Recent Posts

The QKY-SYP121 complex controls long-distance florigen movement ($) (Plant Cell)

In Arabidopsis thaliana, changes in day-length (photoperiod) activate the expression and transport of phloem-mobile florigen (FT, FLOWERING LOCUS T) to the shoot apical meristem to trigger the transition to flowering. While the role of FT as a long-distance signal is well-established, the underlying…

Arabidopsis endosperm response to paternal genome dosage is regulated by small RNA pathway (Plant Cell)

The endosperm, a tissue that transfers nutrients from maternal tissue to the embryo, is normally triploid, with two copies of the maternal genome and one of the paternal genome. Excess paternal genomes usually leads to endosperm abnormalities and seed abortion. Previous studies have shown that the RNA…

Structural basis for recognition of RALF peptides by LRX proteins during pollen tube growth (bioRxiv)

RALFs (Rapid Alkalinization Factors, based on historical observations that they induce alkalization of the extracellular space) are signaling peptides with diverse roles. RALF4 is required for pollen tube growth and guidance through its interactions with CrRLK1Ls and leucine-rich extension (LRX) proteins.…

GmFT2a and GmFT5a collectively controls flowering of soybean (Plant Biotech. J)

Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] is a globally important high-protein crop, whose breeding is an ongoing, important objective for plant biologists. Since soybean is a short-day plant, controlling flowering time is a key step to influence its adaptation to diverse latitudes and farming system. Recently,…

Review: Engineered male sterility by early anther ablation (Frontiers Plant Sci)

Male sterility in seed production could be used to increase crop yields, eliminate pollen allergies or avoid gene flow between genetically modified plants and other species. Here, Roque et al. developed a system to produce engineered nuclear male sterile plants using the pea Pisum sativum ENDOTHECIUM…

Accelerated flowering time reduces lifetime water use without penalizing reproductive performance in Arabidopsis (Plant Cell Environ)

As climate change proceeds, the availability of fresh water is decreasing. Luckily, the variation in water use efficiency within and between species provides tools necessary to breed plants for future climate. However, water use is often studied at the vegetative level. Ferguson et al. observed that…

Review: A fruitful journey: Pollen tube navigation from germination to fertilization ($)

When pollen is deposited on a flower’s stigma, pollen tubes penetrate the stigma and elongate towards ovules where two non-motile sperm will double fertilize an egg and a central cell, which requires cooperation between many cell types. Johnson et al. review our current understanding of these processes.…

Loss-of-function of a tomato receptor-like kinase impairs male fertility and induces parthenocarpic fruit set (Front Plant Sci)

The flower-to-fruit transition (fruit set) and parthenocarpy, the pollination-independent development of seedless fruits, are controlled by complex hormone networks. Takei et al. identified a tomato gamma-ray induced mutant named small parthenocarpic fruit and flower (spff) with small fruits and flowers,…

Review: Molecular networks of seed size control in plants ($) (Annu Rev Plant Biol)

Crop yield is largely determined by the size of seeds, and studies are being conducted to understand the complex molecular network controlling the seed size. Li et al. review the possible molecular mechanisms and regulatory networks underlying seed size control and growth, including the factors originating…