Recent Posts

Nanoscale movements of cellulose microfibrils in primary cell walls ($)

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Cell walls are complex mixtures of cellulose microfibrils, proteins and other materials. Their mechanical properties can be measured and modeled, but it is not always simple to translate these measurements to changes at the molecular level. Zhang et al. used atomic force microscopy to provide an unprecedented…

Sugars Inform the Circadian Clock How to Shape Rice Shoots via the Strigolactone Pathway

Circadian clocks act as universal timekeepers to harmonize internal processes with external day-night rhythms. Genetic feedback loops gear these inner clocks by approximating time in response to dawn-dusk cycles. In plants, development, growth, hormone action, metabolism and other downstream events are…

A prion-like domain in ELF3 functions as a thermosensor in Arabidopsis (Nature)

As sessile organisms, sensing the external conditions is critical for plants to complete their life cycle and temperature is one of the major factors. In Arabidopsis, the evening complex senses the temperature and it consists of EARLY FLOWERING3 (ELF3), a scaffolding protein; ELF4, helical protein; LUX…

In the Cold of the Night: how COR27 Regulates HY5 Activity and Integrates Light and Circadian Signals

Zhu et al. discover that the COR27 protein interacts with the central regulators of light-mediated development COP1 and HY5 and plays a critical role in hypocotyl elongation. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.20.00192 By Wei Zhu (Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen, China)…

How Light Activates the Plant Circadian Clock

Liu et al. discover how members of the photosensory-signaling pathway orchestrate circadian clock gene expression to regulate plant responses to daily changes in the light environment. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.19.00981  Background: Plants use an endogenous time-keeping mechanism known…

Breaking Water-wise Photosynthesis

Boxall et al. explore the effects of silencing phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase in a Crassulacean acid metabolism species. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.19.00481 By Susie Boxall and James Hartwell Background: Severe droughts and high temperatures are becoming more frequent due to climate…

Central clock components modulate plant shade avoidance by directly repressing transcriptional activation activity of PIF proteins ($) (PNAS)

PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTORs (PIFs) are transcriptional factors that relay light signals from the phytochrome photoreceptors to regulate the expression of light-sensitive genes, but there is not a direct correlation between PIF binding and expression of the target genes. In this paper, Zhang Y et…

Global transcriptome analysis reveals circadian control of splicing events in Arabidopsis thaliana (bioRxiv)

Developmental programming, metabolism and plant growth are regulated by the circadian rhythm that integrates environmental signals and plant growth. In this paper, Romanowski et al. have used the RNAseq approach to determine post-transcriptional regulation in Arabidopsis thaliana, specifically alternate…

Coordination of circadian times in Arabidopsis seedlings (PLOS Biol)

Precise temporal control is crucial for plant developmental processes, e.g., photosynthesis, leaf movement, and flowering. In this work, Greenwood et al. studied how rhythms are coordinated at the whole-organism level. The authors monitored the activity of GIGANTEA (GI), a core clock gene, using a LUCIFERASE…

Glyphosate-based herbicide effectiveness can be maximized by considering plant circadian rhythms (Nature Comms)

Plants’ internal circadian clocks regulate the timing of many physiological and developmental processes. This circadian clock also controls plant sensitivity to the herbicide glyphosate, which is maximally effective at dawn. Here, Belbin et al. showed that the minimum effective dose varies with time…