Recent Posts

A single-cell analysis of the Arabidopsis vegetative shoot apex (Devel. Cell)

One of the most fascinating challenges in developmental biology is to understand how a few stem cells hidden in a microscopic region of the shoot apex give origin to all aerial parts of the plant. Technological advances such as single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) are enabling the comprehensive analysis…

Phytochrome regulates cellular response plasticity and the basic molecular machinery of leaf development (Plant Physiol)

The effects of light on plant growth are incredibly complex and depend on where it is perceived, light quantity, light quality (wavelength), and when within the circadian cycle it is perceived. Romanowski et al. examined the effect of late-day far-red light perception in Arabidopsis leaves. This treatment…

Molecular switch architecture determines response properties of signaling pathways (PNAS)

Genetic studies have provided us with countless examples of regulatory switches that transduce a signal into a response. Mutant analysis is usually sufficient to identify these controlling elements, but often in an all-or-nothing way. Here, Ghusinga et al. have taken a theoretical kinetic approach to…

LEAFY is a pioneer transcription factor and licenses cell reprogramming to floral fate (Nature Comms)

Master transcription factors (TFs) can activate specific genetic programs to reprogram cellular fate in the context of open chromatin. A special class of these proteins known as pioneer TFs are defined by their ability to trigger cell fate reprogramming by binding their cognate cis motifs in a nucleosome…

A complementary mechanism to the microRNA-mediated control of leaf size (Plant Physiol)

Plants form leaves with highly reproducible sizes and shapes by employing a conserved set of developmental regulators. During early leaf growth, a zone of high cell proliferation is formed towards the proximal end of the lamina.  Proliferating cells progressively exit this zone and enter the distal…

Review: Molecular mechanisms involved in functional macroevolution of plant transcription factors (New Phytol)

Transcription factors (TFs) are very important actors through which evolution can operate. In every organism and system studied, starting with the seminal work of Jacob and Monod, they’ve been shown to be potent regulatory proteins. Here, Romani and Moreno review the contributions of plant transcription…

The Arabidopsis NOT4A E3 ligase promotes PGR3 expression and regulates chloroplast translation (Nature Comms)

Pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) domain containing proteins are nuclear encoded with functions in the chloroplast, but regulation of PPR gene expression in the nucleus before import to the chloroplast has not been well studied. Bailey et al. identified and characterized the ubiquitin ligase NOT4A and its…

BONZAIs emerge as nodal regulators of osmotic stress responses (Curr. Biol.)

Plants launch their response to osmotic stress with a sudden spike in cytosolic Ca2+ levels, which subsequently leads to the accumulation of the phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA). This further initiates a chain of events including closure of stomata, large-scale transcriptional changes, retardation of…

Alternative splicing generates a MONOPTEROS isoform required for ovule development (Curr. Biol.)

Auxin shapes the plant body and drives the formation of lateral organs such as roots and ovules. In the current model, AUXIN RESPONSE FACTORs (ARFs) are transcription factors that regulate plant growth by activating signaling in an auxin dose-dependent manner, regulated by Aux/IAA proteins. Here,…