Recent Posts

Cell fate switch in response to impaired ribosome biogenesis ($) (Plant Cell)

Root hairs are epidermal projections that help plants to absorb water and nutrients from the soil. Root hair development is initiated by the cumulative action of TRANSPARENT TESTA GLABRA1 (TTG1, a WD40 domain protein), GLABRA3/ENHANCER OF GLABRA3 (GL3/EGL3, a bHLH), CAPRICE (CPC, a MYB), inhibited…

Review: Guard cell metabolism and stomatal function (Annu. Rev. Plant Biol.)

Stomatal conductance, gs, is one of the most important and highly regulated plant processes. Lawson and Matthews review how guard cell metabolism, stomatal anatomy and patterning, and signals from the mesophyll affect gs which in turn affects plant productivity and water use efficiency. This is an excellent…

The circadian clock influences the long-term water use efficiency of Arabidopsis (Plant Physiol.)

The volume of water required for a given crop yield is largely influenced by the plant's Water Use Efficiency (WUE). Considering that the majority of the water taken up by plants is lost through transpiration, WUE can be improved by modulating stomatal opening. Besides light and temperature, stomatal…

Accelerated flowering time reduces lifetime water use without penalizing reproductive performance in Arabidopsis (Plant Cell Environ)

As climate change proceeds, the availability of fresh water is decreasing. Luckily, the variation in water use efficiency within and between species provides tools necessary to breed plants for future climate. However, water use is often studied at the vegetative level. Ferguson et al. observed that…

Review: Functional status of xylem through time ($) (Annu Rev Plant Biol)

If you haven’t been paying attention, you may have missed the great advances that have been taking place in xylem research recently. This excellent review by Brodersen et al. is your chance to catch up. Like all aspects of plant science, new tools and techniques have provided tremendous new insights…

Optogenetic manipulation of stomatal kinetics improves carbon assimilation, water use, and growth ($) (Science)

Optogenetics is a biotechnique that uses light-sensitive molecules to regulate cell activity. In plants, stomatal aperture mediates both CO2 uptake for photosynthesis and water loss by transpiration. The carbon-water trade-off control affects water use efficiency (WUE). Here, Papanatsiou et al. studied…

Whole plant chamber to examine sensitivity of cereal gas exchange to changes in evaporative demand (Plant Methods)

Stomata represent the entry point into the leaf for CO2 that will be fixed by rubisco in photosynthesis and the exit point of water as it is lost to the atmosphere.  As such, they are subject to tight regulation in response to the environment so that water loss is minimised and a supply of CO2 is…