Recent Posts

Review: Molecular networks of seed size control in plants ($) (Annu Rev Plant Biol)

Crop yield is largely determined by the size of seeds, and studies are being conducted to understand the complex molecular network controlling the seed size. Li et al. review the possible molecular mechanisms and regulatory networks underlying seed size control and growth, including the factors originating…

Q&A: Modern crop breeding for future food security (BMC Biology)

The demand for plant-based products will increase and must be doubled in the near future. Therefore, there is need for technological advancements and skillsets in all fields related to agriculture to successfully produce more efficiently than now. What could be done to speed up production to meet the…

Crop variety management for climate adaptation supported by citizen science (PNAS)

Current research is focused on developing better crop varieties that could withstand the adversities posed by climate change; however, these varieties might perform worse than the locally-grown varieties in field conditions. This could be due to the release of varieties to farmers without performing…

ABC transporter-mediated transport of glutathione conjugates enhances seed yield and quality in chickpea (Plant Physiol)

Identifying the genetic determinants of yield and quality traits is essential for crop improvement. Chickpea is the third-most cultivated legume species and is a prominent source of protein to global consumers. Genetic improvement of chickpea, in terms of enhancing its seed size and weight, has been…

News and Views: Harnessing the potential of germplasm collections (Nature Genetics) ($)

There are more than 7 million crop accessions in gene banks around the world, however the information records for them are in multiple formats, making a comparison between and within collections difficult. Extrapolating from a new paper by Milner et al. (Nature Genetics 51: pages319–326) Langridge…

Nitrate transporter gene OsNRT1.1A/ OsNPF6.3 confers high yield in rice (Plant Cell)

In many ecosystems, nitrogen (N) is a limiting factor for plant growth. In agro-ecosystems, the application of synthetic N fertiliser has solved that issue. However, N fertiliser application is costly both to the farmers and the environment (in terms of N leaching and atmospheric release of greenhouse…

Speed breeding is a powerful tool to accelerate crop research and breeding (Nature Plants) ($)

Accelerated development of improved plant varieties is imperative to meet the ever-growing needs in the agri-food sector. Breeding has been a durable solution for developing elite cultivars; however, the entire process is time-consuming and labor-intensive. Here, Watson et al. demonstrated how extending…

AP2-like transcription factor SUPERNUMERARY BRACT controls rice seed shattering and seed size (Plant Cell)

Non-shattering seed, or seed that stays attached to the stem when mature, is a key domestication trait that makes harvesting easier. Previous studies have identified several domestication genes that suppress the formation of the seed's abscission zone, thus preventing shattering. Jiang et al. used a…

New Teaching Tool: "Molecular Control of Plant Shoot Architecture"

We’re excited to announce the publication of The Plant Cell’s latest Teaching Tool, “Molecular Control of Plant Shoot Architecture,” by Agustin Zsögön and Lázaro E. P. Peres, available without subscription at Plantae.org. Manipulation of plant form and height has been instrumental in…