Recent Posts

Large seeds provide intrinsic growth advantage that depends on leaf traits and root allocation (Funct. Ecol.)

A long-standing premise in plant ecology is that seed mass and growth rate are negatively correlated, meaning that small-seeded species grow faster than large-seeded ones. However, this relationship remains controversial given that the most common measurement for growth rate –Relative Growth Rate (RGR)–…

Endosperm turgor pressure both promotes and restricts seed growth and size (bioRxiv)

Seed size is a plant trait with agricultural and ecological relevance. However, the mechanisms that determine the final size of seeds are still subject to debate. Here, Creff and colleagues use computational models and mutant experiments to dissect the role of endosperm turgor in Arabidopsis seed size.…

Review: Can smart nutrient applications optimize the plant's hidden half to improve drought resistance? (Physiol. Plant.)

The root system has three key functions: support/anchoring, uptake of water, and uptake of nutrients. Many questions remain about how roots integrate all of these functions into the architecture of a single system. Here, Bardhan et al. explore whether modifying the nutrient environment (hence root’s…

A complementary mechanism to the microRNA-mediated control of leaf size (Plant Physiol)

Plants form leaves with highly reproducible sizes and shapes by employing a conserved set of developmental regulators. During early leaf growth, a zone of high cell proliferation is formed towards the proximal end of the lamina.  Proliferating cells progressively exit this zone and enter the distal…

Molecular mechanism of cytokinin-activated cell division in Arabidopsis (Science)

Proper organogenesis depends on the precise control of cell proliferation and differentiation. Cytokinin and auxin have emerged as key regulators of both these processes, where cytokinin promotes proliferation and synergistically with auxin fine-tunes the proliferation and differentiation rate. Years…

Mechanism and function of root circumnutation (PNAS)

This is an engrossing paper. The authors start off with a simple mutant screen for abnormal root growth in rice seedlings, through which they identified three “long root” mutant alleles of a rice mutant in a gene encoding a histidine kinase, HK1. Careful analysis showed that the mutant roots fail…

Jasmonate biosynthesis arising from altered cell walls is prompted by turgor-driven mechanical compression (Sci. Advances)

Jasmonate (JA) coordinates plant development and response to a wide range of biotic and abiotic stresses. JA production is stimulated by wounding, which damages cell walls, and increased in plants carrying mutations in cellulose biosynthetic genes. Nevertheless, the intracellular events connecting mechanical…

Review: Thriving under stress: How plants balance growth and stress response (Devel. Cell)

What exactly is the growth/defense tradeoff? This review is an excellent place to ask. Zhang et al. review evidence that shows that it is much more than a competition for limiting resources – the plant actively responds to stress in ways that may slow growth but ultimately promote survival. The…

NO GAMETOPHORES 2 is a novel regulator of the 2D to 3D growth transition in the moss Physcomitrella patens (Curr. Biol.)

Three-dimensional (3D) growth was an essential evolutionary innovation that allowed the radiation and diversification of land plants. In most land plants the transition from two-dimensional (2D) to 3D growth takes place during embryo development and its disruption results in lethality, however, the…