Recent Posts

Nanoscale movements of cellulose microfibrils in primary cell walls ($)

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Cell walls are complex mixtures of cellulose microfibrils, proteins and other materials. Their mechanical properties can be measured and modeled, but it is not always simple to translate these measurements to changes at the molecular level. Zhang et al. used atomic force microscopy to provide an unprecedented…

Glucosylation prevents plant defense activation in phloem-feeding insects (Nature Chem. Biol.)

Brassicas produce specialized metabolites called glucosinolates that can be enzymatically converted to release toxic compounds. The catalyzing enzyme is stored in a separate subcellular compartment, so upon wounding by a herbivore the enzyme and substrate mix and release the toxin. Phloem-feeding insects…

Multi-omics analyses of wild tomato introgression lines reveal a set of gene expression-metabolite-pathogen sensitivity interactions (Nat. Genet.)

Domesticated tomato has been subjected to human selection to satisfy marketing and economic desires, leading to a loss of genetic diversity and elimination of fruits traits such as flavor, aroma and pathogen resistance. Introgression lines (ILs) that capture the genome of wild desert-adapted tomato Solanum…

Active DNA demethylation controls defense gene regulation and antibacterial resistance (bioRxiv)

Epigenetic reprogramming, such as DNA methylation changes, has emerged as a crucial regulator of plant defense responses. Homeostasis of DNA methylation is controlled by a balance between methylation and demethylation. ROS1 (Repressor Of Silencing 1) is an Arabidopsis demethylases that is known to…

Coordination of microbe-host homeostasis via a crosstalk with plant innate immunity (Research Square)

In nature, roots are colonized by commensal bacteria that do not seem to influence host traits. Recently, studies showed some commensals can suppress plant immune responses when inoculated to plants alone. However, how such commensal activities are coordinated in the community context is poorly understood.…

More than photosynthesis: The chloroplast’s role in plant cell defense pathways ($) (Cell)

Chloroplasts are involved in various plant cell functions outside of photosynthesis including defense activation. How is the chloroplast able to do so? In this study, Medina-Puche et al. characterized the molecular function and cellular localization of the Tomato yellow leaf curl virus-derived C4 protein.…

The calcium-permeable channel OSCA1.3 regulates plant stomatal immunity (Nature)

In plants, the perception of environmental threats induces a peak of calcium ions (Ca2+) in the cytosol that triggers signal transduction pathways leading to stomatal closure as defense response. In Arabidopsis, the mechanosensitive Ca2+ channel OSCA1 regulates water transpiration in response to…

Review: Extending Plant Defense Theory to Seeds (Annu. Rev. Ecol. Evol. Syst.) ($)

Plants have developed multiple mechanisms to deal with the natural enemies they encounter through their life. In consequence, the Plant Defense Theory has arisen to assess how plants allocate resources to this purpose. However, much of the efforts in this matter has revolved around the defense that occurs…

Friend vs. foe: molecular insight towards microbial recognition and specificity in legume signaling (Science)

Ecosystems are founded by relationships between organisms, such as the mutualism between plants and microbes. An example is the agriculturally important symbiosis between legumes and nitrogen-fixing bacteria that reside in nodules of legumes. Legumes must be able to differentiate, through undetermined…

Spatial profiling of immune competence in plant roots (bioRxiv)

Plant roots should prevent immune activation by innocuous soil microbiota, as constitutive immune activation is harmful to plant growth. Previous studies have indicated variable immune competence of different root cell types and developmental zones, but this is currently poorly understood with the fine…