Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology
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Rescooped by Jennifer Mach from Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
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19 Species of Ferns Named for Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga is being honored by a Duke University biologist. Kathleen Pryer is naming a new genus of ferns found in Central and South America, Mexico, Arizona ...

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Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology
A science editor's take on what's new and interesting in the plant kingdom.
Curated by Jennifer Mach
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Rescooped by Jennifer Mach from Plant:microbe Interactions
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Effect of exogenous methyl jasmonate on airborne benzene removal by Zamioculcas zamiifolia: The role of cytochrome P450 expression, salicylic acid, IAA, ROS and antioxidant activity

Effect of exogenous methyl jasmonate on airborne benzene removal by Zamioculcas zamiifolia: The role of cytochrome P450 expression, salicylic acid, IAA, ROS and antioxidant activity | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
Exogenous application of methyl jasmonate (MeJA) has emerged as a promising approach for enhancing plant stress resistance. However, little is known about the effect of exogenous MeJA on promoting airborne benzene removal by plants. Here, we elucidated the effect of various MeJA concentrations on Zamioculcas zamiifolia stress response in relation to antioxidant enzyme activity, indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) contents, reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation and expression levels of cytochrome P450 monooxygenase gene responsible for benzene hydroxylation. Exogenous MeJA at low physiological levels (10, 30 and 50 μM) enhanced plant resistance to benzene stress through triggering the activities of antioxidant enzymes, enhancing IAA levels and lowering ROS accumulation. Moreover, MeJA at 10, 30 and 50 μM induced the expression levels of P450. Higher expression levels of P450 could indirectly enhance benzene removal ability of the plants. Interestingly, the upregulated P450 trends was consistent with the increasing IAA contents and MeJA concentrations. However, MeJA at high concentrations (100 μM) declined gaseous benzene removal due to limited antioxidant activity, low IAA contents and high ROS accumulation as well as closed stomata. Moreover, under 100 μM MeJA treatment, high levels of ROS and salicylic acid downregulated the expression levels of P450. Our results provide comprehensive evidence with regards to the exogenous application of MeJA for promoting plant stress resistance and enhancing airborne benzene phytoremediation.

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Small Molecules Belowground: The Role of Specialized Metabolites in the Rhizosphere

Small Molecules Belowground: The Role of Specialized Metabolites in the Rhizosphere | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it

Soil communities are diverse taxonomically and functionally. This ecosystem experiences highly complex networks of interactions, but may also present functionally independent entities. Plant roots, a metabolically active hotspot in the soil, take an essential part in belowground interactions. While plants are known to release an extremely high portion of the fixated carbon to the soil, less is known about the composition and role of C-containing compounds in the rhizosphere, in particular those involved in chemical communication. Specialized metabolites (or secondary metabolites) produced by plants and their associated microbes have a critical role in various biological activities that modulate the behavior of neighboring organisms. Thus, elucidating the chemical composition and function of specialized metabolites in the rhizosphere is a key element in understanding interactions in this belowground environment. Here, we review key classes of specialized metabolites that occur as mostly non-volatile compounds in root exudates or are emitted as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The role of these metabolites in belowground interactions and response to nutrient deficiency, as well as their tissue and cell type-specific biosynthesis and release are discussed in detail.


Via Pierre-Marc Delaux, Steve Marek
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Plant Sex Determination

Plant Sex Determination | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
Sex determination is as important for the fitness of plants as it is for animals, but its mechanisms appear to vary much more among plants than among animals, and the expression of gender in plants differs in important respects from that in most animals. In this Minireview,

Via Loïc Lepiniec
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Rescooped by Jennifer Mach from Plant roots and rhizosphere
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The plant perceptron connects environment to development

The plant perceptron connects environment to development | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
Plants cope with the environment in a variety of ways, and ecological analyses attempt to capture this through life-history strategies or trait-based categorization. These approaches are limited because they treat the trade-off mechanisms that underlie plant responses as a black box. Approaches that involve the molecular or physiological analysis of plant responses to the environment have elucidated intricate connections between developmental and environmental signals, but in only a few well-studied model species. By considering diversity in the plant response to the environment as the adaptation of an information-processing network, new directions can be found for the study of life-history strategies, trade-offs and evolution in plants.

Via Jonathan Plett, Christophe Jacquet
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Aflatoxin-free transgenic maize using host-induced gene silencing

Aflatoxin-free transgenic maize using host-induced gene silencing | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
Aflatoxins, toxic secondary metabolites produced by some Aspergillus species, are a universal agricultural economic problem and a critical health issue. Despite decades of control efforts, aflatoxin contamination is responsible for a global loss of millions of tons of crops each year. We show that host-induced gene silencing is an effective method for eliminating this toxin in transgenic maize. We transformed maize plants with a kernel-specific RNA interference (RNAi) gene cassette targeting the aflC gene, which encodes an enzyme in the Aspergillus aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway. After pathogen infection, aflatoxin could not be detected in kernels from these RNAi transgenic maize plants, while toxin loads reached thousands of parts per billion in nontransgenic control kernels. A comparison of transcripts in developing aflatoxin-free transgenic kernels with those from nontransgenic kernels showed no significant differences between these two groups. These results demonstrate that small interfering RNA molecules can be used to silence aflatoxin biosynthesis in maize, providing an attractive and precise engineering strategy that could also be extended to other crops to improve food security.
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Root microbiota drive direct integration of phosphate stress and immunity

Root microbiota drive direct integration of phosphate stress and immunity | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
Plants live in biogeochemically diverse soils with diverse microbiota. Plant organs associate intimately with a subset of these microbes, and the structure of the microbial community can be altered by soil nutrient content. Plant-associated microbes can compete with the plant and with each other for nutrients, but may also carry traits that increase the productivity of the plant. It is unknown how the plant immune system coordinates microbial recognition with nutritional cues during microbiome assembly. Here we establish that a genetic network controlling the phosphate stress response influences the structure of the root microbiome community, even under non-stress phosphate conditions. We define a molecular mechanism regulating coordination between nutrition and defence in the presence of a synthetic bacterial community. We further demonstrate that the master transcriptional regulators of phosphate stress response in Arabidopsis thaliana also directly repress defence, consistent with plant prioritization of nutritional stress over defence. Our work will further efforts to define and deploy useful microbes to enhance plant performance.
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Rescooped by Jennifer Mach from Microbes, plant immunity, and crop science
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Plant signalling in symbiosis and immunity 

Plant signalling in symbiosis and immunity  | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
Plants encounter a myriad of microorganisms, particularly at the root–soil interface, that can invade with detrimental or beneficial outcomes. Prevalent beneficial associations between plants and microorganisms include those that promote plant growth by facilitating the acquisition of limiting nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. But while promoting such symbiotic relationships, plants must restrict the formation of pathogenic associations. Achieving this balance requires the perception of potential invading microorganisms through the signals that they produce, followed by the activation of either symbiotic responses that promote microbial colonization or immune responses that limit it.


Via Jean-Michel Ané, Nicolas Denancé
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Jean-Michel Ané's curator insight, March 21, 4:18 PM

Very good review

Nicolas Denancé's curator insight, March 22, 10:59 AM

Very good review

Sanjay Swami's curator insight, March 23, 4:47 AM
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Hierarchically aligning 10 legume genomes establishes a family-level genomics platform

Hierarchically aligning 10 legume genomes establishes a family-level genomics platform | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
Mainly due to their economic importance, genomes of 10 legumes, including soybean, wild peanuts, barrel medic, etc, have been sequenced. However, a family-level comparative genomics analysis has been unavailable. With grape and selected legume genomes as outgroups, we managed to perform a hierarchical and event-related alignment of these genomes and deconvoluted layers of homologous regions produced by ancestral polyploidizations or speciations. Consequently, we illustrated genomic fractionation characterized by wide-spread gene losses after the polyploidizations. Notably, high similarity in gene retention between recently duplicated chromosomes in soybean supported a likely autopolypoidy nature of its tetraploid ancestor. Moreover, though mostly gene losses were nearly random, largely but not fully described by geometric distribution, we showed that polyploidization contributed divergently to copy number variation of important gene families. Besides, we showed significantly divergent evolutionary levels among legumes, and by performing Ks correction, re-dated major evolutionary events during their expansion. The present effort laid a solid foundation further genomics exploration in the legume research community and beyond. We described only a tiny fraction of legume comparative genomics analysis that we performed, and more information was stored in the newly constructed Legume Comparative Genomics Research Platform (www.legumegrp.org).
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Rescooped by Jennifer Mach from The Plant Cell
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IN BRIEF: A Kinase- and Proteasome-Mediated Link Between Lipid Biosynthesis and Energy Homeostasis

IN BRIEF: A Kinase- and Proteasome-Mediated Link Between Lipid Biosynthesis and Energy Homeostasis | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it

A Kinase- and Proteasome-Mediated Link Between Lipid Biosynthesis and Energy Homeostasis

Nancy Rosenbaum Hofmann

Plant Cell 2017 tpc.17.00220; Advance Publication March 20, 2017; doi:10.1105/tpc.17.00220 OPEN

http://www.plantcell.org/content/early/2017/03/20/tpc.17.00220


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Mechanisms to Mitigate the Tradeoff between Growth and Defense

Mechanisms to Mitigate the Tradeoff between Growth and Defense | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it

Mechanisms to Mitigate the Tradeoff between Growth and Defense

Talia Karasov, Eunyoung Chae, Jacob Herman, and Joy Bergelson

Plant Cell 2017 tpc.16.00931; Advance Publication March 20, 2017; doi:10.1105/tpc.16.00931


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Rescooped by Jennifer Mach from Plant:microbe Interactions
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The fungal UmSrt1 and maize ZmSUT1 sucrose transporters battle for plant sugar resources

The fungal UmSrt1 and maize ZmSUT1 sucrose transporters battle for plant sugar resources | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
The biotrophic fungus Ustilago maydis causes the corn smut disease inducing tumor formation in its host Zea mays. Upon infection, the fungal hyphae invaginate the plasma membrane of infected maize cells establishing an interface where pathogen and host are separated only by their plasma membranes. At this interface the fungal and maize sucrose transporters, UmSrt1 and ZmSUT1, compete for extracellular sucrose in the corn smut/maize pathosystem. Here we biophysically characterized ZmSUT1 and UmSrt1 in Xenopus oocytes with respect to their voltage-, pH- and substrate-dependence and determined affinities towards protons and sucrose. In contrast to ZmSUT1, UmSrt1 has a high-affinity for sucrose and is relatively pH- and voltage-independent. Using these quantitative parameters, we developed a mathematical model to simulate the competition for extracellular sucrose at the contact zone between the fungus and the host plant. This approach revealed that UmSrt1 exploits the apoplastic sucrose resource, which forces the plant transporter into a sucrose export mode providing the fungus with sugar from the phloem. Importantly, the high sucrose concentration in the phloem appeared disadvantageous for the ZmSUT1, preventing sucrose recovery from the apoplastic space in the fungus/plant interface.

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Genomic innovation for crop improvement : Nature : Nature Research

Genomic innovation for crop improvement : Nature : Nature Research | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
Crop production needs to increase to secure future food supplies, while reducing its impact on ecosystems. Detailed characterization of plant genomes and genetic diversity is crucial for meeting these challenges. Advances in genome sequencing and assembly are being used to access the large and complex genomes of crops and their wild relatives. These have helped to identify a wide spectrum of genetic variation and permitted the association of genetic diversity with diverse agronomic phenotypes. In combination with improved and automated phenotyping assays and functional genomic studies, genomics is providing new foundations for crop-breeding systems.

Via Loïc Lepiniec
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Molecular Plant special issue on maize biology

Molecular Plant special issue on maize biology | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
Special issue! On The Cover Image shows a male inflorescence of Zea mays (maize) at anthesis (flower opening). This structure, also called tassel, terminates the stem of a maize plant and is composed of hundreds of male flowers organized as spikelet pairs. Anthesis and thus pollen release begins at the tassel rachis (main spike) and occurs delayed at lateral branches. Five stages of pollen development are inserted showing the male germline (labeled by YFP-α-tubulin): early bicellular stage after pollen mitosis I (red), late bicellular stage (orange), pollen mitosis II (yellow), sperm cell formation (green) and mature spindle-shaped sperm cells (cyan). Image by: Liang-Zi Zhou, Martina Juranic and Thomas Dresselhaus.
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The plant perceptron connects environment to development

The plant perceptron connects environment to development | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
Plants cope with the environment in a variety of ways, and ecological analyses attempt to capture this through life-history strategies or trait-based categorization. These approaches are limited because they treat the trade-off mechanisms that underlie plant responses as a black box. Approaches that involve the molecular or physiological analysis of plant responses to the environment have elucidated intricate connections between developmental and environmental signals, but in only a few well-studied model species. By considering diversity in the plant response to the environment as the adaptation of an information-processing network, new directions can be found for the study of life-history strategies, trade-offs and evolution in plants.

Via Jonathan Plett, R K Upadhyay
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Rescooped by Jennifer Mach from Plants & Evolution
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Synthetic control of flowering in rice independent of the cultivation environment

Synthetic control of flowering in rice independent of the cultivation environment | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it

For genetically homogeneous crops, the timing of flowering is determined largely by the cultivation environment and is strongly associated with the yield and quality of the harvest1. Flowering time and other agronomical traits are often tightly correlated, which can lead to difficulty excluding the effects of flowering time when evaluating the characteristics of different genetic varieties2. Here, we describe the development of transgenic rice plants whose flowering time can be controlled by specific agrochemicals. We first developed non-flowering rice plants by overexpressing a floral repressor gene, Grain number, plant height and heading date 7 (Ghd7)3,4, to inhibit any environmentally induced spontaneous flowering. We then co-transformed plants with a rice florigen gene, Heading date 3a (Hd3a)5, which is induced by the application of specific agrochemicals. This permitted the flowering time to be experimentally controlled regardless of the cultivation environment: some transgenic plants flowered only after agrochemical treatment. Furthermore, plant size and yield-related traits could, in some cases, be increased owing to both a longer duration of vegetative growth and an increased panicle size. This ability to control flowering time experimentally, independently of environmental variables, may lead to production of crops suitable for growth in different climates and facilitate breeding for various agronomical traits.


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Rescooped by Jennifer Mach from Plants & Evolution
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The evo-devo of plant speciation

The evo-devo of plant speciation | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it

Speciation research bridges the realms of macro- and microevolution. Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) has classically dealt with macroevolutionary questions through a comparative approach to distantly related organisms, but the field later broadened in focus to address recent speciation and microevolution. Here we review available evidence of the power of evo-devo approaches to understand speciation in plants at multiple scales. At a macroevolutionary scale, evidence is accumulating for evolutionary developmental mechanisms giving rise to key innovations promoting speciation. At the macro microevolution transition, we review instances of evo-devo change underlying both the origin of reproductive barriers and phenotypic changes distinguishing closely related species. At the microevolutionary scale, the study of developmental variation within species provides insight into the processes that generate the raw material for evolution and speciation. We conclude by advocating a strong interaction between developmental biology and evolutionary biology at multiple scales to gain a deeper understanding of plant speciation.


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Rescooped by Jennifer Mach from Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
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What We’re Reading: March 24

What We’re Reading: March 24 | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it

A plethora of papers featuring auxin (5), guard cells (2), evolution (3), & flower/ing (3) +more


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Populus trichocarpa encodes small, effector-like secreted proteins that are highly induced during mutualistic symbiosis

Populus trichocarpa encodes small, effector-like secreted proteins that are highly induced during mutualistic symbiosis | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it

During symbiosis, organisms use a range of metabolic and protein-based signals to communicate. Of these protein signals, one class is defined as ‘effectors’, i.e., small secreted proteins (SSPs) that cause phenotypical and physiological changes in another organism. To date, protein-based effectors have been described in aphids, nematodes, fungi and bacteria. Using RNA sequencing of Populus trichocarpa roots in mutualistic symbiosis with the ectomycorrhizal fungus Laccaria bicolor, we sought to determine if host plants also contain genes encoding effector-like proteins. We identified 417 plant-encoded putative SSPs that were significantly regulated during this interaction, including 161 SSPs specific to P. trichocarpa and 15 SSPs exhibiting expansion in Populus and closely related lineages. We demonstrate that a subset of these SSPs can enter L. bicolor hyphae, localize to the nucleus and affect hyphal growth and morphology. We conclude that plants encode proteins that appear to function as effector proteins that may regulate symbiotic associations.


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Rescooped by Jennifer Mach from Microbiome and plant immunity
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The Ecological Role of Volatile and Soluble Secondary Metabolites Produced by Soil Bacteria

The Ecological Role of Volatile and Soluble Secondary Metabolites Produced by Soil Bacteria | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
The rich diversity of secondary metabolites produced by soil bacteria has been appreciated for over a century, and advances in chemical analysis and genome sequencing continue to greatly advance our understanding of this biochemical complexity. However, we are just at the beginning of understanding the physicochemical properties of bacterial metabolites, the factors that govern their production and ecological roles. Interspecific interactions and competitor sensing are among the main biotic factors affecting the production of bacterial secondary metabolites. Many soil bacteria produce both volatile and soluble compounds. In contrast to soluble compounds, volatile organic compounds can diffuse easily through air- and gas-filled pores in the soil and likely play an important role in long-distance microbial interactions. In this review we provide an overview of the most important soluble and volatile classes of secondary metabolites produced by soil bacteria, their ecological roles, and their possible synergistic effects.

Via Steve Marek, Giannis Stringlis
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Diverse mechanisms of resistance to Pseudomonas syringae in a thousand natural accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana

Diverse mechanisms of resistance to Pseudomonas syringae in a thousand natural accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it

Plants are continuously threatened by pathogen attack and, as such, they have evolved mechanisms to evade, escape and defend themselves against pathogens. However, it is not known what types of defense mechanisms a plant would already possess to defend against a potential pathogen that has not co-evolved with the plant. We addressed this important question in a comprehensive manner by studying the responses of 1041 accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana to the foliar pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pst) DC3000. We characterized the interaction using a variety of established methods, including different inoculation techniques, bacterial mutant strains, and assays for the hypersensitive response, salicylic acid (SA) accumulation and reactive oxygen species production . Fourteen accessions showed resistance to infection by Pst DC3000. Of these, two accessions had a surface-based mechanism of resistance, six showed a hypersensitive-like response while three had elevated SA levels. Interestingly, A. thaliana was discovered to have a recognition system for the effector AvrPto, and HopAM1 was found to modulate Pst DC3000 resistance in two accessions. Our comprehensive study has significant implications for the understanding of natural disease resistance mechanisms at the species level and for the ecology and evolution of plant–pathogen interactions.

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Simplified and representative bacterial community of maize roots

Simplified and representative bacterial community of maize roots | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it

Plant-associated microbes are important for the growth and health of their hosts. As a result of numerous prior studies, we know that host genotypes and abiotic factors influence the composition of plant microbiomes. However, the high complexity of these communities challenges detailed studies to define experimentally the mechanisms underlying the dynamics of community assembly and the beneficial effects of such microbiomes on plant hosts. In this work, from the distinctive microbiota assembled by maize roots, through host-mediated selection, we obtained a greatly simplified synthetic bacterial community consisting of seven strains (Enterobacter cloacae, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Ochrobactrum pituitosum, Herbaspirillum frisingense, Pseudomonas putida, Curtobacterium pusillum, and Chryseobacterium indologenes) representing three of the four most dominant phyla found in maize roots. By using a selective culture-dependent method to track the abundance of each strain, we investigated the role that each plays in community assembly on roots of axenic maize seedlings. Only the removal of E. cloacae led to the complete loss of the community, and C. pusillum took over. This result suggests that E. cloacae plays the role of keystone species in this model ecosystem. In planta and in vitro, this model community inhibited the phytopathogenic fungus Fusarium verticillioides, indicating a clear benefit to the host. Thus, combined with the selective culture-dependent quantification method, our synthetic seven-species community representing the root microbiome has the potential to serve as a useful system to explore how bacterial interspecies interactions affect root microbiome assembly and to dissect the beneficial effects of the root microbiota on hosts under laboratory conditions in the future.

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Plant Sex Determination

Plant Sex Determination | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
Sex determination is as important for the fitness of plants as it is for animals, but its mechanisms appear to vary much more among plants than among animals, and the expression of gender in plants differs in important respects from that in most animals. In this Minireview,

Via Loïc Lepiniec
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Autocrine regulation of stomatal differentiation potential by EPF1 and ERECTA-LIKE1 ligand-receptor signaling

Autocrine regulation of stomatal differentiation potential by EPF1 and ERECTA-LIKE1 ligand-receptor signaling | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
Autocrine regulation of stomatal differentiation potential by EPF1 and ERECTA-LIKE1 ligand-receptor signaling | The stomatal precursor cell uses autocrine peptide-receptor kinase signaling to self-inhibit its differentiation potential in order to ensure proper stomatal development on the plant epidermis.
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The plant perceptron connects environment to development : Nature 

The plant perceptron connects environment to development : Nature  | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
Plants cope with the environment in a variety of ways, and ecological analyses attempt to capture this through life-history strategies or trait-based categorization. These approaches are limited because they treat the trade-off mechanisms that underlie plant responses as a black box. Approaches that involve the molecular or physiological analysis of plant responses to the environment have elucidated intricate connections between developmental and environmental signals, but in only a few well-studied model species. By considering diversity in the plant response to the environment as the adaptation of an information-processing network, new directions can be found for the study of life-history strategies, trade-offs and evolution in plants.

Via Loïc Lepiniec
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The Sequence of 1504 Mutants in the Model Rice Variety Kitaake Facilitates Rapid Functional Genomic Studies

The Sequence of 1504 Mutants in the Model Rice Variety Kitaake Facilitates Rapid Functional Genomic Studies | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it

ABSTRACT The availability of a whole-genome sequenced mutant population and the cataloging of mutations of each line at a single-nucleotide resolution facilitates functional genomic analysis. To this end, we generated and sequenced a fast-neutron-induced mutant population in the model rice cultivar Kitaake (Oryza sativa L. ssp. japonica), which completes its life cycle in 9 weeks. We sequenced 1,504 mutant lines at 45-fold coverage and identified 91,513 mutations affecting 32,307 genes, 58% of all rice genes. We detected an average of 61 mutations per line. Mutation types include single base substitutions, deletions, insertions, inversions, translocations, and tandem duplications. We observed a high proportion of loss-of-function mutations. Using this mutant population, we identified an inversion affecting a single gene as the causative mutation for the short-grain phenotype in one mutant line with a small segregating population. This result reveals the usefulness of the resource for efficient identification of genes conferring specific phenotypes. To facilitate public access to this genetic resource, we established an open access database called KitBase that provides access to sequence data and seed stocks, enabling rapid functional genomic studies of rice.


Via Loïc Lepiniec
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