Recent Posts

SeedQuant: A deep learning-based tool for assessing stimulant and inhibitor activity on root parasitic seeds (Plant Physiol.)

Parasitic plants can completely wipe out a farmer’s harvest. The seeds can lie dormant in soil until they perceive signals from potential host plants, which stimulate germination. Therefore, germination stimulants applied to fields before the crops are planted can cause the parasitic seeds to germinate…

Three-dimensional reconstructions of haustoria in two parasitic plant species in the Orobanchaceae (Plant Physiol)

Parasitic plants form haustoria, which are specialized multicellular structures that penetrate into their host’s vasculature and act as conduits for nutrients.  The molecular and genetic contributors to haustorium development and function are well described. Here, Masumoto et al. have provided new…

Deeply altered genome architecture in the endoparasitic flowering plant Sapria himalayana Griff. (Curr. Biol.)

It’s one of those plants that gets noticed, so we’re excited to see the press associated with the genome sequence of the large endoparasitic plant Sapria himalayana. Everyone has seen pictures of this plant, which lives entirely underground except when it produces its large (20 cm diameter) blood…

Ethylene signaling mediates host invasion by parasitic plants (Science Advances)

Parasitic plants cause agricultural devastation across the globe, yet the molecular basis of their parasitism is largely enigmatic. They grapple and intrude into the host roots with an organ called the haustorium. Haustoria formation is induced upon recognition of host-derived haustorium-inducing factors…