Recent Posts

Review: Exchange of small regulatory RNAs between plants and their pests (Plant Physiol)

Trans-species small RNAs are the latest class in the family of signals that move between plants and their attackers. Hudzik et al. review this topic, covering small RNAs that move from plant to pest and from pest to plant. The transmitted RNAs function by interfering with gene expression in the recipient.…

Review: Celebrating 20 years of genetic discoveries in legume nodulation and symbiotic nitrogen fixation (Plant Cell)

Legumes are important crops because they are protein-rich, as a consequence of symbiotic nitrogen fixation (SNF). In the past 20 years, through forward and reverse genetics more than 200 genes have been identified that are involved in this process, from recognition through nodule differentiation and…

Early origin of miRNA-SPL module in reproductive development revealed by liverwort (Curr. Biol)

In Arabidopsis and other angiosperms, transition to flowering is controlled by a regulatory module that includes transcription factors from the SPL family and a miRNA miR156 targeting them. Marchantia and bryophytes do not make flowers, but there is an equivalent module that includes miR529c and a single…

Plants with self-sustained luminescence (bioRxiv)

Nothing beats being able see gene expression in real time and space. In recent years, plant biologists have made great strides in understanding plants by using the visual reporters GUS, green fluorescent protein (and other fluorescent proteins) and luciferase. Each of these requires either a substrate…

An inducible genome editing system for plants (bioRxiv)

Multiple approaches like T-DNA insertion and small RNA- and CRISPR-Cas9 mediated gene silencing/knockdown are used to alter the expression of specific genes. This allows researchers to understand gene function during plant development or under any physiological condition. The most challenging task in…

High-resolution expression profiling of selected gene sets during plant immune activation (bioRxiv)

The problem with gene expression profiling is that it preferentially reports on the more highly-expressed genes. Capture sequencing uses targeted sequence libraries to pull out transcripts from genes of interest, including lowly expressed genes, so that their signals aren’t overwhelmed. To explore…

Ray parenchymal cells contribute to lignification of tracheids in developing xylem of Norway spruce (Plant Phys)

Lignin makes up to 27% of the dry weight of wood and is important structurally as well as serving as an effective carbon sink. Lignin is produced from monolignol precursors that are released into the apoplast and then polymerized. Previous studies have suggested that the monolignols are produced not…

Deep conservation of cis-element variants regulating plant hormonal responses (Plant Cell)

Promoter regions upstream of transcription start sites contain DNA regulatory elements (RE) crucial for the transcriptional control of gene expression. However, REs are short degenerated sequences with low conservation during evolution. In this paper, Lieverman-Lazarovich et al. studied REs in core hormone…

Mapping the landscape of C4 gene regulation

Burgess et al characterize genome-wide patterns of transcription factor binding to provide insight into the architecture associated with C4 photosynthesis gene expression. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.19.00078 By Steven James Burgess (University of Cambridge, UK) and Ivan A. Reyna-Llorens…