Recent Posts

A PNAS trio: DNA methylation and small RNAs in plant reproduction

Three PNAS papers explore DNA methylation and/or small RNAs in plant reproductive development. In angiosperms, sexual reproduction is accompanied by DNA demethylation in certain tissues, particularly those that have a nutritive or supporting role.  Park et al. (10.1073/pnas.1619047114) show that in…

Opinion Paper: Bandwagons I, too, have known (reflections of a plant breeder) ($)

In this entertaining Opinion article written for the 150th anniversary of Mendel’s seminal work, Bernardo reviews “bandwagons” that have come and gone in plant breeding. Early bandwagons such as induced polyploidy are discussed, as well as more recent trends such as trangenics, molecular markers…

Review: History of Solanaceae family in genetic research

Plants from the Solanaceae family had, and continue to have, fundamental roles in plant genetic research.  Gebhardt summarizes the historical contributions of the Solanaceous plants tomato, tobacco, petunia, potato, pepper, and eggplant.  The tomato has been a model plant for studying fruit traits…

Gene editing to produce doubly-determinate, early-yielding tomatoes ($)

Tomatoes have an indeterminate growth pattern that arises from the balance of flower-promoting (florigen) and flower repressing activities. Suppressing this flower-repressing activity leads to greater determinacy and facilitates cultivation. Soyk et al. compared flowering times in short- and long-days…

Genetic basis of primrose floral dimorphism

Self-fertilization in Primula is avoided by the production of two flower forms (morphs), one with a long style in which the stigma is elevated above the anthers (the L morph or pin) and one with a short style in which the anthers are well above the stigma (the S morph or thrum), although there are also…

Review: Competence to flower

The transition between vegetative and reproductive stages in the plant life cycle implies a change in the developmental program of the shoot apical meristem to stop developing leaves and start developing floral buds. The factors that allow this transition to happen are many and the underlying mechanisms…

Best of 2016: Top Topics in The Plant Cell journal

We’ve highlighted some of the Plant Cell papers that were widely shared, liked, blogged, retweeted and otherwise garnered high-levels of attention this year. Perhaps you can use some holiday-season quiet time to catch up on those you missed. Reviews and Perspectives Creating order from chaos: epigenome…

The Power of Plasticity in Polyploid Persimmon

IN BRIEF by Jennifer Lockhart jlockhart@aspb.org Most plants are hermaphrodites, producing perfect flowers with both male and female functions. In roughly 6% of plants, however, male (usually XY) plants produce only male flowers and female (XX) plants produce only female flowers. These dioecious plants…

Best of 2016: Top Topics in Plant Physiology jounal

We’ve highlighted some of the Plant Physiology papers that were widely shared, liked, blogged, retweeted and otherwise garnered high-levels of attention this year. Perhaps you can use some of that holiday-season quiet time to catch up on those you missed. The breakaway attention-getter from Plant…