Recent Posts

Moonlighting Role of Plastidial NAD-MDH

Schreier et al. investigate the role of a plastid malate dehydrogenase in early chloroplast development. Plant Cell 30: 1745-1769 Background: Malate dehydrogenases (MDH) are enzymes that are widespread in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. MDH interconverts oxaloacetate and malate, using either NAD or…

Review - A plane choice: coordinating timing and orientation of cell division during plant development (Current Opinion in Plant Bio)

Asymmetric cell division is instrumental to development of specialized cells, while symmetric cell division underlies proliferative growth. The defects in cell division plane arise when transition between the G1 to S stage is accelerated, suggesting that the signals leading to division plane position…

Opinion: Information processing and distributed computation in plant organs ($) (Trends Plant Sci)

The great strides we’ve made in understanding how plants perceive their environment, from light to pathogens to nutrients, haven't been matched with an understanding of what they do with all that information; how do so many inputs get integrated into a single or few responses? And how does the information…

Nectary Specification in Petunia and Arabidopsis

Studies of flower development have lots of information about petals, carpels, and stamens, but let’s not forget the birds and the bees—and the flies and moths—and what draws pollinators to insect-pollinated flowers, including flower color, shape, and rewards that provide energy. For example, to…

Epidermal expression of a sterol biosynthesis gene regulates root growth by a non-cell-autonomous mechanism in Arabidopsis (Development)

The HYDRA1 (HYD1) gene is primarily expressed in the root epidermis and encodes a sterol Δ8-Δ7 isomerase. The hyd1 mutant has defects in growth and radial patterning of root development. Short et al. showed that although HYD1 is not expressed in the vascular cells, PIN1 localization and vascular patterning…

CLAVATA allowed 3D growth in land plants (Curr. Biol.)

Land plants had to acquire new ways to occupy the terrestrial environment, including the innovative shooting system with organs in a radial position. This new 3D form of growth was possible thanks to the capacity to rotate stem cells divisions through different orientation planes. In Arabidopsis the…

Stepwise and independent origins of roots among land plants (Nature)

The Rhynie chert  (near the village of Rhynie, Scotland; chert is a type of sedimentary rock) is an important site for plant biologists as it holds some of earliest and best preserved land-plant fossils. Hetherington and Dolan examined more than 600 thin sections prepared from this site, specifically…

Chloroplast Biogenesis in Germinating Seeds: A Multi-Dimensional Approach

Zizhen et al. perform electron tomography and correlative gene expression analyses of thylakoid assembly in greening Arabidopsis cotyledons Plant Cell (2018) https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00972 By Byung-Ho Kang Background: The chloroplast produces carbohydrates and molecular oxygen from water,…

A New Epigenetic Switch Regulating Histone Modification

Mateo-Bonmatí et al. have found novel components of the Arabidopsis epigenetic machinery. Plant Cell (2018). https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00300  By Eduardo Mateo-Bonmatí, Lucía Juan-Vicente, Riad Nadi, and José Luis Micol Background: In multicellular organisms, most cells contain the same…