Recent Posts

Update: Lateral root formation and nutrients: nitrogen in the spotlight (Plant Physiol)

We marvel at the ability of starfish to regenerate an arm, or a lizard a new tail, but even more impressive than these feats is the ability of a plant root system to create lateral roots when and where they are needed. This root system plasticity has been long studied, with a wealth of insights into…

Phytochrome regulates cellular response plasticity and the basic molecular machinery of leaf development (Plant Physiol)

The effects of light on plant growth are incredibly complex and depend on where it is perceived, light quantity, light quality (wavelength), and when within the circadian cycle it is perceived. Romanowski et al. examined the effect of late-day far-red light perception in Arabidopsis leaves. This treatment…

LEAFY is a pioneer transcription factor and licenses cell reprogramming to floral fate (Nature Comms)

Master transcription factors (TFs) can activate specific genetic programs to reprogram cellular fate in the context of open chromatin. A special class of these proteins known as pioneer TFs are defined by their ability to trigger cell fate reprogramming by binding their cognate cis motifs in a nucleosome…

A complementary mechanism to the microRNA-mediated control of leaf size (Plant Physiol)

Plants form leaves with highly reproducible sizes and shapes by employing a conserved set of developmental regulators. During early leaf growth, a zone of high cell proliferation is formed towards the proximal end of the lamina.  Proliferating cells progressively exit this zone and enter the distal…

Enhancing grain-yield-related traits by CRISPR-Cas9 promoter editing of maize CLE genes (Nature Plants)

During domestication of maize, one of the favorable traits was meristem size. Understanding the genetic circuit of maize meristem development and engineering for crop productivity are important from an agricultural perspective. In this article, Lie et al. used CRISPR-Cas9 to edit the promoter regions…

Gene expression signatures during leaf development

Martinez et al. use laser capture microdissection and transcriptomic sequencing to explore how gene expression patterns regulate early morphogenesis of the compound tomato leaf. http://bit.ly/3nehiZu  By Ciera Martinez, University of California, Berkeley Neelima Sinha, University of California,…

Three-dimensional reconstructions of haustoria in two parasitic plant species in the Orobanchaceae (Plant Physiol)

Parasitic plants form haustoria, which are specialized multicellular structures that penetrate into their host’s vasculature and act as conduits for nutrients.  The molecular and genetic contributors to haustorium development and function are well described. Here, Masumoto et al. have provided new…

Alternative splicing generates a MONOPTEROS isoform required for ovule development (Curr. Biol.)

Auxin shapes the plant body and drives the formation of lateral organs such as roots and ovules. In the current model, AUXIN RESPONSE FACTORs (ARFs) are transcription factors that regulate plant growth by activating signaling in an auxin dose-dependent manner, regulated by Aux/IAA proteins. Here,…

A long shot: Photosynthesis-derived systemic signal controls lateral root emergence (Plant Physiol.)

Photosynthesis, in addition to generating ‘food’ for plants, is also known to control root growth, although the mechanism has been unknown. Duan and co-workers identified CYCLOPHILIN38 (CYP38) as necessary for photosynthesis-mediated lateral root (LR) emergence. The chloroplast-localized CYP38 is…