Recent Posts

A specialized metabolic network selectively modulates Arabidopsis root microbiota (Science)

Plants have evolved to adapt to varied environmental niches. The ability to produce specialized metabolites is one of the evolved characteristics which help plants to thrive through varied biotic and abiotic conditions. Plant-associated microbes are always known to have a drastic impact on plant growth…

Gene networks underlying cannabinoid and terpenoid accumulation in cannabis (Plant Physiol)

Recent changes in the legal status of cannabis and cannabis-products have allowed renewed scientific interest in the genetic and metabolic basis of cannabis’ effects as well as the regulatory issues related to quality control of the products. Many varieties of Cannabis spp. have poorly documented pedigrees,…

Review: Integration of sulfate assimilation with C and N metabolism in transition from C3 to C4 photosynthesis (J Exp Bot)

“Cysteine (HO2CCH(NH2)CH2SH) synthesis is the converging point of the three major pathways of primary metabolism: carbon, nitrate, and sulfate assimilation.” It’s hard enough to coordinate two pathways, let alone three; but these metabolic connections are revealed in that a deficiency in one nutrient…

Default activation and nuclear translocation of the plant cellular energy sensor SnRK1 ($) (Plant Cell)

When I’m using my laptop without it being plugged in, at some point it enters battery saving mode as it senses that the battery charge is getting low. Organisms also sense their low energy reserves and activate alternate metabolic processes to ensure survival. The core energy sensor is a hetero-trimeric…

Autophagy regulates lipid biosynthesis and turnover

Fan et al. explore the roles of autophagy in Arabidopsis lipid metabolism. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.19.00170 By Jilian Fan, Linhui Yu and Changcheng Xu Biology Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory Background: Autophagy is a self-eating process during which cytoplasmic materials…

Moonlighting activities and control of meristem maintenance in maize ($) (Nature Plants)

The phosphorylated disaccharide trehalose 6-phosphate (T6P) is a regulator of meristem fate. Mutations in enzymes related to T6P metabolism (such as TPS, the synthase, or the phosphatase trehalose 6-phosphate phosphatase TPP, i.e., RAMOSA3 that dephosphorylates T6P to trehalose), are linked to defects…

The phosphorylation and protein interaction landscape of the plant TOR kinase (Nature Plants) ($)

The TOR (target of rapamycin) is a conserved regulator of cellular homeostasis and energy status in several clades of life. TOR signaling is well studied in animals while precise regulation and downstream targets of TOR kinase are not very well explored in plants. Some well-studied TOR kinase targets…

Metabolism gene prediction using diversiform molecular features (PNAS)

Advances in sequencing technologies enable scientists to obtain molecular features of genes in high-dimensionality. Features of individual gene like expression, methylation, histone modification, evolutionary signals and sequence itself provide high resolution for distinguishing annotated genes. In plant…

Natural Herbicide: Cyanobacterial antimetabolite inhibits the growth of prototrophic organisms (Nature Comms)

The shikimate pathway synthesizes aromatic amino acids in microorganisms and plants, and its absence in animals makes the shikimate pathway a common target for the development of herbicides. Brilisauer et al. 2019 isolated a novel compound from the cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus—7-deoxy-sedoheptulose…