Recent Posts

Autoregulation of RCO by low-affinity binding modulates cytokinin action and shapes leaf diversity (Curr. Biol)

REDUCED COMPLEXITY (RCO) is the main homeodomain transcription factor (TF) responsible for leaf complexity in cruciferous plants. RCO is lost in the model Arabidopsis with simple leaves but present in the genome of Cardamine hirsuta, a good model for leaf morphology traits. However, little is known about…

The Arabidopsis receptor kinase IRK is polarized and represses specific cell division (Devel. Cell) ($)

Orientation of cell division decides daughter cell fate and is fundamentally important for tissue patterning and morphology. For instance, asymmetric cell division leads to the generation of new cell types; in contrast, symmetric division produces cells with similar identity in a proliferative manner.…

Plant gene editing through de novo induction of meristems ($) (Nature Biotechnol)

A fast method of gene editing using Agrobacterium was developed to deliver combinations of the developmental regulators including WUSCHEL and SHOOT MERISTEMLESS along with gene-editing reagents. The expression of specific developmental regulators led to the induction of meristems and expression of the…

Plants make galls to accommodate foreigners: some are friends most are foes (New Phytol)

Gall formation by plants is a commonly-seen phenomenon that occurs in response to foreign entities (here called “gall-inducers”) such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, nematodes, etc. In this review Harris and Pitzschke set out criteria for what is and is not a gall; by definition the gall is a developmental…

Review: The many roads to (and from) multicellularity (J. Exp. Bot)

Multicellularity is without doubt a fantastic fluke. We know that it arose independently in plants and animals, but how many times? And is there a common “predisposition” to multicellularity in the universal common ancestor? These are the questions addressed in this review by Niklas and Newman. Looking…

RGF1 controls root meristem size through ROS signaling (Nature)

Stem cells are maintained in the stem-cell niche by intercellular interactions and signaling networks in which a peptide hormone, the root meristem growth factor 1 (RGF1), is involved. RGF1 is also important in the control of the size of the meristematic zone and in the stability of the PLETHORA (PLT)…

NONSTOP GLUMES 1 regulates spikelet development in rice (Plant Cell)

Recently, several genes affecting rice architecture have been identified that may increase yields by increasing the number of grains formed, but as yet the genetic control of rice inflorescence architecture and organ identity is still being worked out. Zhuang et al. identified mutants of the NONSTOP…

Evolution of carnivorous traps from planar leaves through simple shifts in gene expression (Science)

When is a leaf not a leaf? When it’s a trap. Just about everyone, including Charles Darwin, has been fascinated by carnivory in plants, which involves the development of structures that capture or trap food. Whitewoods, Gonçalves, Cheng et al. investigated how traps form in the humped bladderwort…

Review: An evolutionary history of genes controlling carpel development (COPB)

Carpels, the female reproductive structures in angiosperms, are the most complex organs in plants. Most of the current knowledge about the molecular mechanism underlying carpel development derives from Arabidopsis. In a new review, Becker summarizes recent studies about the reconstruction of ancestral…