Recent Posts

FACE facts hold for multiple generations; Evidence from natural CO2 springs (Global Change Biol)

Assessing the effect of rising CO2 concentrations on plant growth and physiology traits is crucial in order to determine how ecosystems and crop production systems will perform in future climates.  Such assessments have been made with free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments, which have provided a…

Dark-Induced Leaf Senescence 


Senescence in plants is a prelude to cell or organ death. The metabolites and macromolecules released during senescence are salvaged by the plant for use elsewhere. Generally, senescence occurs prior to programmed cell death (PCD), since the characteristic leaf yellowing can be reversed while PCD is…

All Roads Lead to Rome: Multiple Pathways Close Stomata in Plant Defense

Zheng et al. reveal that plant endogenous peptides and their receptors initiate stomatal closure to prevent microbes’ entry, thus enhancing plant immunity. The Plant Cell (2018) https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00701. By Xiaojiang Zheng and Sheng Luan. Background: Unlike animals, plants can’t…

Regulation of Photosynthesis: Shedding Light on Protein Acetylation

Koskela and Brünje et al. identified a chloroplast protein acetyltransferase, which is required for the regulation of light harvesting in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell (2018) https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00155. by Minna M. Koskela, Annika Brünje, Iris Finkemeier, Paula Mulo   Background: Plants…

Improving on the Humble Spud

The humble spud. Simple, unassuming, yet vital in supporting a large proportion of the world’s population. Historically speaking, much of the research performed on potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) has gone into enhancing their disease resistance, justifiably so given the severe famines brought about through…

The “PhenoBox”, a flexible, automated, open-source plant phenotyping data solution (OA)

High-throughput plant phenotyping systems are an excellent tool for analyzing large plant populations, providing better understanding of plant growth, productivity and performance under stress conditions. Unfortunately, high-throughput platforms are also high on costs and limited in their adaptability…

Phytophthora palmivora establishes tissue-specific intracellular infection structures in the earliest divergent land plant lineage (OA)

Surprisingly little is known about the pathogens of liverworts. Carella et al. explored the interaction between the broad-host range pathogenic oomycete Phytophthora palmivora and the model liverwort Marchantia polymorpha. They found that the pathogen enters the host tissues and proliferates in intercellular…

Similar but Different: A Functionally Conserved of COI1 Receptor Recognizes Jasmonate Precursors in the Liverwort Marchantia polymorpha ($)

Land plants evolved from freshwater charophyte algae over 450 million years ago and have since diverged into the multitude of plant lineages observed today. The extent to which prominent plant hormones and cognate receptor proteins, which play essential roles in evolutionarily young angiosperms, are…

Polyamines regulate strawberry fruit ripening by abscisic acid, auxin, and ethylene (Plant Physiol)

Polyamines, which include putrescine [NH2(CH2)4NH2], spermidine [NH2(CH2)4NH(CH2)3NH2], and  spermine [NH2(CH2)3NH(CH2)4NH(CH2)3NH2], are widespread in nature. Although their mechanisms of action remain largely unresolved, they have demonstrated roles in plants ranging from abiotic stress tolerance…