Recent Posts

A bacterial effector targets a plant iron sensing protein, and benefits pathogen growth (Plant Cell)

Pathogens often appropriate iron from their hosts, as acquisition of iron is vital to sustain life for most organisms. As demonstrated in this paper by Xing et al., an effector protein, AvrRps4, from a common bacterial plant pathogen, Pseudomonas syringae, directly interacts with BRUTUS (BTS), an iron…

Effect of nitrogen addition on selection of germination trait in an alpine meadow on the Tibet Plateau (Front. Plant Sci.)

Considering that atmospheric nitrogen (N) and N deposition have increased due to human activities, understanding the effects of this element in plant communities has become increasingly important. Still, the role of germination traits in these changes at the community level is poorly understood. Here,…

Give and Take: Lipid exchanges drove the evolution of mutualism during plant terrestrialization (Science)

Plants form symbiotic associations with a variety of microbial partners, among which arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are prominent. AMF are known to enrich plants with a host of vital nutrients including the essential macronutrient phosphorus. While the finer details of plant-AMF association are known…

Magnesium and calcium over-accumulate in the leaves of a schengen3 mutant of Brassica rapa (Plant Physiol)

Magnesium (Mg) and calcium (Ca) are essential nutrients for plants and also the animals that eat them. Human deficiencies of these elements are not uncommon. Here, Alcock et al. used Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy to measure the elemental composition of a mutagenized population of Brassica…

Update: Lateral root formation and nutrients: nitrogen in the spotlight (Plant Physiol)

We marvel at the ability of starfish to regenerate an arm, or a lizard a new tail, but even more impressive than these feats is the ability of a plant root system to create lateral roots when and where they are needed. This root system plasticity has been long studied, with a wealth of insights into…

Review: Can smart nutrient applications optimize the plant's hidden half to improve drought resistance? (Physiol. Plant.)

The root system has three key functions: support/anchoring, uptake of water, and uptake of nutrients. Many questions remain about how roots integrate all of these functions into the architecture of a single system. Here, Bardhan et al. explore whether modifying the nutrient environment (hence root’s…

Coordination between microbiota and root endodermis supports plant mineral nutrient homeostasis (Science)

Roots have been described as the gut of the plant, as they are the main interface for nutrient and water intake from their surrounding environment. This interface is remarkably complex. Not only must the root allow for the proper diffusion of substances into the plant, but by virtue of being constantly…

Spiral down: Rice plants adopt helical root growth under ammonium stress (Plant J.)

While ammonium ions (NH4+) serve as important sources of nitrogen nutrition, higher concentrations are toxic and inhibit plant growth and development. In an attempt to understand how roots of rice plant adapt to high concentrations of NH4+, Jia and colleagues found the roots coil and adopt a helical…

Nitrate inhibits nodule organogenesis through inhibition of cytokinin biosynthesis in Lotus japonicus (bioRxiv)

The symbiotic association between legumes and nitrogen-fixing rhizobia leads to the formation of nodules in roots, which supply nitrogen to the plant in low soil nitrate condition. In contrast, the presence of high nitrate reduces nodule formation. Cytokinin (CK) biosynthesis plays a major role in nodule…