Recent Posts

Water deficit-induced changes in transcription factor expression in maize seedlings ($)

Understanding plant responses to water deficit is crucial for the development of drought-reliance, but complicated by the different ways plant researchers induce water deficit. Starting with the premise that transcription factors are important coordinators of water-deficit responses, Seeve et al. carried…

More than Window Dressing: Revealing 5-Methylcytocine Patterns that Decorate Arabidopsis RNA

IN BRIEF by Jennifer Lockhart jlockhart@aspb.org DNA is sculpted by several types of epigenetic modifications with profound effects on gene expression, development, and stress responses. Much less is known about the more than 100 chemical modifications shaping plant RNA, a topic explored in the newly…

Transcriptional response to microbial pattern conferred by three WRKY transcription factors ($)

Plants perceive microbial pathogens though cell-surface receptors that recognize conserved microbial patterns such as flagellin. Previous studies have identified the WRKY family of transcription factors as contributors to Microbial-Associated Molecular Pattern (MAMP)-Triggered Immunity (MTI). Birkenbihl…

The PLETHORA Gene Regulatory Network Guides Growth and Cell Differentiation in Arabidopsis Roots

Due to plant cells’ shared walls and immobility, cell division, differentiation and expansion must be tightly regulated across space and time. The six members of the PLETHORA (PLT) transcription factor family distribute in gradients through the root tip and are largely responsible for its developmental…

Integrating omics reveals insights into grape response to high temperature

Heat stress is one of the main abiotic stresses plants encounter. Jiang et al. used combined transcriptomic and proteomic data to explore the responses of grape leaves to elevated temperatures (35, 40, 45°C). Using high-throughput sequencing and the iTRAQ (isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation)…

Genome sequence and genetic diversity of European ash trees

Ash dieback (a fungal disease) and the beetle Agrilus planipennis (a herbivore) are crushing ash tree populations in the Northern Hemisphere. To shed light on the genetic basis of the trees' susceptibility and to understand the genetic diversity of these trees, Sollars et al. have sequenced one individual…

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…

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…

Evolution of fruit types in the Rosaceae family

The evolution of fruits might have been the most important feature that made angiosperms so successful. Fruits protect seeds and contribute to seed dispersal, as well as comprise a food source for humans and other animals, therefore, studying their evolution would help us shed light on the evolution…