Recent Posts

Nanoscale movements of cellulose microfibrils in primary cell walls ($)

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Cell walls are complex mixtures of cellulose microfibrils, proteins and other materials. Their mechanical properties can be measured and modeled, but it is not always simple to translate these measurements to changes at the molecular level. Zhang et al. used atomic force microscopy to provide an unprecedented…

Opinion. Anthropogenic seed dispersal: Rethinking the origins of plant domestication (Trends Plant Sci)

Studies regarding the development of agriculture have started to integrate a plant evolutionary perspective. In this context, Spengler explores how changes in seed dispersal allowed plant domestication during the first half of the Holocene (e.g., more than 5000 years ago). He starts by redefining domestication…

Embryonic photosynthesis affects post-germination plant growth (Plant Physiol.)

Angiosperm seeds develop within maternal tissues, yet in some species including Arabidopsis the developing embryos carry out photosynthesis. In Arabidopsis, this is transitory, and the embryonic chloroplasts lose chlorophyll and dedifferentiate into eoplasts as the seed matures. Sela et al. set out to…

A two-way molecular dialogue between embryo and endosperm is required for seed development ($) (Science)

During seed formation, the developing embryo becomes covered with a water-impermeable cuticle. Several Arabidopsis mutants have been identified that are defective in cuticle formation and provide a framework for how it is formed. Doll et al. have added a missing piece to this puzzle. Briefly, embryo…

GPA5 encodes a Rab5a effector required for post-Golgi trafficking of rice storage proteins ($) (Plant Cell)

Storage proteins secreted into vacuoles during seed development serve as precursors for germination and plant growth. In this paper, Ren et al. identified a regulator, GLUTELIN PRECURSOR ACCUMULATION 5 (GPA5) that is involved in protein trafficking into the vacuoles during seed development. The loss…

Combinatorial interactions of the LEC1 transcription factor specify diverse developmental programs during soybean seed development (PNAS) ($)

LEC1 (LEAFY COTYLEDON 1) transcriptional factor regulates multiple developmental processes during different stages of seed development including macromolecule accumulation, inhibition of germination and morphogenesis. In this paper Jo et al., have uncovered the mechanism of LEC1 functioning with other…

High-temporal-resolution transcriptome landscape of early maize seed development (Plant Cell)

Seeds determine the yield and quality of the plants. In maize, seed development initiates from a double fertilization event where one pollen sperm fuses with the egg and the other with the central cell of female gametophyte to produce the progenitors of embryo and endosperm, respectively. The embryo…

3D characteristics of grain reveal differences between domesticated and wild relatives in wheat and barley (Plant J)

Grain related traits play key roles in determining the total grain yield. However, traditionally manual measurement can not investigate grain seed from multiple angles. To visualize a 3D structure of grain, X-ray based images were captured for a single spike/grain from multiple angles. Because of strong…

Regulation of seed dormancy by ETR1/RDO3 (Plant Cell)

Seed dormancy is an essential fitness trait for plants as it allows their seeds to survive adverse seasons and to synchronise their germination with the occurrence of suitable conditions. While the molecular pathways of the major phytohormones involved in seed dormancy have been largely elucidated, the…