Recent Posts

Carbon nanotubes deliver functional genetic material into mature plants without DNA integration

Introducing DNA or RNA into plant cells remains a challenge. Demirer et al. describe a new method for transient expression studies through delivery of DNA or RNA via carbon nanotubes (CNTs); the size of the nanoparticles is smaller than the exclusion limit for plant cell walls. The authors show that…

Genome-scale sequence disruption following biolistic transformation in rice and maize (bioRxiv)

The two classic approaches to introducing DNA into a plant’s genome are by harnessing Agrobacterium tumefaciens’ fascinating gene-transfer skill, or by shooting the new DNA into the cell using a “biolistic” (gun) approach. Because of Agrobacterium’s restricted choice of hosts, the biolistic…

A single cis-element that controls cell-type specific expression in Arabidopsis (bioRxiv)

Multicellular organisms have different tissues that carry out diverse and specialized functions, and tissue-specific expression is the feature that gives each tissue its specific protein content. Despite its importance, the mechanisms that control spatial patterning is poorly understood. In this work,…

Revealing the Invisible: A Synthetic Reporter for ABA

How do you make the invisible visible? It’s a question that crops up again and again in molecular biology. Abscisic acid (ABA) is one of the most important hormones in plants and is essential for survival in suboptimal conditions. Despite this, we have only a basic understanding of where and when this…

A comprehensive toolkit for inducible, cell type-specific gene expression in Arabidopsis (Plant Physiol)

Gene knock-outs and overexpression studies are useful indicators of gene function, but can obscure the gene’s distinct cell-type specific functions. Schürholz and Lopez-Salmeron et al. have developed a set of constructs that allow for precise expression of a gene-of-interest in subsets of cells, accompanied…

Save Time and Fish for the Clock

Plants live by the clock. It helps them to predict day and night as well as upcoming seasons, and to decide when it’s time for reproduction. These predictions depend on oscillating processes that involve gene transcription and protein stability, cycling in a period of, for example, 24 h. Environmental…

Review. Brachypodium: A monocot grass model system for plant biology (Plant Cell)

Brachypodium distachyon is an annual C3 grass that has become an important model species. Scholthof et al. review the genetic tools and resources (sequences and mutants) as well as robust protocols for transformation that have been developed for it. The presence of wild and perennial species within the…

Review. Genetically encoded biosensors in plants: Pathways to discovery (Annu. Rev. Plant Biol. $)

Genetically-encoded biosensors are produced from genes, and provide a specific readout (usually fluorescence or luminescence) of the amount and distribution of a compund of interest (the analyte). We’ve all see data obtained from genetically encoded biosensors, such as the widely-used cameleon family…

The 6xABRE synthetic promoter enables the spatiotemporal analysis of ABA-mediated transcriptional regulation (Plant Physiol)

Abscisic acid (ABA) is known as stress hormone. Apart from its role in plant growth and development, it is widely studied due to its involvement in biotic and abiotic stresses. Although it had been studied for such a long time, a sensitive spatiotemporal marker for ABA is still elusive. Wu et al. developed…