Recent Posts

Sweet and Juicy: Identification and Origins of the Dry Alleles in Sorghum

Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) is the fifth most important cereal crop globally and is considered to be the “camel among crops” due to its ability to flourish in low-nutrient soils and to withstand prolonged drought. Cultivated varieties are phenotypically and morphological diverse. Consequently, sorghum…

Cellulose Synthase Stoichiometry Varies among Species and Tissues

Cellulose, the most abundant biopolymer on earth, is an important structural component of the primary and secondary cell wall of plant cells. It is also found in animals (tunicates), oomycetes, and bacteria (Kumar and Turner, 2015). Besides providing support and rigidity in living organisms, cellulose…

Enzyme helps as a transcription factor in lignin production

Arjen Dijkgraaf | Wednesday, July 4, 2018 (Originally published in C2W Boeken. Translation by Google Translate) In poplars a protein appears to have a bizarre double function: it makes building blocks for amino acids but also regulates the production of lignin. It could be a new way to create…

A 5-enolpyruvylshikimate 3-phosphate synthase functions as a transcriptional repressor in Populus

Here’s a fascinating story; starting with an association study, Xie et al. found that a protein previously identified as an enzyme involved in phenylpropanoid metabolism (specifically, 5-enolpyruvylshikimate 3-phosphate synthase, EPSP) also acts as a transcriptional regulator of this pathway, not only…

Life of PPi: Soluble PPases and H+-PPase act cooperatively to keep pyrophosphate levels in check

Inorganic phosphate (PPi) is a byproduct of many metabolic reactions, including those involved in sucrose, sugar nucleotide, and cellulose biosynthesis. Although PPi is an important phosphate donor and source of cellular energy, high levels of cytosolic PPi are toxic, disrupting the metabolic reactions…

A New Polysaccharide with a Long Evolutionary History

By Peter Ulvskov and Jesper Harholt For the first time in a very long time, a new polysaccharide is reported in plants. Roberts et al. (2018) discovered an arabinoglucan in the moss Physcomitrella patens. This discovery came about not as a result of biochemical characterization of the moss cell…

A moss glycosyltransferase produces a novel cell wall arabinoglucan ($) (Plant Cell)

Plants produce a wide range of polysaccharides in their cell walls, some of which are restricted to certain species. Roberts et al. investigated a moss gene encoding an enzyme that resembles a mixed-linkage (1,3;1,4)-β-glucan (MLG) synthase. When expressed in tobacco, this enzyme produces a novel unbranched,…

Press Release: Could eating moss be good for your gut?

New work published in The Plant Cell is featured in this press release from the University of Adelaide. An international team of scientists including the University of Adelaide has discovered a new complex carbohydrate in moss that could possibly be exploited for health or other uses. The scientists,…