Recent Posts

Special Issue: Root Biology (Physiologia Plantarum)

The year 2019 kicks off with a special issue on root biology, with all articles free to access for six months. Topics include interactions of roots with parasites and symbionts, root branching, transport in the root system, and roots of woody species. (Summary by Mary Williams) Physiologia Plantarum…

Pivotal roles of cryptochromes 1a and 2 in tomato development and physiology (Plant Phys)

Cryptochromes are a class of flavoproteins found in plants and animals that are sensitive to blue light. In Arabidopsis, cryptochromes are involved in many important physiological processes including de-etiolation, flowering, circadian rhythms, cotyledon opening and expansion, anthocyanin accumulation,…

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…