Recent Posts

Chloroplast status can affect shade avoidance in plants ($) (Plant Cell)

For optimal photosynthetic performance, plants utilize multiple strategies to compete with their neighbors. Especially when light supply is limited in the canopy, plants promote their own elongation to overgrow neighboring plants. This occurs as a response to a low ratio of Red to Far-Red light (R/FR),…

A regulatory circuit conferring varied flowering response to cold in annual and perennial plants ($) (Science)

Regulation of flowering in time and space in perennials like Arabis alpina involves two systems. One uses orthologs to FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC) from A. thaliana; in A. alpine is called PERPETUAL FLOWERING 1 (PEP1) and its repression enables flowering after vernalization. The other system uses microRNA156…

Leaf age dictates abiotic versus biotic stress signalling in Arabidopsis (PNAS)

Plants sense and respond to various external stimuli throughout their lifespan. During stress responses brought forth by abiotic or biotic factors, molecular and physiological adjustments mediated by distinct yet interconnected hormone pathways play critical roles in plant survival. Berens et al. investigate…

Root branching toward water involves posttranslational modification of transcription factor ARF7 ($) (Science)

Roots do amazing things, particularly in terms of how they optimize their growth in response to their very local environment including water, nutrients, microbes, and physical obstructions. Branching in regions of contact with water is called hydropatterning, and previous studies showed that an auxin…

New Teaching Tool: "Molecular Control of Plant Shoot Architecture"

We’re excited to announce the publication of The Plant Cell’s latest Teaching Tool, “Molecular Control of Plant Shoot Architecture,” by Agustin Zsögön and Lázaro E. P. Peres, available without subscription at Plantae.org. Manipulation of plant form and height has been instrumental in…

CONSTITUTIVE TRIPLE RESPONSE 1 and PIN2 coordinately regulate indeterminate root growth (Plant Sci)

Méndez-Bravo et al. explored the mechanism for the dramatic phenotype of the ctr1 mutant (CONSTITUTIVE TRIPLE RESPONSE 1), which inhibits both cell division and elongation. In the ctr1-1 mutant background, auxin response is induced at the root tip and an increase in expression of the auxin transporter…

PID/WAG-mediated phosphorylation of PIN3 mediates polarity switches during gravitropism (Sci Reports)

Auxin distribution depends on the polar localization of PIN-FORMED or PIN proteins. Based on different development and environmental stimuli, PIN proteins switch polarity to redirect the auxin flux. Additionally, phosphorylation of PIN is required for its function. For instance, PIN3 phosphorylation…

Differential growth and shape formation in plant organs (PNAS)

This paper is kind of fun because it explores plant leaf and petal shape from an engineering perspective, identifying “fundamental mechanistic insights into how nature invokes mechanics in the evolution of commonly found shapes in plant organs by differential growth.” For each organ, the authors…

Opinion: Limits to tree growth and longevity (TIPS)

I think trees are awesome, and I mean that in the truest sense of the word. They dwarf us in height, and when we look at a tree that has lived for hundreds or thousands of years it is impossible not to think of that span in terms of human generations and human history. But, trees don’t live or grow…