Recent Posts

Review: Uncovering gene regulatory networks controlling plant cell differentiation ($)

The transparency and simplicity of the Arabidopsis root apex has made it an excellent model through which to understand the processes that lead from undifferentiated meristem cells to mature root tissues. Drapek et al. review the gene regulatory networks (GRNs) that underlie the development of the endodermis…

Expression of Kranz-anatomy candidate genes from maize in rice

Most plants that use the more efficient C4 form of photosynthesis also exhibit Kranz anatomy, in which the PEPC and Rubisco carboxylases reside in distinct cells. Key genes that control the development of Kranz anatomy have been hard to find. In this report, Wang et al. analysed the effects of constitutively…

Embryo/endosperm separation through formation of an extra-cuticular sheath at the embryo surface

Following double fertilization, the embryo and the endosperm form within a developing seed. In Arabidopsis, the endosperm is somewhat transient, as most of the space it occupies is eventually taken over by the embryo. The question of how the embryo pushes aside the endosperm has not been fully clear.…

A sacrifice-for-survival mechanism protects root stem cell niche from chilling stress

Chilling to 4° induces cell death in a subset of cells at the Arabidopsis root tip, the CSCDs (columella stem cell daughters, located just distal to the quiescent center). Hong et al. show that this cell death is dependent on cell division and that it is an active, programmed response. Blocking this…

Live online chat discussion with featured community member Anne Sternberger

Mark your calendars for the first Plantae.org live online chat discussion with featured community member Anne Sternberger! Support your peers  |  Discuss plant science topics  |  Learn about how others work Tuesday, June 27th at 5pm EST / 11am HST |  Join: www.plantae.org/annes Anne is…

Auxin Regulates Growth of a Characean Alga

Auxin regulates many aspects of growth and development in land plants, but the origin and evolution of auxin signaling and response mechanisms remain largely unknown. Genome analyses of the moss Physcomitrella patens revealed the presence of the principal gene families involved in auxin homeostasis and…

Is All Root Hair Development the Same?

Root hairs are long tubular extensions of root epidermal cells that greatly increase the root surface area and thereby assist in water and nutrient absorption. Root hairs are found in nearly all vascular plants, including angiosperms, gymnosperms, and lycophytes, and they exhibit similar cellular features,…

Bypassing negative epistasis on yield in tomato imposed by a domestication gene

Tomatoes normally grow as multiple flowers along a single branch. Soyk et al. explored a large collection of wild and domesticated accessions to identify those with branched inflorescences, which should be able to produce more fruit per plant. They identified a few related branchy mutants which they…

Towards an understanding of spiral patterning in the Sargassum muticum shoot apex

Classic studies of leaf placement (phyllotaxy) showed that two different mechanisms occur in land plants. In mosses, leaf placement is determined by the plane of cell division within the single apical cell, whereas in seed plants auxin acts as a morphogen that specifies leaf positioning. Linardić and…