Recent Posts

Review: 3D electron microscopy for imaging organelles in plants and algae (Plant Physiol)

Have you noticed that the quality and resolution of cell images has been getting better and better? Weiner et al. review the recent advances in 3D electron microscopy (EM) technologies that have provided these strikingly beautiful and informative images. Like “classic” transmission EM, EM tomography…

Review: Illuminating the hidden world of calcium ions in plants with a universe of indicators (Plant Physiol)

Calcium ions (Ca2+) are ubiquitous and essential signals, with a very steep concentration gradient from outside to inside the cell. Numerous studies from across the kingdoms have demonstrated that transient Ca2+ fluxes convey information of many types. Here, Grenzi et al. provide an Update on the tools…

SeedQuant: A deep learning-based tool for assessing stimulant and inhibitor activity on root parasitic seeds (Plant Physiol.)

Parasitic plants can completely wipe out a farmer’s harvest. The seeds can lie dormant in soil until they perceive signals from potential host plants, which stimulate germination. Therefore, germination stimulants applied to fields before the crops are planted can cause the parasitic seeds to germinate…

A biosensor for the direct visualization of auxin (Nature)

Auxin is an omnipresent, tryptophan-derived phytohormone that plays roles in innumerable physiological processes, so it is imperative to understand its distribution. Currently the best tools to do so employ the use of indirect sensors, such as the synthetic auxin-responsive promoter DR5. While invaluable,…

Differential biosynthesis and cellular permeability explain longitudinal gibberellin gradients in growing roots (PNAS)

Gibberellin (GA) controls multiple developmental processes throughout the plant life cycle, from seed germination to flowering. In Arabidopsis, GA also regulates division of meristematic cells at the tip of the root and cell elongation in the growing zone. Despite its importance, little is known about…

Measuring the physical-chemical effects of osmotic stress in living cells (bioRxiv)

The osmotic state of a cell is affected by internal (metabolite content) and external (water availability) factors. Recent work by Cuevas-Velazquez and colleagues describes the design of a FRET-based biosensor that allows dynamic monitoring of osmotic stress in living cells. They exploited features of…

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…