Recent Posts

Review: Perspective on wheat yield and quality with reduced N supply (TIPS)

Wheat production demands huge inputs of nitrogen as fertilizer, with accompanying financial and environmental costs. Zorb et al. discuss several strategies by which to maintain wheat yields and wheat quality while decreasing N use and wastage. Some of these are agronomic, such as ensuring that the N…

Towards Pathogen-Resistant Apples

Zhang et al. show that a single-nucleotide polymorphism in a hairpin RNA promoter contributes to Alternaria alternata leaf spot resistance in apple and could serve as a marker to distinguish susceptible versus resistant apple cultivars. https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00042. Background: Apple Alternaria…

Review. Review. Functional phenomics: An emerging field integrating high-throughput phenotyping, physiology, and bioinformatics (J. Exp. Bot)

Understanding the processes contributing to plant productivity will help to secure food production in the future. Larry York proposes how this can be achieved using functional phenomics. First the ideotype needs to be constructed; the ideotype is a set of phene states that are hypothesized to enhance…

A crucial gene controls stem juiciness in sorghum and beyond

The discovery of the gene behind stem juiciness in sweet sorghum could have huge agricultural implications Perhaps you've never tasted sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), the fifth most popular crop in the world, but you probably will soon. This ancient grain is a common source of food in developing countries…

Stony hard phenotype in peach due to transposon insertion into YUCCA ($) (Plant J)

Fruit softening in melting-flesh peaches is triggered by a major accumulation of ethylene at the late stage of ripening. Existence of stony hard peaches showing inhibition of fruit softening has been correlated with low levels of indole-3-acetic-acid inducing low levels of ethylene, but the underlying…

Sorbitol Modulates Apple Resistance to Alternaria

Meng et al. show that sorbitol acts as a signal regulating resistance to the fungal pathogen Alternaria alternata in apple.Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00231 By Dong Meng, B. Gillian Turgeon and Lailiang Cheng Background: Sugars produced by photosynthesis fuel plant growth and development,…

Kinase STRK1 Phosphorylates Catalase to Enhance Rice Salt Tolerance

Zhou et al. demonstrate that a kinase STRK1 can phosphorylate CatC to enhance rice salt toterance. The Plant Cell (2018). https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.01000 By Yan-Biao Zhou, Cong Liu, Jian-Zhong Lin and Xuan-Ming Liu Background: Salt stress can significantly affect plant growth and agricultural…

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…

Gender Identity in Kiwifruit

Akagi et al. identify a gender determining gene in kiwifruit. The Plant Cell (2018). https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00787 By T. Akagi, I. M. Henry, H. Ohtani, T. Morimoto, K. Beppu, I. Kataoka, and R. Tao Background: In flowering plants, hermaphroditism, or the presence of both male and female…