Recent Posts

Special issue: Orchestrating the proteome with post-translational modifications (J. Exp. Bot.)

I guess we're well past the stage of thinking "one gene - one protein", but even a single polypeptide isn't really one protein, due to the huge number of different types of post-translational modification (PTM) it can be subjected to. These are summarized in the illustration that accompanies the editorial…

Review: New insights into the plant epitranscriptome ($) (J. Exp. Bot.)

Just like the epigenome is the collection of epigenetic marks on DNA, the epitranscriptome is the collection of epigenetic marks on mRNA. Vandivier and Gregory review our current understanding of the epitranscriptome, with a focus on N6-methyladenosine (m6A) and 5-methylcytosine (m5C), and their various…

A single transcription factor promotes both yield and immunity in rice ($) (Science)

Plants regularly prioritize either growth or defense, leading to reduced growth rate when the plant is under attack. Wang et al. have identified a simple switch  in rice that demonstrates this principle beautifully. The Ideal Plant Architecture 1 (IPA1) transcription factor is involved in controlling…

Chloroplast Biogenesis in Germinating Seeds: A Multi-Dimensional Approach

Zizhen et al. perform electron tomography and correlative gene expression analyses of thylakoid assembly in greening Arabidopsis cotyledons Plant Cell (2018) https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00972 By Byung-Ho Kang Background: The chloroplast produces carbohydrates and molecular oxygen from water,…

Metabolic Fate of Modified Nucleotides after RNA Turnover, an Overlooked Issue in RNA Modification

Chen et al. reveal a multilayer molecular protection system functioning in Arabidopsis and human cells https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00236 By Mingjia Chen and Claus-Peter Witte Background: RNA possesses over 100 distinct posttranscriptional modifications in eukaryotic species. N6-methyladenosine…

Evolution of Gene Regulation During Domestication

Liu, et al. examine how wound response and its control mechanism differs between domesticated and wild tomato. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00194. By Ming-Jung Liu and Shin-­Han Shiu Background: Two related species accumulate differences between each other over time. If one of the…

Dynamic Alternative Splicing Response to Cold

Calixto et al. demonstrate a rapid wave of alternative splicing as temperatures drop. The Plant Cell (2018) https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00177. By Cristiane Calixto and John Brown Background: Alternative splicing (AS) allows a single gene to produce more than one transcript, which can affect…

Old Gene, New Function

Xie et al. discover an EPSP synthase gene involved in the transcriptional regulation of the phenylpropanoid pathway in Populus trichocarpa The Plant Cell (2018). https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00168. By Meng Xie, Wellington Mechuro, Jin-Gui Chen, and Gerald A. Tuskan Background: 5-enolpyruvylshikimate…

Tectonic Movements Across the Tomato Genome

Corem et al. demonstrate a switch in DNA methylation patterns across the tomato genome. The Plant Cell (2018). https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00167. By Shira Corem, Tzahi Arazi and Nicolas Bouché Background: Crop genomes are covered by transposons, which are DNA sequences that can jump from one…