Recent Posts

CRISPR Mutants Shed Light on Pectin’s Role in Tomato Fruit Softening

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fruits undergo pronounced softening during ripening. Softening is important for flavor development and overall palatability, but also impacts fruit storage, transportability, and shelf life. Shelf life is a particularly important quality trait of tomato fruits affected by…

Special Issue - Plant Biotechnology, focus on lignin (Curr Opin Biotechnol) ($)

A forthcoming issue of Current Opinion in Biotechnology features a set of reviews on the topic of lignin, particularly its chemistry and applications. Lignin is a complex set of polymers that provide structural support to vascular plants (See Renault et al. for insights into lignin's evolutionary origins).…

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…

Complete substitution of a secondary cell wall with primary cell wall in Arabidopsis (Nature Plants - $)

Plant cell walls are important for terrestrial lifestyle, providing support and directing the plant growth. The primary and secondary cell walls differ in their chemical composition and flexibility. Secondary cell walls are less perceptive to industrial degradation processes and therefore pose problems…

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…

Cell wall properties in Oryza sativa influence mesophyll carbon dioxide conductance (New Phytol) $

Mesophyll CO2 conductance (gm) is an important factor in determining the concentration of CO2 at the site of fixation in the chloroplast stroma, and as such is crucial for determining photosynthetic capacity.  The mesophyll cell wall provides a major site of resistance to CO2 diffusion into the stroma…