Recent Posts

Nanoscale movements of cellulose microfibrils in primary cell walls ($)

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Cell walls are complex mixtures of cellulose microfibrils, proteins and other materials. Their mechanical properties can be measured and modeled, but it is not always simple to translate these measurements to changes at the molecular level. Zhang et al. used atomic force microscopy to provide an unprecedented…

Fine Tuning Floral Morphology: MADS-Box Protein Complex Formation in Maize

Plant floral organ development is orchestrated by master regulatory genes that control the differentiation of meristem tissue. According to the ABC(DE) model of flower development (Bowman et al., 1989; nicely summarized by Irish, 2017), different floral organs form in concentric whorls (verticils) in…

Gains in Grain Yield: A Pair of Spikelets Makes All the Difference, Even When One is Sterile

Mother Nature has a way of keeping seemingly useless structures around millions of years. Such structures are likely to have a use that is not obvious, although they could also be remnants of the evolutionary past without extant function, or non-functional but harmless byproducts of a different adaptive…