Recent Posts

Biofortification of plants: New Reviews ($)

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Biofortification is the nutritional enhancement (using conventional or genetic engineering approaches) of food with vitamins or micronutrients with the goal of improving the human diet. A set of new reviews in Current Opinion in Biotechnology summarizes progress towards biofortification of plants to…

Clustering of sorghum defense-compound dhurrin proteins into a metabolon ($)

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A metabolon is a physical clustering of metabolic pathway proteins. Until now, evidence for metabolons has been patchy, but Laursen et al. convincingly demonstrate the physical association of several enzymes involved in the production of dhurrin, a defense compound of sorghum. They use a method involving…

Two-cell metabolism in multicellular cyanobacteria ($)

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Nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria such as Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 have the challenge of supporting nitrogenase, an enzyme that is highly sensitive to oxygen, and simultaneously photosynthesis, an oxygen-producing set of reactions. They accomplish this by segregating these reactions into two cells, heterocysts…

Metabolic Signaling Regulates Alternative Splicing during Photomorphogenesis

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IN BRIEF by Kathleen L. Farquharson kfarquharson@aspb.org Alternative splicing (AS) regulates gene expression and greatly expands the coding capacity of complex genomes. By regulating which elements of an mRNA transcript are removed or retained, AS produces multiple transcripts from a single gene. Some…

Another Step Closer to Understanding Plant Cell Wall Biosynthesis: The Crystal Structure of FUCOSYLTRANSFERASE1[

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IN BRIEF by Nancy R. Hofmann  nhofmann@aspb.org Plant cell walls consist of cellulose microfibrils embedded in a matrix of polymers including hemicelluloses. As one of the main hemicelluloses in the cell walls of dicots, xyloglucan is an important target of study to understand plant cell walls…

It’s Not Easy Not Being Green: Breakthroughs in Chlorophyll Breakdown

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IN BRIEF by Jennifer Mach jmach@aspb.org Plants can dispose of organs such as leaves and recycle the nutrients in these organs into new leaves, seeds, or storage organs. However, when separated from its photosystem proteins, chlorophyll can be phototoxic, absorbing light and producing high-energy…