Recent Posts

Cytoskeleton dynamics necessary for early events of lateral root initiation (Curr. Biol.)

Symmetric cell division leads to proliferation, and asymmetric cell division establishes differential growth. Formation of lateral roots (LRs) depends on asymmetric division of initially symmetric founder cells. Barro et al. studied the mechanism of asymmetric radial expansion by analyzing cytoskeleton…

A KNOX-cytokinin regulatory module predates the origin of indeterminacy (Curr. Biol.)

In vascular plants, new organs (e.g., leaves) are produced continuously from the shoot meristem, a process coined indeterminacy. The sister lineage of vascular plants, bryophytes, develop differently, ending with the formation of a determinate spore-bearing shoot (sporangium). The genetic underpinning…

Physcomitrella STEMIN transcription factor induces stem cell formation with epigenetic reprogramming (Nature Plants)

Insights into transcription factors (TFs) in non-flowering plants are increading thanks to the establishment of new bryophyte model organisms. In new work, Ishikawa et al. present STEMIN1, a Physcomitrella patens TF belonging to an uncharacterized subgroup of the AP2/ERF family. Physcomitrella undergo…

An insulator of CLE-signaling boosts cell-differentiation in protophloem formation

Waddington’s epigenetic landscape, a famous metaphor in developmental biology, depicts how a stem cell progresses from an undifferentiated state to a differentiated one. To some degree this metaphor can also be applied to root cell differentiation. It’s well-known that the CLE-45 peptide and its…

TRANSPORTER OF IBA1 links auxin and cytokinin to influence root architecture ($) (Devel. Cell)

Indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) is the precursor of the hormone auxin and it controls the formation of lateral roots. Evidence suggests that IBA is converted to IAA, endogenous active auxin. The major study material to distinguish between IBA and IAA was highlighted by the IBA-specific efflux carrier ABCG36/PDR8/PEN3,…

Molecular mechanisms driving switch behavior in xylem cell differentiation (Cell Reports)

Xylem is involved in the movement of water and mineral nutrients through the plants from the roots to leaves; its cells are not totipotent and undergo programmed cell death. VASCULAR-RELATED NAC-DOMAIN (VND) transcription factors are master switches of xylem cell differentiation in Arabidopsis and much…

A Maize Mutant Modifier Links Development and Defense

Anderson et al. identify a second site modifier that rescues a maize developmental mutant and report that it encodes a homolog of Arabidopsis ENHANCED DISEASE RESISTANCE4, providing insight into the integration of developmental control and immune responses. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00840 By…

ALOG transcription factors influence the morphological diversity of plant lateral organs (bioRxiv)

Land plants evolved from freshwater streptophytic algae over 450 million years ago and have since separated into morphologically diverse lineages. A key feature in the transition from aquatic to terrestrial life was the development of 3D body plans with lateral organs. In a new preprint, Naramoto and…

Very long chain fatty acids (VLCFA) are involved in lateral root formation (PNAS)

Root branching determines the spatial organization of the root and its interaction with the soil. The emergence of lateral roots (LR) is controlled by a complex regulatory network, involving genetic, hormonal and mechanical factors. In this study, Trinh et al. got new insights about PUCHI, a transcription…