Recent Posts

Systemic upregulation of Zn partitioning to the shoot supplements local Zn-deficiency responses (Plant Cell)

Zinc is an important micronutrient for plants and people. To better understand Zn uptake and homeostasis, Sinclair et al. used a transcriptomic approach to identify genes abnormally expressed in zinc-transporter mutants (hma2 hma4). In these mutants, Zn accumulates in roots but isn’t effectively transported…

Don’t Go Grocery Shopping When Hungry! Systemic Signaling in Zinc Homeostasis

Going grocery-shopping on an empty stomach is a bad idea. You’re bound to make poor decisions, not based on nutritional content of the food but based on temporary cravings that will leave you asking for more later. Plants face this nutritional puzzle every day, since they eat where they shop, and shop…

Review: X-ray fluorescence microscopy imaging (Plant Physiol.)

Kopittke et al. review the use of synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence microscopy as a tool to quantify and localize diverse elements in plants. The authors describe how this method can be used to study nutrients in plants and human foods, as well as metal hyperaccumulating plants, and toxic metal(oid)…

trans-Zeatin in Shoots Drives Nitrate Systemic Signaling

Poitout et al. study how plants forage for nutrients in the soil https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00011. By Arthur Poitout and Sandrine Ruffel Background: Nitrate, NO3- (the preferential nitrogen [N] source for most of higher plants) is spread unevenly in the soil due to its high mobile property,…

Maintaining Cellular Phosphate

Segami et al. investigate cellular phosphate homeostasis in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00911 Background: Many biological reactions, including the biosynthesis of DNA, RNA, proteins, and polysaccharides, produce inorganic pyrophosphate (PPi). However, accumulation of PPi…

Phosphate Translocation from Roots to Shoots is Precisely Modulated

Ye et al. discover a protein that mediates phosphate translocation and is dependent on environmental phosphate supply. Plant Cell (2018). https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00845 By Qing Ye and Yi-Fang Chen Background: Phosphorus is a major essential nutrient for plant growth and development, and phosphate…

A Brake For Nitrogen Starvation Responses

Kiba et al. focus on transcriptional regulation of nitrogen starvation responses. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00810 By Takatoshi Kiba Background: Nitrogen availability in the soil profoundly affects plant growth and productivity, and thus crop yield. To meet expanding food demands,…

Rice Leaf Erectness Tied to Phosphorus Efficiency

Ruan et al. discover a protein module that regulates rice leaf inclination in response to soil Pi availability. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00738 Background: As an essential element for plant growth, phosphorus (P) is taken up by plant roots as inorganic Pi (Pi) from the soil solution.…

Adjusting Boron Transport by Two-Step Tuning of Levels of the Efflux Transporter BOR1

Boron is an essential plant micronutrient with the narrowest optimal range in the soil of any micronutrient. At neutral pH, boron is present as uncharged boric acid, B(OH)3, which can freely penetrate membranes. Boron plays an important role in cross-linking cell wall components, but boron starvation…