Recent Posts

Review. Chloroplast development in green plant tissues: The interplay between light, hormones, and transcriptional regulation (New Phytol.)

Chloroplasts are indispensable for plant growth and physiological performance; not only for photosynthesis but also for many biochemical processes. Due to the endosymbiont origin of the chloroplast, chloroplast development requires sophisticated machinery to relay the signals between the nuclear and…

Prediction of conserved variable heat and cold stress response in maize using cis-regulatory information (Plant Cell)

Several transcription factors (TFs) have been identified previously as responsive to cold and heat stresses in maize. Variation in TF binding sites (TFBS) determine changes in the expression of target genes in response to the aforementioned stresses. Traditionally, single varieties were used to study…

IRON MAN sequesters BTS to activate iron deficiency response (PNAS)

Plants need to maintain an optimum level of iron (Fe) for normal growth and development. Many Fe-responsive molecular players have been identified in Arabidopsis, including the IRON MAN (IMA) peptides. These peptides are induced by Fe deficiency, but their role in maintaining Fe homeostasis remains poorly…

TEM1 combinatorially binds to FLOWERING LOCUS T and recruits a Polycomb factor to repress the floral transition in Arabidopsis (PNAS)

Gene expression is primarily controlled by transcriptional regulatory proteins able to recognize and bind short DNA sequences in downstream targets. Understanding how DNA-binding proteins achieve high precision and switch on/off the transcription of selected genes at a specific developmental stage or…

Structural and biochemical analyses of concanavalin A circular permutation (Plant Cell)

If you have heard of concanavalin A (ConA), it probably is because it is a widely-used reagent in carbohydrate science and medical research. ConA is a lectin derived from jackbean (Canavalia ensiformis, hence the name) that binds assorted carbohydrates. It is also a fascinating protein that assembles…

Review: Alternative splicing as conserved mechanism to regulate CDPKs? ($) (TIPS)

Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs/CPKs) are an interesting class of proteins present in plants, algae and some protists that are thought to “sense” and “respond” to spikes in intracellular Ca2+ signaling events. While multiple mechanisms have been proposed to be involved in the regulation…

The secret to leaf forever: Mechanisms controlling simple leaf development (Nature Plants)

The final shape of a leaf is a consequence of differential growth at its margins. Simple (or lightly serrated) leaves result from limited growth in the margins, while compound leaves result from a constant initiation of leaflets. A recent work by Challa, Rath, and colleagues dissected the regulatory…

Repeat yourself: A new way to self-express

Reinar et al. uncover the effects of allelic variation in short tandem repeats across natural populations of Arabidopsis thaliana on gene expression.  By Kjetill Jakobsen1, Melinka Butenko2, and William Reinar1 1Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), University of Oslo, Department…

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…