Recent Posts

CRISPR Mutants Shed Light on Pectin’s Role in Tomato Fruit Softening

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fruits undergo pronounced softening during ripening. Softening is important for flavor development and overall palatability, but also impacts fruit storage, transportability, and shelf life. Shelf life is a particularly important quality trait of tomato fruits affected by…

Genetics of rose petal fragrance: RhPAAS and 2-phenylethanol (Plant Phys)

In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare wrote, “that which we call a rose, by any other word would smell as sweet,” but the truth is, most roses today don’t smell as sweet as the ones Shakespeare described; selection for prolonged cut flower life has largely been at the expense of fragrance. Roccia seek…

Exploring Pollen Patterns to Learn How Cells Create Distinct Domains

Lee et al. identify a protein involved in pollen aperture development and the formation of distinct membrane domains in microspores. https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00442  By Byung Ha Lee and Anna Dobritsa Background: Pollen grains are famous for their ability to develop various intricate patterns…

APE2 Acts in DNA Demethylation

Li et al. demonstrate that APE2 and the DNA 3′ phosphatase ZDP play overlapping roles in active DNA demethylation in Arabidopsis thaliana. The Plant Cell (2018). By Jinchao Li and Weiqiang Qian Background: DNA methylation, the addition of a methyl group to the C-5 position of cytosine, is a…

Synthetic apomixis: Asexual propagation through seeds (Nature) ($)

Sexual reproduction mixes up genes and provides genetically diverse progeny, key for survival and fodder for evolution. Sexual reproduction is detrimental to the propagation of hybrid crops though, as mixing up the genes leads to progeny that will be inferior to the hybrid parent. Khanday et al. have…

Reporter‐based screen to identify bundle sheath anatomy mutants ($) (Plant J)

Installation of C4 photosynthesis into C3 crops appears a realistic way to boost crop yields.  A key aspect of C4 photosynthesis is an enlarged bundle sheath volume and an increase in bundle sheath chloroplast number.  To identify the regulators of this phenotype, Döring et al. subjected Arabidopsis…

Review: Perspective on wheat yield and quality with reduced N supply (TIPS)

Wheat production demands huge inputs of nitrogen as fertilizer, with accompanying financial and environmental costs. Zorb et al. discuss several strategies by which to maintain wheat yields and wheat quality while decreasing N use and wastage. Some of these are agronomic, such as ensuring that the N…

Genetic Basis of Natural Variation of Rice Ionomics

(Translated from the Chinese  original http://news.hzau.edu.cn/2018/1101/52991.shtml) Nanhu News Network (Correspondent Sheng Ke) On October 30th, the research group of Professor Tian Xingming from the Rice Science Team of the National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement of our School…

Review: Transposable elements have role in aluminum resistance (J Exp Bot)

Phytotoxic aluminum can drastically harm plant roots, leading to decreased nutrient uptake, water absorption and yields. Many plant species efflux organic anions into the rhizosphere to reduce the toxic effects of aluminum. Some of the genes that encode transporter proteins which mediate organic anion…