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PLANT PROTEIN MEETS HOMER´S TROJAN HORSE

By Karina van der Linde and Virginia Walbot  Background: In contrast to animals in which meiotically competent cells develop in embryos, plants switch from vegetative to reproductive growth only during flowering. In maize, the most productive cereal crop, the tassel contains male flowers in which…

Open Access Shy Girl Gives Kiwifruit Male Flowers

From the human perspective, separate sexes are the norm while hermaphroditism is an exotic concept. For plants, hermaphroditism is the norm. Dioecy, separate male and female individuals, is rare and dispersed in the angiosperm phylogeny (Käfer et al 2017, Renner 2014). In fact, dioecy is rare enough…

The ADAPTOR PROTEIN-3 complex mediates pollen tube growth by coordinating vacuolar targeting and organization (Plant Physiol)

Adaptor proteins (AP) are involved in sorting proteins and are able to recognize cargo and coat proteins during vesicle formation. AP-3 specifically targets protein cargoes to vacuoles. Feng et al. investigate the role of AP-3 in plant reproduction. ap-3 mutants have reduced seed set that is characterized…

What We're Reading: January 5th

Guest Editor:  Alecia Biel Alecia is a graduate student at The Ohio State University in the US and has been a Plantae Fellow since September 2017.  Her research focuses on elucidating hormone signaling pathways and the role of the nucleus during this process, particularly throughout plant abiotic…

Trees are particularly robust to fixed somatic mutations

Plants lack a developmentally defined germline and gametes originate only late during plant development. This allows mutations acquired during the vegetative growth (somatic mutations) to be transmitted to the reproductive organs. The accumulation of mutations is relatively low in annual plants such…

The kinase ERULUS controls pollen tube targeting and growth in Arabidopsis thaliana

Pollen cells have a fascinating ability to transform from a small spherical cell to a very elongated shape known as the pollen tube (PT) during fertilization. Pollen cells must navigate through the female tissue, find an ovary, and burst to release the two sperm cell nuclei as well as the vegetative…

"Blue halo" light scattering enhances signalling to bees

Visual and other cues attract pollinators. Bees vision is skewed towards blue colors, but they also visit non-blue flowers. Moyroud et al. looked at how petal surface textures affect bee responses. The authors observed that similar parallel cuticular striations in diverse angiosperm lineages show convergent…

Update: Flower primary metabolism, pollinators’ preferences and seed and fruit set

Because of their important roles in attracting pollinators, the secondary or specialized metabolites of flowers (color, fragrance) get a lot of attention. Borghi and Fernie argue that flower function is equally dependent on primary (central) metabolites, which not only provide the precursors for secondary…

Genomic and epigenomic events occurring during germination

Seeds integrate environmental information and trigger molecular pathways that help with the decision making process of whether to germinate or not. Several studies in numerous species have shown details of global transcriptomic changes during germination. However, Narsai et al. dig a little deeper. By…