Recent Posts

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…

Ethylene response factors 15 and 16 trigger jasmonate biosynthesis in tomato during herbivore resistance (Plant Physiol)

Crop damage and yield losses caused by herbivores have become major threats to global food security. Upon wounding and herbivory, plants rapidly accumulate high levels of jasmonates (JA). However, the mechanism underlying how JA biosynthesis is triggered by herbivore attack remains unclear. It is therefore…

Plant cell layer-specific responses against pathogenic and beneficial microbes (Cell Host & Microbe)

Plant roots are composed of concentric cell layers with distinct gene regulatory programs. Cell layer-specific responses are likely critical for plants to cope with microbes with various lifestyles, but little is known about root responses against microbes at cell-layer resolution. Fröschel et al. tackled…

WUSCHEL triggers innate antiviral immunity in plant stem cells (Science)

Meristem culture is widely used as a technique for plant propagation because meristems are usually virus-free, even in systemically infected plants. It has long been assumed that viruses are unable to enter the cells of the meristem due to the meristem’s lack of vascular connections to the plant. Here,…

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…