Recent Posts

Multiple transcriptional factors control stomata development in rice (New Phytol) ($)

In the model plant Arabidopsis, stomatal development occurs in a scattered pattern with that avoids direct contact between them. In rice and other monocots, the stomata are distributed in a uniformly oriented manner. Such unique patterning and morphology of stomata intrigued Wu et al. to examine if the…

Opinion. Feeling the heat: Searching for plant thermosensors (Trends Plant Sci)

How does a plant sense the elevation in atmospheric temperature? What are the missing links betweena rise in atmospheric temperature, its sensing, and responses triggered? Vu et al. discuss how conformational and structural changes of DNA, RNA and proteins could be the sensors to temperature change.…

Site-specific manipulation of Arabidopsis loci using CRISPR-Cas9 SunTag systems (Nature Comms)

Steve Jacobsen’s group has been developing a broad range of synthetic biology tools to interrogate DNA-methylation in plants (see Gallego-Bartolomé et al., 2018, and Gallego-Bartolomé et al., 2019). Among them, they use the CRISPR-Cas9 SunTag system, in which the dCas9 protein is fused to SunTag,…

Dual regulation of Arabidopsis AGO2 by arginine methylation (Nature Comms)

Plants have natural mechanisms against pathogen infections. Post-translational modifications (PTMs) on key proteins involved in RNAi pathways are needed to control these immune responses. Argonaute (AGO) proteins are targets of PTMs to direct the silencing of genes. Here, Hu et al. identified the role…

Leaf senescence in Arabidopsis thaliana is regulated by a histone H3K4 demethylase (Plant Cell)

Leaf senescence is the final stage of leaf development where the organ turns yellow and programmed cell death occurs. While it is generally understood that the regulation of senescence associated genes (SAGs) is dependent on the trimethylation of histone H3 at lysine 4 (H3K4me3), the exact mechanism…

ARF5/MONOPTEROS directly regulates miR390 expression in the Arabidopsis thaliana primary root meristem (Plant Direct)

Previous studies have indicated that auxin controls gene expression via regulatory transcriptional networks, mediated by a family of DNA-binding auxin response factors (ARFs) that bind to auxin response DNA elements (AuxREs) in the promoters of genes. In this study, Dastidar et al. investigated the…

ERF19 buffers Arabidopsis pattern-triggered immunity (J Exp Bot)

To fight off invading pathogens, higher plants such as Arabidopsis are intrinsically programmed with a subset of defense responses known as pattern-triggered immunity (PTI). However, excessive defense responses may hamper plant’s normal growth, so fine-tuning PTI is important for plant survival. Recently,…

Seed size is regulated by siRNAs from Arabidopsis maternal tissue in a spatial-temporal manner ($)(PNAS)

Studying seed development is important for understanding plant evolution and engineering food production. Previous discoveries have shown that maternal small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), which induce RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) through NRPD1-mediated pathway, regulate seed development in Arabidopsis.…

­Single-cell RNA sequencing resolves molecular relationships among individual plant cells (Plant Physiol)

Single cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) has transformed our understanding of gene expression within and amongst individual cells. These techniques have been applied extensively to animal cell populations to discover the development of specific cell lines and identify rare cell types but are not commonly…