Recent Posts

Synthetic genetic circuits as a means of reprogramming plant roots (Science)

Synthetic genetic circuits offer a promising method to achieve beneficial changes in plant phenotypic traits. By combining different activator or repressor transcription factors (TFs) , the expression of target genes may be fine-tuned according to Boolean operations. Here, Brophy et al. describe a method…

Improving bread wheat yield through modulating an unselected AP2/ERF gene (Nature Plants)

Climate emergency and the increase of human population are challenges for human food security. Plant breeders use natural genetic variation to improve crops, but bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) has particularly low genetic diversity with unique evolutionary constraints. Genetic modification of spike…

CHIQUITA1 maintains the temporal transition between proliferation and differentiation in Arabidopsis (Development)

Organ size is imperative to biological function. In plants, newly-developing organs start out as a pool of meristematic cells, which set the number of cells in the organ through regulated iterations of cellular division; eventually, these cells transition out of the cell cycle and differentiate, during…
Headshot of Marschal Bellinger. Marschal is wearing a blue and white gingham flannel shirt.

Marschal Bellinger (he/him)

Marschal Bellinger (he/him) earned his doctorate in Plant Sciences from the University of California, Riverside where his research in was focused on cell shape determination in maize through live-cell imaging of microtubule organization at the cell cortex during mitosis and interphase. He grew up in…

Cytokinin–CLAVATA cross-talk is an ancient mechanism regulating shoot meristem homeostasis in land plants (PNAS)

The shoot apical meristem (SAM) maintains a small pool of pluripotent stem cells, which are the source of all above-ground plant tissues. In Arabidopsis thaliana, CLAVATA3 (CLV3), CLAVATA1(CLV1) and RECEPTOR-LIKE PROTEIN KINASE2 (RPK2) repress WUSCHEL (WUS) expression. WUS induces CLV3, forming a local…

A conserved superlocus regulates above- and belowground root initiation (Science)

The vascular plant body composed of root and shoot is specified during embryogenesis, but most flowering plants can also develop additional root systems post-embryonically: lateral roots, as a response to wounding, or shoot-borne roots (“adventitious” roots, literally meaning “in the wrong place”).…

Live Plant Cell Tracking: A Fiji plugin to analyze cell proliferation dynamics and understand morphogenesis (Plant Physiol.)

Live Plant Cell Tracking: A Fiji plugin to analyze cell proliferation dynamics and understand morphogenesis Morphogenesis in plants occurs in 3D space over time, referred to as 4D. Recent advances in high-resolution microscopy imaging and computational pipelines have helped to better understand…

A single-cell Arabidopsis root atlas reveals developmental trajectories in WT and cell identity mutants (Dev. Cell)

Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) is a powerful tool to identify rare and novel cell types, characterize multiple cell types, and more accurately understand their functions across their life cycles. The Arabidopsis root is a perfect system in which to investigate cellular differentiation due to…

Review: Embryo-endosperm interactions ($) (Annu Rev Plant Biol)

Angiosperm seed formation is an incredibly complex process, considering that it requires coordinating the development of three distinct structures –the embryo, the endosperm and the seed coat– in a small space. However, Doll and Ingram show us that angiosperms faced this challenge by evolving a complex…