Recent Posts

A single transcription factor promotes both yield and immunity in rice ($) (Science)

Plants regularly prioritize either growth or defense, leading to reduced growth rate when the plant is under attack. Wang et al. have identified a simple switch  in rice that demonstrates this principle beautifully. The Ideal Plant Architecture 1 (IPA1) transcription factor is involved in controlling…

The Healing Power of Light

Light is life, especially for plants. It fuels photosynthesis and, when perceived by photoreceptors, directs important developmental programs, including photomorphogenesis and shade avoidance. Red and blue light wavelengths activate phytochrome (phy) and cryptochrome (cry) photoreceptors, respectively,…

Predicting division planes of three-dimensional cells by soap-film minimization ($) (Plant Cell)

Martinez et al. used a modelling approach to see if it is possible to predict the location of a cell’s future division plane. In most cases the cell divides according to strict geometric rules, such that the newly formed wall will have a minimum area (described as a soap-film minimization model). However,…

Ploidy and size at multiple scales in the Arabidopsis sepal (Plant Cell)

Ploidy refers to the number of genomes contained within a nucleus. Ploidy levels can increase through whole-genome duplication, which affects every cell equally, and through endoreduplication, a cell-by-cell process in which DNA synthesis is not accompanied by cytokinesis. Robinson et al. investigated…

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…