Recent Posts

Review: Chloroplast ion homeostasis

Healthy plants require access to several mineral nutrients, which are usually taken up in ionic form. The details of nutrient uptake, distribution, and function have been painstakingly revealed over several decades. In this excellent new Tansley Review, Kunz et al. provide an overview of ion homeostasis…

A nitrogen-fixing algal organelle

Coale et al. provide an exciting peek into the evolution of a nitrogen-fixing organelle (called a nitroplast) in their studies of a tiny marine alga, Braarudosphaera bigelowii and its endosymbiont cyanobacterium, Candidatus Atelocyanobacterium thalassa (UCYN-A). Plant biologists are familiar with…

Visualizing plant intracellular inorganic orthophosphate distribution

Phosphorus is the second most essential macronutrient in terms of limiting plant growth, acquired in the form of orthophosphate (Pi) by plant roots. The intricate processes of sensing, uptake, transport, storage, utilization, and cellular compartmentalization of Pi are finely orchestrated by a complex…

Cross-enrichment of rhizobacteria improves iron nutrition during intercropping

Intercropping, the system of growing at least two crops simultaneously, increases crop productivity and ecological sustainability. An intercropping system of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) and maize (Zea mays) has been previously found to improve the yield of peanut, specifically its iron nutrition and…

Effect of plant-derived versus animal-derived fertilizers on the rhizosphere microbiome

Yu et al. conducted a meta-analysis of published 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequenced soil samples to compare the effects of plant-based fertilizers (e.g. compost, seaweed fertilizer) versus animal-based fertilizers (e.g., dung, manure) versus control, unfertilized samples on soil microbial diversity and…

Review. Milestones in understanding phosphorus uptake, transport, sensing, use, and signaling

Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient and critical component of nucleic acids, phospholipids, and other molecules. Yang et al. provide a historical (since 1996) overview of the processes controlling its uptake and use. Plants take up P from the rhizosphere primarily in the form of orthophosphate (Pi).…

Review: CEP hormones at the nexus of nutrient acquisition and allocation, root development, and plant–microbe interactions

C-TERMINALLY ENCODED PEPTIDE (CEP) is a multigene family of peptide hormones originally described as systemic long-distance signals in response to nitrogen limitation. Over the years since the discovery of these peptide hormones, the literature on CEP biology has expanded the repertoire of developmental…

Review: Development of organs for nutrient uptake in parasitic plants and root nodule symbiosis

This review by Cui et al. makes the interesting comparison between the developmental processes involved in root nodule formation and haustoria formation by roots of parasitic plants. As the authors observe, both are organs that are produced for the purpose of nutrient acquisition through “intimate…

Review: Difficult situations cause blushing in plants, much as they do in people

As with people, plants blush in difficult circumstances. Situations such as nutrient stress make plants uncomfortable, resulting in the accumulation of anthocyanins in different plant tissues and color changes in the tissues. Jezek et al. reviewed how and why anthocyanins accumulate in foliar tissues…