Recent Posts

GmFT2a and GmFT5a collectively controls flowering of soybean (Plant Biotech. J)

Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] is a globally important high-protein crop, whose breeding is an ongoing, important objective for plant biologists. Since soybean is a short-day plant, controlling flowering time is a key step to influence its adaptation to diverse latitudes and farming system. Recently,…

Review: Engineered male sterility by early anther ablation (Frontiers Plant Sci)

Male sterility in seed production could be used to increase crop yields, eliminate pollen allergies or avoid gene flow between genetically modified plants and other species. Here, Roque et al. developed a system to produce engineered nuclear male sterile plants using the pea Pisum sativum ENDOTHECIUM…

Review: A series of fortunate events: Introducing Chlamydomonas as a reference organism (Plant Cell)

Clamydomonas reinhardtii is the most thoroughly characterized unicellular alga. Like yeast, it is a single-celled eukaryotic organism that is easy to culture, and it lives predominantly in its haploid form but is readily mated for genetic studies. Additionally, it is light-responsive,  photosynthetic,…

Review: Crop breeding technologies to feed the world (Nature Biotech)

The world demands food, plant scientists and breeders have the challenge of feeding a growing population. In a recent review Hickey et al. summarize the state-of-the-art technologies used for crop improvement. In use since 2003, ‘speed breeding’ is a set of improved methods for fast-tracking plant…

12 inquiry-based labs to explore the 12 principles of plant biology

The 12 Principles of Plant Biology are a framework to support understanding of the critical roles of plants to create, improve and sustain life These 12 inquiry-based activities were developed to support the teaching of plant biology, and are developed for use by students in middle school (approximately…

Genetic and Molecular analysis of trichome development in Arabis alpina $ (PNAS)

Trichomes (plant hairs), arise from epidermal cells of plants. The molecular mechanism involved in the development of trichomes of plants has been well studied in Arabidopsis thaliana. In this paper, Chopra et al.  have identified key regulators of leaf trichome development in Arabis alpina, a species…

High resolution mapping of RphMBR1012 conferring resistance to Puccinia hordei in barley (Front Plant Sci)

Barley leaf rust (Puccinia hordei) is a biotrophic fungus, in which mutations cause newly virulent races (pathothypes) with severe effects on cultivars. Marker-assisted Selection for Rph (Resistance to P. hordei) genes has been studied to provide sustainable control of this disease. Fazlikhani et al.…

Population genomic analysis of mango suggests a complex history of domestication ($) (New Phytol)

Mango trees have been cultivated for approximately 4000 years which places their domestication in the same timeline as that of walnut, peach, sweet orange, lychee, citron, sweet orange, lemon, and jujube. Throughout the process of domestication, most crops undergo severe bottlenecks which decrease genetic…

Reflections on Classics: Plant Cell‘s 30th anniversary

“The 1980s were an exciting and revolutionary time for biology, and plant molecular biology in particular,” begins an editorial by Bob Goldberg, Brian Larkins, and Ralph Quatrano, the three Founding Editors of The Plant Cell. They describe why the American Society of Plant Physiologists (ASPP; later,…