Recent Posts

Review. Message in a Bubble: Shuttling small RNAs and proteins between cells and interacting organisms using extracellular vesicles (Annu. Rev. Plant Biol.)

Small RNAs have big effects and can serve to shut down or silence gene expression. Recently, studies have found that small RNAs can contribute to plant defense beyond the boundary of the plant, by being packed into extracellular vesicles (EVs) and delivered to a pathogen. Cai et al. review our current…

Review. Plant synthetic biology for producing potent phyto-antimicrobials to combat antimicrobial resistance

Covid has turned our focus to human viral pathogens, but the challenges we face from cellular pathogens has not gone away, and is increasingly exacerbated by the development of resistance to antibiotics and other antimicrobials. This fine review by Tiwari et al. provides an overview of how antimicrobials…

Host-interactor screens of Phytophthora infestans RXLR proteins reveal vesicle trafficking as a major effector-targeted process (Plant Cell)

It’s like the plot of every spy movie you’ve ever seen. If you could infiltrate your opponent’s headquarters what would you target to disable your enemy? This is the question addressed in new work by Petre et al. More than ten years ago, a family of small proteins was identified, the RXLR proteins…

Not PTI or ETI: PTI and ETI (Nature)

Two very exciting papers have come out this week in Nature that address a long-standing question about the relative contributions of two different plant immunity pathways. PTI (pathogen-triggered immunity) recognizes conserved pathogen signatures at the plant cell surface; a model system for PTI is the…

Regulation of ACD6 ion channel-like protein by small peptides (bioRxiv)

ACCELERATED CELL DEATH 6 (ACD6) positively regulates the signaling of the plant defense hormone salicylic acid (SA). It was originally identified by the study of natural variation in defense responses of Arabidopsis thaliana. The naturally hyperactive ACD6-Est-I allele confers broad-spectrum disease…

A stable antimicrobial peptide with dual functions of treating and preventing citrus Huanglongbing (PNAS)

Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB) caused by the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) is the most destructive disease of citrus and currently has no cure. Current management practices are also not effective. Huang et al. used comparative analysis of small RNAs and mRNAs between HLB-sensitive and…

When fungi get ‘SCOOP’ed: MIK2 receptor kinase perceives SCOOP phytocytokines in Arabidopsis thaliana (Nature Comms)

Plant cells sense endogenous and exogenous molecules through proteins localized to the cell surface. While numerous ligands that mediate a variety of developmental and stress processes are known, cognate receptors for many ligands remain unidentified. Rhodes and colleagues have now shown the Arabidopsis…

Review: Age is NOT just a number (Trends Plant Sci)

Aging of plants is marked by the growth and differentiation of individual organs, as well as transitions of the whole plant through developmental phases: juvenile, vegetative adult, and reproductive phase. In their recent review, Rankenberg et al. discuss how abiotic stress responses vary in plants with…

Review: Selective redox signaling shapes plant-pathogen interactions (Plant Physiol.)

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) are often presented as something of enigmas. They are damaging by-products of metabolism and stress, but also intentionally produced as a signal and defense response to pathogens. This excellent Update by Bleau and Spoel synthesizes new…