Recent Posts

A new order through disorder: intrinsically disordered proteins reshape the cytoskeleton under drought stress

Many proteins have a clearly defined structure-function relationship – specific three-dimensional folds can be linked to specific protein functions. We do however know that many proteins – referred to as intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) – lack rigid three-dimensional organisation. In recent…

Endosidin20 targets the cellulose synthase catalytic domain to inhibit cellulose biosynthesis (Plant Cell)

Cellulose is an indispensable component of plant cell wall formation. Cellulose is synthesized at the plasma membrane by a cellulose synthase complex (CSC) made up of at least 18 monomeric cellulose synthases (CESAs). In this study, Huang et al. used a chemical genetic approach to explore the structure…

Newly identified miRNAs may contribute to aerenchyma formation in sugarcane roots (Plant Direct)

Sugarcane is one of the major crops for sugar and ethanol production and has been successfully used for first generation ethanol production through sucrose fermentation, but second generation ethanol production, through cell wall depolymerization, is still limited. Aerenchyma formation in sugarcane root…

Unlocking interspecies grafting (bioRxiv)

Plant grafting is an agricultural technique that joins plant tissues (e.g., the shoot and root) to confer beneficial traits from one plant to another. Although interfamily grafting is difficult in general, Notaguchi et al. found that Nicotiana benthamiana (Nb) has a strong potential to graft with phylogenetically…

A two-way molecular dialogue between embryo and endosperm is required for seed development ($) (Science)

During seed formation, the developing embryo becomes covered with a water-impermeable cuticle. Several Arabidopsis mutants have been identified that are defective in cuticle formation and provide a framework for how it is formed. Doll et al. have added a missing piece to this puzzle. Briefly, embryo…

Genetic contribution of paleopolyploidy to adaptive evolution in angiosperms (Mol Plant)

Genetic contribution of paleopolyploidy to adaptive evolution in angiosperms Comparative genomics has revealed that the angiosperms have experienced numerous whole-genome duplications (WGD), which have been proposed to have contributed to their global dominance. Following WGD, many of the…

Transcriptomic and cell wall analysis of stinging nettle, an underutilized fibre crop (Plant Direct)

Plant fibres from crops such as flax and hemp have diverse uses from rope to clothing, and are increasingly being incorporated into eco-friendly biocomposite materials.  These long, flexible, useful fibres, called “bast” fibres, are not derived from the xylem, but instead are derived from specialized…

Review: Methods to quantify primary plant cell wall mechanics ( J. Exp. Bot)

Plant growth and morphogenesis are linked to cell wall properties, so a deep understanding of cell wall biochemistry and mechanics is essential for studying plant development. In a recent review, Bidhendi and Geitmann describe current and emerging techniques for the analysis of cell wall mechanics. Classic…

Lignin-based resistance to Cuscuta campestris in tomato (bioRxiv)

Dodder (Cuscuta campestris) is a plant that parasitizes other plants by forming penetrating haustoria through which they tap into the host’s vascular tissues and extract nutrients. Most tomatoes are susceptible, but a few varieties are resistant. Jhu and Farhi et al. examined these resistant varieties…