Recent Posts

Overexpression of zmm28 increases maize grain yield in the field (PNAS)

This study, from scientists at Corteva Agriscience, demonstrates a yield boost in transgenic maize overexpressing a gene encoding a transcription factor. Expression of zmm28, a maize MADS-box transcription factor gene, is elevated through fusion to a maize GOS2 promoter, which provides moderate, constitutive…

Challenging current interpretation of sunflower movements (J. Exp. Bot)

Plants are vigorous and sensitive organisms that can move various organs: leaves, shoots, tendrils, flower petals and roots. Movements in plants are usually regarded as a response to an environmental stimulus, such as light, temperature, or gravity. However, plants also are capable of autonomous, endogenous…

Optimal levels of PLETHORA2 for root regeneration capacity (Cell Reports)

Plants can regenerate organs after damage, or even regenerate a whole plant. The regeneration efficiency is different across the organism. In this study, Durgaprasad et al. studied the factors that determine regeneration competence across Arabidopsis roots. They focussed on PLETHORA2 (PLT2), a gene involved…

Review: Revolutions in agriculture chart a course for targeted breeding of old and new crops ($) (Science)

A few traits are associated with domestication across many species. Eshed and Lippman provide an overview of the changes to plant stature and flowering time that have been repeatedly selected by our ancestors. By comparing the molecular underpinnings of these traits across crops, it becomes clear that…

teosinte branched1 and the control of bud dormancy and growth in maize (Nature Comms)

Branching has a significant impact on plant architecture. Maize, a domesticated species, has lower branching levels in comparison to its wild ancestor teosinte. Axillary branching is the result of lateral buds growth. Some factors such as phytohormones and transport of sugars are related to bud activation/dormancy…

Nuclear-cytoplasmic partitioning of ARF proteins controls auxin responses ($) (Mol Cell)

ARF (Auxin Response Factor) transcription factor proteins contain three domains: an N-terminal DNA-binding domain, a variable middle region, and a C-terminal PB1 domain. Powers et al. found that ARF7 and ARF19 accumulate as large-order assemblies in the cytoplasmic region of mature root cells, but the…

To be in Petri or in soil, that is the question (Mol Plant)

Frequently, research on root growth in Arabidopsis has been carried out in transparent Petri dishes, although in the natural environment the soil-buried root actually grows in complete darkness. It is an essential question to check if experimental results reflect the natural growth of plants. It is well-known…

Phosphorylation-mediated dynamics of nitrate transceptor NRT1.1 regulate lateral root growth (Plant Physiol)

Nitrate is an important plant nutrient and multiple transporters have been identified in different plant species. NRT1.1 (NITRATE TRANSPORTER 1.1) belonging to the MFS (Major Facilitator Superfamily) has been shown to transport nitrate and auxin (IAA, Indole 3-acetic acid). This dual affinity transporter…

Review: Developmental responses to water and salinity in root systems ($) (Annu Rev Cell Biol)

Plants lack organs that are analogous to human ears, eyes or fingertips, yet they can detect changes in their environment. In this review, Dinneny describes how sensing heterogeneities in salt and water leads to changes in root architecture, optimizing soil foraging. The root tip typically follows the…