Recent Posts

Advances in Understanding Root Hair Formation

Root hairs greatly increase the surface area of roots, thereby facilitating the uptake of nutrients and water from the rhizosphere. They also serve as sites for plant interactions with soil microorganisms. Thus, elucidation of the molecular pathway for their development is important for potential modification…

The secret of NIN (Nodule Inception) ($) (Plant Cell)

Twenty years ago, a genetic screen of Lotus japonicas identified NIN (NODULE INCEPTION), a transcription factor required for both early (infection thread) and late (nodule primordium development) stages of nodule formation. In daphne (a weak allele of NIN), infection threads form but not nodule primordia,…

APE2 Acts in DNA Demethylation

Li et al. demonstrate that APE2 and the DNA 3′ phosphatase ZDP play overlapping roles in active DNA demethylation in Arabidopsis thaliana. The Plant Cell (2018). By Jinchao Li and Weiqiang Qian Background: DNA methylation, the addition of a methyl group to the C-5 position of cytosine, is a…

Alternative Splice Variant Sheds Light on Temperature Acclimation in Algae

Climate change is a potent environmental force that all living organisms must contend with. This is especially true for photosynthetic, microalgae that are forced to acclimate to ever changing water temperatures and coordinate changes in their physiology and growth rates (Singh and Singh, 2015). These…

R gene-miRNA-phasiRNA regulatory module (Nature Comms)

In plants, like people, having an overactive immune response is just as bad as having an underactive one. R genes in plants are key immune components that need to be kept quiet until needed. Previous studies have shown that miRNAs are involved in suppressing R gene expression, in a process that is amplified…

Opinion: Rapid responses to abiotic stress (TIPS)

Several recent studies have demonstrated that plants are able to respond to environmental challenges within minutes, through electrical signals, calcium oscillations, hydraulic changes, metabolites such as glutamate, and reactive oxygen species. Kollist et al. review studies of rapid responses that control…

Regulation of Apical Hook Development: A Dual-Core Processes Complex Information

Zhang et al. investigate the regulation of apical hook development in Arabidopsis thaliana. The Plant Cell (2018). https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00018. By Xing Zhang, Yichuan Wang and Hongwei Guo. Background: For sessile plants, survival in dynamic nature is never easy! The very first challenge…

Corn ChIPs and RNA-seq: Researchers Dip into Advanced Tools and Resources to Examine bZIP Transcription Factor Function in the Maize Endosperm

The endosperm of maize (Zea mays) seeds undergoes a complicated developmental program that ends with the production of massive amounts of storage compounds, particularly carbohydrates, but also including zein storage proteins (reviewed in Li and Berger, 2012; Hannah and Boehlein, 2017; Larkins et al.,…

Towards Pathogen-Resistant Apples

Zhang et al. show that a single-nucleotide polymorphism in a hairpin RNA promoter contributes to Alternaria alternata leaf spot resistance in apple and could serve as a marker to distinguish susceptible versus resistant apple cultivars. https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00042. Background: Apple Alternaria…