Recent Posts

Systematic characterization of gene function in a photosynthetic organism (bioRxiv)

Vilarrasa-Blasi and coworkers described their impressive work on a huge barcoded Chlamydomonas collection, in which they screened almost 60,000 insertion mutants grown under a wide range of environmental and chemical stress conditions. The authors assessed genotype-phenotype specificity for almost…

Gramene 2021: harnessing the power of comparative genomics and pathways for plant research (Nucleic Acids Research)

Gramene (www.gramene.org) is a curated, open-source, integrated data resource for comparative functional genomics in crops and model plant species. It launched 20 years ago and has continually grown and expanded to incorporate new tools and resources. This update by Tello-Ruiz et al. describes its…

A cis-regulatory atlas in maize at single-cell resolution (bioRxiv)

Cis-regulatory elements (CREs) are DNA sequences found near or within genic regions that drive proper gene expression in time and space. Thus, CREs play essential roles in the diversification of spatially distinct cell-types with specialized function in multicellular organisms. To identify CREs underlying…

A GRF–GIF chimeric protein improves the regeneration efficiency of transgenic plants (Nature Biotechnol.)

Producing a genetically-modified or -edited plant requires two distinct processes: DNA modification, followed by regeneration of a plant from the edited cells. The first process has been greatly enhanced by CRISPR/Cas9, but the second has continued to present challenges. Here, Debernardi et al. demonstrate…

Highly efficient DNA-free plant genome editing using virally delivered CRISPR–Cas9 (Nature Plants)

CRISPR-Cas is a revolutionary technology that has taken the science of genetic manipulation to higher levels by leaps and bounds. In spite of the ease with which it is used for genome editing, the present delivery methods are not without shortcomings; undesirable effects on non-target regions and…

Review: Applications of CRISPR–Cas in agriculture and plant biotechnology (Nature Rev. Mol. Cell Biol.)

This week’s announcement of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry being awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna “for the development of a method for genome editing” comes as no surprise to many. CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)– Cas (CRISPR-associated…

SNAP ‘n’ Track: Protein localization using fluorescent dyes (Plant Cell)

Proteins’ sub-cellular localizations provide a wealth of information regarding their functional attributes. Protein localization in plant cells is usually done through genetically combining fluorescent proteins to the protein-of-interest. Now, Iwatate and colleagues report the successful localization…

PlaCCI (Plant cell cycle indicator); fluorescent sensor for spatiotemporal cell cycle analysis (Nature Plants)

The cell cycle requires a series of transitions from G1 to S, S to G2, G2 to M and M to G1 phases. Determining the cell cycle phase is critical for understanding the molecular events specific to a given stage of cell cycle. However, markers for identifying these cell cycle transitions in plants are not…

POME: Quantitative and dynamic cell polarity tracking pipeline (bioRxiv)

Many proteins polarize in the cell creating a subcellular niche for various functions. Asymmetric distribution of proteins is a general mechanism for localized growth, directional long-range signaling, cell migration, and asymmetric cell divisions. Well-known examples of polarity proteins include PIN-FORMED1…