Recent Posts

Review. Signalling pathways underlying nitrogen-dependent changes in root system architecture: from model to crop species (J. Exp. Bot.)

Nitrogen (N) is one of the seventeen essential nutrients for a plant to complete its life cycle and is one of the most important determinants of productivity of various crops globally. Nitrate (NO3‑) and ammonium (NH4+) are the major plant-available forms of N. The spatiotemporal heterogeneity of N…

How Marchantia polymorpha avoids bug bites (bioRxiv)

Plants took hundreds of million years to evolve from aquatic to land environments. Biotic and abiotic stress adaptation contributed to the transition. In this preprint, Romani et al. elucidated functions of the transcription factor CLASS I HOMEODOMAIN LEUCINE-ZIPPER (C1HDZ) in the early land plant Marchantia…

A feedforward loop controls vascular regeneration and tissue repair through local auxin biosynthesis (Plant Cell)

Plant cells are entrapped in rigid cell walls, so morphogenesis relies on asymmetric cell division (ACD) and positional cues to regulate tissue patterning. The Arabidopsis phloem is a good system to study tissue patterning due to its relatively simple composition: sieve elements (SEs) and companion cells…

MicroRNAs and the control of stomatal development (PNAS)

Stomata mediate critical functions in plant life: gas exchange, water loss, and some environmental responses. At the molecular level, some bHLH transcription factors and a MAP-kinase pathway control a series of asymmetric and symmetric cell divisions of stomatal stem cells to form a guard cell. In…

Convergent recruitment of TALE homeodomain life cycle regulators to direct sporophyte development in land plants and brown algae (eLIFE)

Life cycles in sexually reproducing plants and algae alternate between diploid (sporophytic) and haploid (gametophytic) generations. The haploid gametophyte produces gametes that mate to generate the diploid sporophyte, which in turn undergoes meiosis to generate haploid spores. Development must be coordinated…

Two MYB proteins in a self-organizing activator-inhibitor system produce spotted pigmentation patterns (Curr. Biol.)

The questions of how patterns are formed is one of the oldest in biology, and even considered by the famous mathematician Alan Turing, who proposed that reaction-diffusion (RD) models underly de novo pattern formation. Briefly, a reaction that takes place in one place sends a signal that leads to a different…

The maize heterotrimeric G protein β subunit controls shoot meristem development and immune responses ($) (PNAS)

Heterotrimeric G proteins transduce signals between receptors and downstream factors. Previous genetic studies have shown diverse roles for these proteins based on loss-of-function phenotypes; for example mutations in Arabidopsis Gα and Gβ subunits both lead to enlarged shoot apical meristems. Wu et…

Review. Same, but different: growth responses of primary and lateral roots ($) (J. Exp. Bot.)

Lateral roots arising from programmed cell division from primary roots in both monocots and dicots share some similarities and dissimilarities in developmental signaling. In this review, Waidmann et al. discuss lateral root organogenesis and elongation with respect to hormone, nutrient, and abiotic conditions.…

Death in cells overlying lateral root primordia facilitates organ growth in Arabidopsis (Curr. Biol.)

While cell division and cell expansion are known to be determinants of plant organ growth, little is known about the role of cell elimination and death in this process. Cell death indicators such as cell death- and autolysis-associated cysteine proteases have been observed in cells overlying the site…