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…

A chemical elicitor, 4- fluorophenoxyacetic acid suppresses insect pest populations and increases crop yields (PNAS)

Plant strengtheners, synthetic chemical elicitors, have been shown to enhance plant resistance against various insect pests without toxic effects on the environment, but evidence is lacking for a significant increase in crop growth and yield after using these elicitors. To address this, Wang et al. studied…

STRESS INDUCED FACTOR 2 regulates arabidopsis stomatal immunity through phosphorylation of the anion channel SLAC1 ($) (Plant Cell)

Plants detect microbes by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) that sense common conserved structures called microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) and trigger the innate immunity responses. Chan et al. identified a new player in the Arabidopsis immune response known as STRESS INDUCED FACTOR 2…

Interplay between phosphorylation and ubiquitination is key for regulating reactive oxygen species during plant immunity (Nature Comms)

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are essential secondary messengers for rapid transmission of local and long-distance signalling in plants. Respiratory oxidase homologs (RBOHs) are the family of enzymes in plants that produce extracellular ROS, with RBOHD being the primary oxidase in Arabidopsis for ROS…

Structural evolution drives diversification of the large LRR-RLK gene family (New Phytol)

Leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases (LRR-RLKs) act as signaling receptors, are the largest plant-specific protein kinase family, and are involved in myriad developmental activities and defense systems. Due to the large number of proteins in this group, their diversification and consequent redundancy…

Self-isolation to the rescue – how plasmodesmata initiate signaling in response to chitin (PNAS)

Plant cells are known to initiate local and systemic signaling in response to certain stressful conditions to safeguard cells in the immediate vicinity as well as that are far from the site of stimuli. In this study, Cheval and co-workers have characterized a pathway in plant cells for sensing and responding…

A plant kinase exploited by a bacterial effector (bioRxiv)

Pathogens have evolved a suite of effector proteins that are secreted into plants and aid successful colonization. AvrPtoB is a well-conserved effector of pathogenic Pseudomonas syringae strains that targets multiple plant defense-related proteins and is required for pathogen virulence and bacterial…

The pan-genome effector-triggered immunity landscape (Science)

Successful plant pathogens produce a suite of small molecules called effectors that are injected into plant cells and perturb plant defense. As a counter defense, plants have evolved intracellular receptors (called NLRs; nucleotide-binding domain leucine-rich repeat) that detect specific effectors and…

R gene-miRNA-phasiRNA regulatory module (Nature Comms)

In plants, like people, having an overactive immune response is just as bad as having an underactive one. R genes in plants are key immune components that need to be kept quiet until needed. Previous studies have shown that miRNAs are involved in suppressing R gene expression, in a process that is amplified…