Recent Posts

Modulating plant growth–metabolism coordination for sustainable agriculture

Green revolution varieties of rice and wheat are dwarfed, making them resistant to lodging, and DELLA proteins contribute to this dwarfing. At the same time, green-revolution varieties are not very good at taking up nitrogen, so much of the applied fertilizer is wasted (and polluting). Li et al. have…

New insights in cell death in plants might generate new leads for weed control

Source: SeedQuest Some plants like the giant sequoia trees can grow into the “Largest Living Things on Earth”. Ironically, most of a tree’s biomass is actually not alive, but is formed by persistent cell corpses that are collectively called wood. Wood development is terminated by a tightly controlled…

Arabidopsis Leaf Shape Regulation 


Leaf morphology, both between species and within the same organism, 
 is diverse: leaves can be simple or compound; they can have margins that are smooth or serrated, and they can be flat or have various curvatures. In Arabidopsis, leaf development starts with extensive cell proliferation throughout…

Releasing the Cytokinin Brakes on Root Growth

Roots explore the soil for available water and nutrients, with deep roots providing water from the lower soil layers (Uga et al., 2015) and highly branched roots searching the soil for less-mobile nutrients such as phosphate, zinc, and manganese. Root architecture results from plant developmental programs,…

A New Component Regulating ABA Signaling

Wang et al. find that EAR1 is a general negative regulator of ABA signaling. https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00875 By Kai Wang, Jigang Li and Zhizhong Gong Background: Abscisic acid (ABA) signaling in plants controls many biological processes, such as seed germination, seedling root growth, and…

A Brake For Nitrogen Starvation Responses

Kiba et al. focus on transcriptional regulation of nitrogen starvation responses. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00810 By Takatoshi Kiba Background: Nitrogen availability in the soil profoundly affects plant growth and productivity, and thus crop yield. To meet expanding food demands,…

Rice Leaf Erectness Tied to Phosphorus Efficiency

Ruan et al. discover a protein module that regulates rice leaf inclination in response to soil Pi availability. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00738 Background: As an essential element for plant growth, phosphorus (P) is taken up by plant roots as inorganic Pi (Pi) from the soil solution.…

Rice tiller angle mediated by the LAZY1-dependent asymmetric distribution of auxin

The angle at which leaves extend are held in a rice plant (tiller angle) affects the plant’s ability to intercept light and therefore potential yield. Genetic studies have identified a few genes involved in tiller angle, including the LAZY1 gene that encodes a protein involved in auxin transport. To…

Critical plant gene takes unexpected detour that could boost biofuel yields

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., June 15, 2018 - For decades, biologists have believed a key enzyme in plants had one function--produce amino acids, which are vital to plant survival and also essential to human diets. But for Wellington Muchero, Meng Xie and their colleagues, this enzyme does more than advertised.…