Recent Posts

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…

Review: Exocyst, exosomes, and autophagy in pollen-stigma interactions ($)

Some plants are able to suppress inbreeding through a system called self-incompatibility, in which “self”-pollen is unable to reach “self” eggs. Self-incompatibility has evolved multiple times and takes several forms. Goring reviews the cellular processes of self-incompatibility that occur in…