb.org Polysaccharide-rich cell walls are a distinguishing feature of plants that influence many aspects of growth and development, including cell division. Whereas contractile rings pinch dividing cells into two daughter cells in other eukaryotes,…

Invisible No Longer: Peptidoglycan in Moss Chloroplasts

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IN BRIEF by Nancy Hofmann nhofmann@aspb.org Most bacteria have a peptidoglycan layer between the inner and outer membranes (reviewed in Typas et al., 2012). The cyanobacterial endosymbiont that gave rise to plastids would have contained such a peptidoglycan wall including d-amino acids. Indeed, peptidoglycan…