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…

How to go quiet: CHT7 regulates cell cycle exit in Chlamydomonas (Plant Cell)

Many microbes enter a state of low metabolic activity, called quiescence, when the conditions for growth and division become unfavorable. The transition from active proliferation to quiescence involves a comprehensive restructuring of cellular metabolism, accumulation of storage compounds, and an orderly…

Go polar: Regulation of Rho GTPases by ARO proteins (Nature Plants)

Polar cell growth is a key feature in plant organs like root hairs, trichomes and pollen tubes. Kulich and co-workers have identified novel regulatory elements governing the polar growth of root hairs and trichomes in Arabidopsis thaliana. Studying a group of proteins named ARMADILLO REPEAT ONLY (ARO),…

The love potion made by soil-borne fungi (Plant Cell Environ.)

The basic requirements for plant growth are water, nutrients, and light. There are many other factors contributing to plant growth, including the interactions between plants and soil microorganisms. Soil microorganisms produce a large array of volatiles that can affect root architecture (e.g., some volatiles…

Vascular transcription factors guide plant epidermal responses to limiting phosphate conditions (Science)

Plants produce more root hairs (epidermal projections) in response to low soil phosphate and the detailed mechanism of this developmental response remains elusive. TARGET OF MONOPTEROS 5 (TMO5) and LONESOME HIGHWAY (LHW) are vascular specific bHLH proteins that work as a heterodimer to activate the rate…