Recent Posts

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

/
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…

Opposing, polarity-driven nuclear migrations underpin asymmetric divisions in stomatal patterning (Curr. Biol.)

Asymmetric cell divisions (ACDs) are often used by organisms to generate different cell sizes, each adopting a different cell fate. In plants, stomatal development provides an example of an ACD-derived patterning mechanism. Several proteins are known to be implicated in ACDs, like BREAKING OF ASYMMETRY…

Review: Gemma cup and gemma development in Marchantia polymorpha (New Phytol.)

Plants have the astounding capacity to generate new plants derived from specialized organs (i.e., roots, leaves, and stems). This capacity, known as vegetative propagation, is used by horticulturists and farmers to propagate clonal varieties. This form of reproduction is fueled by the ability to…

A GRF–GIF chimeric protein improves the regeneration efficiency of transgenic plants (Nature Biotechnol.)

Producing a genetically-modified or -edited plant requires two distinct processes: DNA modification, followed by regeneration of a plant from the edited cells. The first process has been greatly enhanced by CRISPR/Cas9, but the second has continued to present challenges. Here, Debernardi et al. demonstrate…

Transcriptional regulation of PLETHORA1 in the root meristem through an importin and its two antagonistic cargos (Plant Cell)

Plant root growth is sustained by stem cells in the root meristems, and the stem cell fate is maintained by the quiescent center (QC). PLETHORA (PLT) protein gradients contribute to maintaining the root meristem cell fate, although the transcriptional regulatory mechanism that establishes the PLT…

POME: Quantitative and dynamic cell polarity tracking pipeline (bioRxiv)

Many proteins polarize in the cell creating a subcellular niche for various functions. Asymmetric distribution of proteins is a general mechanism for localized growth, directional long-range signaling, cell migration, and asymmetric cell divisions. Well-known examples of polarity proteins include PIN-FORMED1…

A peptide pair coordinates regular ovule initiation patterns with seed number and fruit size (Curr. Biol.)

In Arabidopsis pistils, ovule primordia differentiate from the placenta - meristematic tissue within the two fused carpels - in parallel rows with a regular spacing of 2-4 cells. Since fruit growth and ovule formation determine the maximum number of seeds enclosed in a silique, these two processes…

KIN10 promotes stomatal development through stabilization of the SPEECHLESS transcription factor (Nat. Commun.)

Plants communicate with the environment through stomata (i.e., pores found on leaf surfaces) and regulate gas exchange depending on internal and external cues by optimizing stomata density. Still, how plants integrate metabolic and environmental signals remain to be determined. Here, Han and colleagues…

Development and cell cycle dynamics of the root apical meristem in the fern Ceratopteris richardii (bioRxiv)

Roots are essential organs for nutrient and water uptake and have been extensively investigated in angiosperms. Many studies suggest that roots originated through convergent evolution in vascular plants, a clade that includes seed plants and ferns. Besides Arabidopsis and crops, little is known about…

Cuscuta australis (dodder) parasite eavesdrops on the host plants’ FT signals to flower (PNAS)

Plants sense environmental cues, such as day length, to induce flowering and successfully reproduce. An important mobile regulator of flowering is FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT). Upon floral induction, FT is transported from the leaves to the shoot apical meristem where it triggers flower development. Dodders…