Recent Posts

Plant Science Research Weekly: October 18

Guest Editor : Suresh Damodaran I am a postdoctoral research associate in Dr. Lucia Strader’s lab at WUSTL. My primary area of interest is understanding the role of plant hormones in development. I completed my graduate degree in Dr. Sen Subramanian’s lab at SDSTATE.  Twitter: @SureshDamod   Design…

Insect herbivory selects for volatile-mediated plant-plant communication ($) (Current Biology)

Plants release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in response to insect herbivory. The potential for VOCs to serve as diffusible signals has long been recognized. For example, VOCs can signal neighbors to prime for defense, signal distant parts of the emitting plant, and even attract predatory insects…

A CLE–SUNN module regulates strigolactone content and symbiosis (Nature Plants)

The symbiosis between plants and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi is conditional. Plants that are limited for phosphate release strigolactones into the soil, promoting changes in the fungi that facilitate the symbiosis. Müller et al. found that a Medicago gene encoding a CLE peptide, MtCLE53, is induced…

A peptide pair coordinates ovule initiation patterns with seed number and fruit size (bioRxiv)

Plant peptide patterning is popping up everywhere! Now Kawamoto et al. show that a pair of peptides, interacting with receptor proteins, coordinates the placement of ovules in Arabidopsis. They started with a natural variation analysis, which highlighted that several varieties with mutations in the ERECTA…

Review: Structural biology of cell surface receptor–ligand interactions (COPB)

In recent months, a flurry of papers have come out that reveal new insights into the structural interactions of cell-surface receptors with each other and with their ligands. This timely review by Moussu and Santiago captures the highlights, in case you haven’t been following along. The review features…

An insulator of CLE-signaling boosts cell-differentiation in protophloem formation

Waddington’s epigenetic landscape, a famous metaphor in developmental biology, depicts how a stem cell progresses from an undifferentiated state to a differentiated one. To some degree this metaphor can also be applied to root cell differentiation. It’s well-known that the CLE-45 peptide and its…

Cytokinin functions as an asymmetric and anti-gravitropic signal in lateral roots (Nature Comms)

Lateral roots help plants to explore the soil and environmental conditions. Waidmann et al. took advantage of natural variants to understand lateral growth angle by analyzing gravitropic set point angle (GSA). Using Col-0 as a reference, lines that over- or under-respond (steeper or shallower root angle)…

Review: Imaging technologies to uncover the role of Ca2+ signaling in plant nutrient homeostasis (Plant Cell Environ)

Maintaining nutrient homeostasis is ridiculously challenging, in large part due to the tremendous effects individual nutrients have on other nutrients’ uptake and action, as well as the interactions between nutrient homeostasis and environmental conditions. In order to maintain the “right” amount…

Review: Sulfated plant peptide hormones (J. Exp. Bot)

It’s hard to believe that when I was a student we were taught that “plants don’t have peptide hormones”. Since then we’ve discovered many diverse families of plant peptide hormones (see the Teaching Tool on peptide hormones for an excellent overview). Here, Kaufmann and Sauter review one family,…