Recent Posts

The Importance of the DNA Damage Response during Maize Kernel Development

Pedroza-Garcia report that the necessity for DNA damage response kinases under non-stress conditions is higher in maize than in Arabidopsis, indicating that the mechanisms maintaining genome integrity may be more important for vegetative and reproductive development than previously thought. Plant Cell…
Headshot of Thelma Madzima. In the background are a series of pipette tip boxes and a mini vortexer.

URM Plant Scientist Highlights - Thelma Madzima (she/her)

Dr. Thelma Madzima (she/her) is one of very few Black faculty in the USA who are plant molecular biologists. Originally from Zimbabwe, Thelma immigrated to the US at the age of 17 to attend college. She received her B.S. in Plant Science and Plant Biotechnology from Fort Valley State University, a historically…

How drought affects the asynchrony between anthesis and silking

Liu et al. demonstrate how manipulating ZmEXPA4 gene expression in developing maize ears alleviates the prolonged anthesis and silking interval in response to drought. The Plant Cell (2021) https://doi.org/10.1093/plcell/koab083  By Boxin Liu and Feng Qin Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of…

Genomes losing balance – what is the consequence?

Shi et al. (2021). Plant Cell. Gene expression in diploid aneuploids and polyploids. Plant Cell. https://doi.org/10.1093/plcell/koab030 By Xiaowen Shi and James A. Birchler Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211 Background: A change in the number of chromosomes…

Plant Scientist Highlight: Barbara McClintock

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Barbara McClintock was born on June 16th, 1902 in Hartford, Connecticut, and was raised in Brooklyn, NY. She was one of four children of Sara and Thomas McClintock. She received her bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees from Cornell, completing her education in 1927. She defied norms at the time…

An asymptomatic crop holds the clues for healthy roots

Baetsen-Young et al. explore the root transcriptomes of soybean and maize plants infected with a fungus. The Plant Cell By Amy Baetsen-Young and Brad Day, Michigan State University  Background: Diverged plant species respond to microbial interactions through different processes, the outcome…

A Hub of Hubs: The Central Role of ZmABI19 in the Regulatory Network of Maize Grain Filling

Cereal grains accumulate large amounts of proteins and starch and are a major source of dietary calories for humans and animals. In maize (Zea mays), most of the storage compounds are synthesized during the grain-filling period of kernel development. Several key transcription factors (TFs) that regulate…

Expanded function of the P-type pentatricopeptide repeat protein ATP4 in RNA editing

Tianhu Sun ORCID ID: 0000-0002-2513-1387 Plant Breeding and Genetics Section, School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853 ts753@cornell.edu  Chloroplasts are semi-autonomous organelles that retain their own genomes derived from their cyanobacterial ancestors,…

How circadian changes in metabolism affect hybrid vigor

Zhi Li, Andan Zhu, et al. compare inbred and hybrid lines to explore how daily changes in metabolic pathways affect hybrid vigor. The Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.20.00320  Background: Heterosis or hybrid vigor refers to the superior growth or fitness in the hybrid progeny compared to one…