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…

BonnMu: a sequence-indexed resource of transposon-induced maize mutations for functional genomics studies (Plant Physiol.)

Loss-of-function mutants have been invaluable tools in the geneticist’s toolbox for more than a century. More recently, libraries have been developed of knockout insertion mutants at known sites. Here, a new Mu-transposon insertion sequence-indexed maize resource is described. This new collection,…

Silencing Transposons is Important for Pollen Development in Capsella

Wang et al. reveal that viable pollen formation in Capsella requires the function of a DNA-dependent RNA polymerase. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.19.00938   Background: Transposons, or “jumping genes”, are kept silent by a plant-specific pathway that starts with DNA-dependent RNA…

Identifying an Unexpected Player in DNA Methylation

Choudry et al. show that the mRNA export protein ALY1 enables genome-wide RNA-directed DNA methylation, transposon repression and transgene silencing though the efficient export of the AGO6 mRNA. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00624 By Sarah Choudury Background: Transposons, sometimes…

What We're Reading: October 19th

This week's edition is guest edited by Matthias Benoit, a postdoctoral Research Associate at The Sainsbury Laboratory University of Cambridge. His research focuses on the developmental, environmental and epigenetic regulation of tomato retrotransposons. His favorite models of study are fruit development…