Recent Posts

Nanoscale movements of cellulose microfibrils in primary cell walls ($)

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Cell walls are complex mixtures of cellulose microfibrils, proteins and other materials. Their mechanical properties can be measured and modeled, but it is not always simple to translate these measurements to changes at the molecular level. Zhang et al. used atomic force microscopy to provide an unprecedented…

Review: Feedback mechanisms between membrane lipid homeostasis and plant development (Dev. Cell)

Plant development is a regulated process of cell division, expansion, and differentiation. Membrane lipids are crucial to these processes, as illustrated in this review by Boutté and Jaillais. The authors discuss the major lipid components in the different membrane systems and how these vary in space…

Review: Functions of anionic lipids in plants (Annu. Rev. Plant Biol.)

Moving materials within and out of cells requires that membranes carry identification labels, but when the membrane itself moves, that ID label must be updated. These requirements are met ingeniously by the anionic lipids, which are both a modifiable information system and simultaneously modify the physicochemical…

Review: The nanoscale organization of the plasma membrane and its importance in signaling – a proteolipid perspective (Plant Physiol)

Ample evidence shows that rather than being homogenous, plasma membrane lipids and proteins form distinct nanodomains. Jallais and Ott review plant plasma membrane nanodomains, and their important contributions to receptor-mediated signaling. The authors discuss methods for the study of membrane nanodomains,…

Plant cell-surface GIPC sphingolipids sense salt to trigger Ca2+ influx (Nature)

Soil salinity is one of the most important global problems that negatively affect crop productivity. Jiang et al designed a forward genetic screen in A. thaliana to identify the specific ionic response triggered by salt stress. They mutagenized plants expressing the genetically encoded Ca2+ sensor aequorin,…

Plasma membrane-associated receptor like kinases relocalize to plasmodesmata in response to osmotic stress (Plant Phys)

Plasmodesmata are channels through the cell wall that allow molecules and substances to move back and forth as needed; they also play a central role in growth, development and defence of all higher plants. In this study, Grison et al. describe the rapid relocation to the plasmodesmata pores of two plasma…