Recent Posts

Going my own way: Ethylene-independent ACC signaling in pollen tube attraction (Nature Comms.)

1-Aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) is the precursor of the phytohormone ethylene. Here, Mou and co-workers show ACC to act independent of ethylene in the ovule to attract growing pollen tubes. Mutants impaired in ACC biosynthesis had less fertilization and seed setting events. Fertilization…

Lipid distribution in cuticles affects flower architecture in Medicago (Plant Physiol.)

Floral architecture influences pollination and reproduction: open flowers facilitate cross-pollination, while closed flowers limit outcross. Some plants of the Leguminosae family (i.e., members of the Papilionoideae subfamily that includes soybean, pea, medicago, lotus) possess a complex architecture,…

Limited evidence for a consistent seed mass-dispersal trade-off in wind dispersed pines (J. Ecol.) ($)

The dispersal capacity of wind-dispersed seeds is expected to be shaped by seed mass, with lighter seeds dispersed further due to low terminal velocity (i.e., maximum velocity while falling). However, this relationship has been mostly tested comparing species from different taxonomic groups, rather…

Ancient seeds reconstruction and the evolution of integuments (New Phytologist)

The origin of seeds - the specialized structures that contain and protect the developing embryos- is a key event in plant evolution. Primitive seeds comprise an exposed nucellus surrounded by a lobate integument; in contrast, extant seeds have one or more integuments fully enclosing the nucellus.…

Trafficking of VHA-a isoforms in Arabidopsis thaliana (bioRxiv)

Vacuolar-type ATPase (V-ATPase) is a highly conserved enzyme but functionally diverse among eukaryotic cells. V-ATPases couple the energy released by ATP hydrolysis to pump protons across membranes of many cell types. In Arabidopsis, the V-ATPases containing different isoforms of V-ATPase catalytic…

Optimizing PollenCounter for high throughput phenotyping of pollen quality in tomatoes (MethodsX)

PollenCounter is an open source, ImageJ based macro that splits RGB images of stained pollen grains into the primary channels. The program estimates pollen viability in plants through analyzing red (total number of pollen grains) and green (only viable pollen grains) images, after which the particles…

Genes of the RAV family control heading date and carpel development in rice (Plant Physiol)

Seed-bearing annual plants essentially get one shot at getting their reproductive timing right; too early and there won’t be enough stored nutrients to produce healthy seeds, and too late and the seeds might not mature fully before bad weather or rot sets in. Previously, the RAV (RELATED TO ABI3 AND…

A single gene underlies the dynamic evolution of poplar sex determination (Nature Plants)

Dioecy (male and female flowers residing on distinct individuals) has independently arisen several times in angiosperms, yet the genetic basis of dioecy remains obscure. Here, Müller et al. reveal a single gene that acts as a sex-determination switch throughout the Populus genus. A negative regulator…

Plant dispersal strategies of high tropical alpine communities across the Andes (J. Ecol.)

Since dispersal is crucial for the assembly of plant communities, a better understanding of its relation to climate is needed to predict plant communities' responses to changes in the environment. However, this kind of association is still missing in tropical alpine ecosystems –one of the most vulnerable…