Recent Posts

REVIEW: Shared Structural Principles Across Kingdoms ($) (Annu. Rev. Cell Dev. Biol)

Understanding how a single fertilized cell develops into a complex multicellular system has always been a challenging but fascinating topic of developmental biology. In both animal and plant species, it all starts with a simple spherical cell; afterward, two axes of polarity generate flat shapes,…

Fluctuating auxin response gradients determine pavement cell-shape acquisition (PNAS)

The leaf epidermis is composed primarily of undulated pavement cells arranged in a jigsaw puzzle-like architecture, with neighboring cells flawlessly interlacing with one another thanks to synchronized growth, thus making it an ideal model to study morphogenesis regulation. Seeking to better understand…

“Order by disorder”- intrinsically disordered proteins (Plant Physiol.)

Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDP) have repetitive protein sequences but lack a defined 3D structure and are deployed to do some challenging functions that a protein with a defined 3D structure cannot perform. One such IDP, Oryza sativa REPETITIVE PROLINE-RICH PROTEIN (OsRePRP) is involved in inhibiting…

Nitrate defines shoot size through compensatory roles for endoreplication and cell division (Curr. Biol.)

In this paper, Moreno et al. investigate how nitrate affects the balance between cell proliferation and cell expansion in shoots during early seedling development. They note that the cells in Arabidopsis cotyledons undergo considerable enlargement, and that the increase in cell size is correlated with…

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…