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…

Review. Roles of plant retinoblastoma protein: cell cycle and beyond (EMBO J.)

The cell cycle is at the heart of processes such as cell division, fate acquisition and cell cycle exit towards differentiation. Decades of cell cycle research in animals and yeast have outlined the main components that control the cycle’s transitions, such as cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, E2F…

The transcription factor bZIP60 modulates the heat shock response in maize (Plant Cell)

During heat stress, heat shock transcription factors upregulate heat shock protein genes and give rise to the heat shock response (HSR) that occurs in the cytoplasm, while in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), the unfolded protein response (UPR) is also activated during heat stress. Both HSR and UPR cause…

The karrikin signaling regulator SMAX1 controls Lotus japonicus root and root hair development by suppressing ethylene biosynthesis (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA)

KARRIKIN INSENSITIVE 2 (KAI2) and MORE AXILLARY GROWTH 2 (MAX2) form an important hormone receptor complex and mediate several developmental responses in the karrikin signaling pathway. The proteolytic degradation of the suppressor of MAX2 (SMAX1) is a major step in this pathway. Carbonnel et al.…

The calcium-permeable channel OSCA1.3 regulates plant stomatal immunity (Nature)

In plants, the perception of environmental threats induces a peak of calcium ions (Ca2+) in the cytosol that triggers signal transduction pathways leading to stomatal closure as defense response. In Arabidopsis, the mechanosensitive Ca2+ channel OSCA1 regulates water transpiration in response to…

A protein engineering approach for elucidating receptor protein signaling function (Plant Cell)

Plant cells express an array of membrane-bound receptor proteins that recognize and respond to extracellular cues. However, their varied structure/specificity and methods of activation pose challenges in assessing their function. Focusing on Leucine-Rich Repeat Receptor Kinases (LRR-RKs), Hohmann et…

The manifold actions of signaling peptides on subcellular dynamics of a receptor specify stomatal cell fate (eLife)

Stomatal development requires cell-to-cell communication and follows one cell spacing, with a minimum of one cell space between two stomata. Key to this communication are the ERECTA and ERECTA LIKE (ERL) Leucine-Rich Repeat domain-Receptor Like kinases (LRR-RLKs) and their ligands, the EPIDERMAL PATTERNING…

Lipo-chitooligosaccharides as regulatory signals of fungal growth and development (Nature Comms)

During symbiosis, the rhizobia bacteria rely on their lipo-chitooligosachharide signals (LCOs) to associate with plants. This signal is perceived by plant receptor like kinase, LysM-containing receptors which activate the common symbiosis signaling pathway (CSSM). Fungal symbiosis with plants has also…

A new node in mediating crosstalk between the proteasomal and autophagic degradation pathways (Plant Cell)

Protein degradation is mediated by several systems: the ubiquitin-proteasome system, multi-vesicle body-mediated vacuolar sorting (MVB), and the autophagy-vacuole pathway. However, the communication between these different protein degradation systems are less characterized. Here, Xia et al. report a…

Dynamic regulation of Pep-induced immunity through post-translational control of defense transcript splicing (Nature Plants)

In plant immunity, signal transduction is tightly modulated through mechanisms including controlled stoichiometry of key regulators. Dressano et al. identified the novel IMMUNOREGULATORY RNA-BINDING PROTEIN (IRR) as a negative regulator of immunity in both maize and Arabidopsis through a screen of Plant…