Recent Posts

Genomic imbalance: an extra chromosome arm can induce severe phenotypic and gene expression changes

Yang et al. use haploid induction, genomic and transcriptomic sequencing to explore gene expression changes across the genome when the chromosome arm was varied in haploid maize. By Hua Yang, James Birchler, University of Missouri-Columbia Background: The phenotypic consequences of the addition…

Review: CRISPR screens in plants: Approaches, guidelines, and future prospects (Plant Cell)

We don’t need to remind you of the tremendous positive impact that CRISPR-based technologies have had on the life sciences through enabling any gene to be edited precisely. Here, Gaillochet et al. provide an up-to-date review of a lesser-known application of CRISPR, its use in large-scale screening…

Magnesium and calcium over-accumulate in the leaves of a schengen3 mutant of Brassica rapa (Plant Physiol)

Magnesium (Mg) and calcium (Ca) are essential nutrients for plants and also the animals that eat them. Human deficiencies of these elements are not uncommon. Here, Alcock et al. used Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy to measure the elemental composition of a mutagenized population of Brassica…

Who keeps PIF4 high on a hot day? RCB joins HEMERA as a partner in crime (Nature Comms)

PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR4 (PIF4) is a key protein that mediates thermomorphogenic responses in plants. Under warm temperatures, PIF4 levels are high in the daytime even in the presence of active phyB, which is known to induce degradation of PIFs. Thus, in warm temperatures there must be a mechanism…

Natural variation identifies a Pxy gene controlling vascular organization and formation of nodules and lateral roots in Lotus japonicus (New Phytol.)

Symbiosis between legumes and nitrogen-fixing bacteria such as Mesorhizobium loti requires an exchange of signals. Plants recognize both specific nod factors (lipochitooligosaccharides) as well as cell-surface exopolysaccharides through distinct pathways. The M. loti exoU mutant fails to properly form…

Plant Scientist Highlight - Barbara McClintock

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Barbara McClintock was born on June 16th, 1902 in Hartford, Connecticut, and was raised in Brooklyn, NY. She was one of four children of Sara and Thomas McClintock. She received her bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees from Cornell, completing her education in 1927. She defied norms at the time…

Genome assembly and population genomic analysis provide insights into the evolution of modern sweet corn (Nature Comms)

In maize (Zea mays), loss of function mutations in genes involved in starch biosynthesis characterize sweet corn varieties that have increased sugar content in the kernel. Specifically, lines carrying the shrunken2 (sh2) allele revolutionized the corn industry in Northern America in the last 50 years…

Genomic mechanisms of climate adaptation in polyploid bioenergy switchgrass (Nature)

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is a tall, perennial species native to the prairies of North America. Switchgrass is well-known for its uses as a biofuel and forage crop. However, switchgrass is also a fascinating model to investigate how plants adapt to changing environments, as historical glacial cycles…

The Arabidopsis NOT4A E3 ligase promotes PGR3 expression and regulates chloroplast translation (Nature Comms)

Pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) domain containing proteins are nuclear encoded with functions in the chloroplast, but regulation of PPR gene expression in the nucleus before import to the chloroplast has not been well studied. Bailey et al. identified and characterized the ubiquitin ligase NOT4A and its…