Recent Posts

Review: Not only turgor can shape plant growth!

Cell wall tensile stress and turgor pressure are two important determinants of cell growth. Turgor pressure has been regarded as a passive contributor, however recent evidence reviewed by Ali et al. suggests that turgor is an emergent property that determines growth. Wall stress and turgor pressure are…

PIF4 enhances DNA binding of CDF2 to co-regulate target gene expression and promote Arabidopsis hypocotyl cell elongation (Nature Plants)

Responses to environmental and internal signals require the recruitment of transcription factors (TFs). TFs recognize simple DNA sequences to activate specific genes that will accomplish the required functions. DOF (DNA-binding with one finger) is a large family of plant TFs that encloses the CYCLING…

NLP7-CRF-PIN, the nitrate-cytokinin-auxin crosstalk module, conveys root nitrate signals and regulates shoot growth adaptive responses (PNAS)

Nitrate, the prominent form of nitrogen used by most land plants, is a signal regulating plant growth and development. Nitrate sensing by roots not only regulates root development to facilitate nutrient foraging, but also the growth of distant plant organs. Cytokinin is a mobile signal coordinating nitrate…

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…