Recent Posts

Transcriptomic and cell wall analysis of stinging nettle, an underutilized fibre crop (Plant Direct)

Plant fibres from crops such as flax and hemp have diverse uses from rope to clothing, and are increasingly being incorporated into eco-friendly biocomposite materials.  These long, flexible, useful fibres, called “bast” fibres, are not derived from the xylem, but instead are derived from specialized…

Male sterility in maize after transient heat stress (Plant Physiol)

The corn we eat is a seed, which is a product of fertilization. It is widely known that corn yields are highly susceptible to abiotic stress conditions that occur during the repdroductive stage of development. Begcy et al. used a metabolomic / transcriptomic approach to understand why transient heat…

Molecular mechanisms driving switch behavior in xylem cell differentiation (Cell Reports)

Xylem is involved in the movement of water and mineral nutrients through the plants from the roots to leaves; its cells are not totipotent and undergo programmed cell death. VASCULAR-RELATED NAC-DOMAIN (VND) transcription factors are master switches of xylem cell differentiation in Arabidopsis and much…

Drop-Seq for plants: High-throughput, single cell transcriptomics (Cell Reports)

Drop-Seq is an exciting high-throughput technology for single cell transcriptomics. Using microfluidics, single cells are encapsulated in drops with beads carrying “bar-coded” primers. The RNA from each individual cell is labeled with a unique primer code, then sequenced. Now, Shulse et al. have…

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…

Single-cell RNA sequencing reveals developmental trajectories of Arabidopsis root cells

New advances in sequencing technologies have made possible the understanding of the dynamics of developmental processes in an unprecedented manner. In a recent study, Denyer, Ma, et al. profiled nearly 5,000 cells from Arabidopsis roots using single-cell RNA sequencing technology. Gene expression profiles…