Recent Posts

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…

EXPANSIN A1-mediated radial swelling of pericycle cells positions anticlinal cell divisions during lateral root initiation ($) (PNAS)

Lateral root development helps plants explore the soil for mineral nutrients and water, and there are environmental and internal cues that precede the formation of lateral root primordia. In Arabidopsis thaliana, some of these internal cues include increased auxin concentrations around lateral root founder…

The Surprisingly Similar Glycomes of Maize and Arabidopsis Golgi

Okekeogbu et al. compare the glycomes and proteomes of the Golgi in grasses and dicots, finding that the differences in cell wall architecture are not reflected in differences between polysaccharides produced in the Golgi. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00755 Background: Grasses and other…

Generating novel, dual herbicide-resistant crops using CRISPR-mediated gene editing (Plant Physiol)

There is an ever-growing need for novel herbicides as more weeds are becoming resistant to commonly used herbicides. In a recent report from Hu et al., the authors identified that a previously described cellulose biosynthesis-inhibiting chemical, C17, possesses an herbicidal quality. The authors showed…

Acetylation in the Assembly of Cell-Wall Architecture

Zhang et al. discover a deacetylase from rice that highlights the importance regulating acetylation in the cell wall. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00894 By Baocai Zhang and Yihua Zhou, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences Background: Plant cells…