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…

Tectonic Movements Across the Tomato Genome

Corem et al. demonstrate a switch in DNA methylation patterns across the tomato genome. The Plant Cell (2018). https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00167. By Shira Corem, Tzahi Arazi and Nicolas Bouché Background: Crop genomes are covered by transposons, which are DNA sequences that can jump from one…

Genome-Wide Assessment of Alternative Splicing in Maize

Chen et al. higlight the importance of AS in diversifying gene function and regulating phenotypic variation. The Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00109 Background: Alternative splicing (AS) of precursor mRNAs is an essential regulatory mechanism that greatly enhances transcriptome and proteome…

Heterochromatin keeps RNA-directed DNA methylation in place?

Fu et al. demonstrate a requirement for the heterochromatin factors CMT and DDM1 in RNA-directed DNA methylation in maize. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00053 By Fang-fang Fu and Jonathan I. Gent
 Background: DNA methylation is a chemical modification of DNA consisting of addition…

Function of m6A in Arabidopsis

Wei et al. Study m6A binding protein ECT2 in Arabidopsis. The Plant Cell (2018). https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00934 By Lian-Huan Wei Background: N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is the most abundant chemical modification of eukaryotic messenger RNA (mRNA). The regulation of m6A modification plays important…

Decoding RNA Methylation Regulates Trichome Branching

Scutenaire et al. show that a YTH domain protein acts as a reader of m6A mRNA modifications, thereby playing crucial roles in trichome branching, likely by acting on mRNAs in the cytosol. Plant Cell (2018). https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00854 By J. Scutenaire and C. Bousquet-Antonelli Background:…

Rice Panicle Morphogenesis: Intercommunication Between Grain Number and Size

Guo et al. investigate the trade-off between seed number and seed size of rice. Plant Cell (2018) https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00959. By Tao Guo, Ke Chen, Nai-Qian Dong, Chuan-Lin Shi, Wang-Wei Ye, Ji-Ping Gao, Jun-Xiang Shan, Hong-Xuan Lin Background: Rice is one of the main staple cereal crops…

TEOSINTE BRANCHED1 and Wheat Inflorescence Architecture

Dixon et al. (2018) investigate the regulation of wheat inflorescence architecture by TEOSINTE BRANCHED1. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00961 Background: Grass inflorescences are composed of many seed-producing flowers (or florets) that are arranged on branches called spikelets. The number…

Critical plant gene takes unexpected detour that could boost biofuel yields

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., June 15, 2018 - For decades, biologists have believed a key enzyme in plants had one function--produce amino acids, which are vital to plant survival and also essential to human diets. But for Wellington Muchero, Meng Xie and their colleagues, this enzyme does more than advertised.…

Alternative Splicing Plays a Major Role in Plant Response to Cold Temperatures

Plants in temperate regions experience near-freezing temperatures that allow them to develop a cold response prior to freezing. This cold acclimation process involves changes to chromatin structure, transcription, RNA processing, translation, post-translational modifications and protein stability. Genome-wide…