Recent Posts

High contiguity Arabidopsis thaliana genome assembly with a single nanopore flow cell (Nature Comms)

Every now and then a technology arrives on the scene that suddenly makes everything easier. When I was a student, PCR was developed. More recently, CRISPR/Cas9 applications were developed, and now the hot tool is nanopore flow cell sequencing. The crucial advancement in this method is that rather than…

The Trojan Horse Approach to Protein Jockeying

In the decades since Agrobacterium tumefaciens was first used as a vector to deliver genetic material into plants (Zambryski et al., 1983), this powerful tool has provided important insights into the biological functions of countless gene products. However, this approach has its shortcomings; in addition…

Stretching Plants with Cellular Resolution

Robinson et al. develop a method to measure mechanical properties of plant tissue with cellular resolution https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00753 Background: Plant growth is controlled by the extensibility of the cell wall and the turgor pressure inside. The spatial regulation of these properties…

Commentary: Is it ordered correctly? Validating genome assemblies by optical mapping

One of the hardest parts of any sequencing project is putting the pieces together. Physical sequence alignments can be cross checked against genetic linkage maps when they are available, but what about for species without genetic linkage data? Udall and Dawe describe the use of optical mapping, using…

Update: Finite element modeling of shape changes in plant cells

By Amir Bidhendi and Anja Geitmann Abstract Plant cells come in a striking variety of different shapes. Shape formation in plant cells is controlled through modulation of the cell wall polymers and propelled by the turgor pressure. Understanding the shaping aspects of plant cells requires knowledge…

Update: Advances in imaging plant cell dynamics

Since the days of Robert Hooke, microscopy has been one of the biologist’s most important tools, and continues to become ever more powerful. Komis et al. review recent advances in superresolution microscopy, particularly as they pertain to the dynamics of plant cells. Dynamic systems demand fast imaging,…

Update: Advances in imaging plant cell dynamics

By Jozef Samaj, George Komis, Dominik Novak, Miroslav Ovecka, Olga Samajova Abstract After the establishment of advanced fluorescence microscopy methods and the development of numerous fluorescent proteins it is possible to follow the organization and dynamics of most organelles and subcellular…

Persistent drought monitoring using a microfluidic-printed electro-mechanical sensor of stomata in planta

Persistent drought monitoring using a microfluidic-printed electro-mechanical sensor of stomata in planta The study of stomatal dynamics is crucial for understanding photosynthetic gas exchange and plant hydraulics, but there are currently no methods for measuring the conductance of individual stomata…

Arabidopsis perfusion platform RootChip reveals local adaptations of roots

Roots are essential plant organs that need to respond and adapt to dynamic environments. It is still unknown if these adaptations are based on systemic or cell-based responses.  Stanley and colleagues created the dual-flow-RootChip, a platform for the heterogeneous perfusion of Arabidopsis roots to…