Recent Posts

Inclination, not force, is detected in shoot gravitropism

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Plant cells detect gravity as a consequence of the movement of dense starch granules called statoliths when the statoctyte, the cell that encompasses, them reorients. An open question has been whether the position of the statoliths within the statocyte or the force exerted by them is the primary gravisensing…

Review: Intracellular innate immune surveillance devices in plants and animals ($)

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Cells recognize invaders through both cell-surface receptors and intracellular receptors, the latter of which can recognize the invader directly or indirectly, for example through its effects on host proteins. Intracellular surveillance proteins in animals and plants share a core domain, the nucleotide…

Molecular basis for plant growth responses in shade and under competition for light ($)

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The wavelenghts of light perceived by a plant are information-rich, and plants integrate information from photoreceptors tuned to different wavelenghts to optimize their growth and development. Because plants absorb red light but not far-red light, a low ratio of red to far-red light indicates vegetative…

Light suppresses ethylene response by direct interaction between phyB and EIN3

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A seedling in the dark produces ethylene, which in a dicot such as Arabidopsis leads to apical hook formation that protects the cotyledons from damage as the seedling pushes through the soil. The emergence of the seedling into the soil causes a rapid transition to photomorphogenesis and a suppression…

Auxin production in the endosperm drives seed coat development in Arabidopsis

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Seed vitality is critical for plants’ evolutionary survival and food production by economic crops such as rice, wheat, etc. Seed formation is preceded by well-coordinated events involving mainly fertilization, endosperm and seed coat formation in chronological order. How is the signal relayed from…

Commentary: Chemical nature of the root-shoot signals

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Unravelling the mechanism and signals originating from roots and able to contribute to stomatal control has been the subject of research for decades. In this commentary, Tardieu summarizes and discusses many studies and models on root-shoot signals, including work in the same issue by Visentin et…

Review: Programmed Cell Death in Development and Disease

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Programmed cell death (PCD) is an active process that occurs as part of normal development and also contributes to defense against pathogens. While there are many similarities in developmental PCD (dPCD) and pathogen-triggered PCD (pPCD), there are also differences. Huysmans et al. review and contrast…

Do Phytochromes and Phytochrome-Interacting Factors Need to Interact?

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IN BRIEF by Nancy R. Hofmann nhofmann@aspb.org A new study calls into question whether phytochrome B (phyB) must directly interact with phytochrome-interacting factors (PIFs) to promote light responses. Phytochrome photoreceptors mediate responses to red light in part by inducing the degradation of…

Shape-Shifters: How Strigolactone Signaling Helps Shape the Shoot

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IN BRIEF by Jennifer Lockhart jlockhart@aspb.org When a deer eats the primary shoot of a plant, this can activate a nearby dormant axillary bud, causing it to form a secondary shoot. Genetic and environmental factors also affect shoot architecture, which strongly influences crop productivity. Changes…