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Trending Papers in plant biology

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3
Plant Synthetic Biology: Quantifying the “Known Unknowns” and Discovering the “Unknown Unknowns”
Author:
Jennifer Nemhauser
  • This paper reviews this state of the art in measuring plant signaling, using principles and tools borrowed from and inspired by engineering, as well as efforts to use this knowledge to enable rapid, rational re-engineering of plant development.
  • Sensitive, genetically encoded reporters (biosensors), in combination with emerging single-cell transcriptomics approaches, are providing increasingly detailed molecular descriptions of cells undergoing developmental transitions
Submitted by Patrick Joyce
3
Structural basis of salicylic acid perception by Arabidopsis NPR proteins
Author:
Ning Zheng
Salicylic acid (SA) is a plant hormone that is critical for resistance to pathogens. The NPR proteins have previously been identified as SA receptors although how they perceive SA and coordinate hormonal signalling remain unknown. Here we report the mapping of the SA-binding core of Arabidopsis thaliana NPR4 and its ligand-bound crystal structure. The SA-binding core domain of NPR4 refolded with SA adopts an α-helical fold that completely buries SA in its hydrophobic core. The lack of a ligand-entry pathway suggests that SA binding involves a major conformational remodelling of the SA-binding core of NPR4, which we validated using hydrogen–deuterium-exchange mass spectrometry analysis of the full-length protein and through SA-induced disruption of interactions between NPR1 and NPR4. We show that, despite the two proteins sharing nearly identical hormone-binding residues, NPR1 displays minimal SA-binding activity compared to NPR4. We further identify two surface residues of the SA-binding core, the mutation of which can alter the SA-binding ability of NPR4 and its interaction with NPR1. We also demonstrate that expressing a variant of NPR4 that is hypersensitive to SA could enhance SA-mediated basal immunity without compromising effector-triggered immunity, because the ability of this variant to re-associate with NPR1 at high levels of SA remains intact. By revealing the structural mechanisms of SA perception by NPR proteins, our work paves the way for future investigation of the specific roles of these proteins in SA signalling and their potential for engineering plant immunity.
Submitted by xue pan
14
Researchers discover how plants distinguish beneficial from harmful microbes
From Paper: Ligand-recognizing motifs in plant LysM receptors are major determinants of specificity
  • This paper investigated how chitin and nodulation (Nod) factor receptors of Lotus japonicus initiate differential signaling of immunity or root nodule symbiosis
  • Ligand-recognizing motifs in plant LysM receptors are major determinants of specificity.
Submitted by plant biology
5
Viburnum tinus Fruits Use Lipids to Produce Metallic Blue Structural Color
  • The constituents of this bright, chromatic signal indicate it is an honest signal
  • The fruits are fatty and the embedded contrast phase in the cell wall is lipid
Submitted by plant biology
9
Chimeric plants, the best of both worlds - using N. benthamiana as an intermediary in the grafting of two genetically different plants
From Paper: Chimeric plants—the best of both worlds
  • This could substantially expand the combinations of species with which it is possible to generate chimeras through plant grafts
  • Two incompatible species can be grafted using tissue from N. benthamiana as an interscion.
Submitted by plant biology
3
Β-1,4-glucanase is used by parasitic plants to naturally graft themselves onto host plants
From Paper: Host-parasite tissue adhesion by a secreted type of β-1,4-glucanase in the parasitic plant Phtheirospermum japonicum
  • The results show a gene encoding a secreted type of β-1,4-glucanase plays an important role for plant parasitism
  • This study conducted comparative transcriptome analyses on both infection and grafting by P. japonicum on Arabidopsis to understand the molecular basis of tissue adhesion between distant plant species
Submitted by Patrick Joyce
19
Light modulates a plants response to gravity through organ-specific gene expression
From Paper: Light modulates the gravitropic responses through organ-specific PIFs and HY5 regulation of LAZY4 expression in Arabidopsis
  • Together, our data indicate that light exerts opposite regulation of LAZY4 expression in shoots and roots by mediating the protein levels of PIFs and HY5, respectively, to inhibit the negative gravitropism of shoots and promote positive gravitropism of roots in Arabidopsis.
  • In hypocotyls, light promotes degradation of PIFs to reduce LAZY4 expression, which inhibits the negative gravitropism of hypocotyls.
Submitted by plant biology
4
Extensive signal integration by the phytohormone protein network
A systems-level map of the Arabidopsis hormone signalling network, comprising more than 2,000 binary protein–protein interactions, reveals hundreds of interpathway contact points, many of which mediate crosstalk between different hormone pathways.
Submitted by plant biology
3
Gene found to impact drought and heat stress adaptation in plants
From Paper: Necrotic upper tips1 mimics heat and drought stress and encodes a protoxylem-specific transcription factor in maize
  • Maize gene nut1, which encodes a protein that controls genes responsible for maintaining the structure of the protoxylem cells.
Submitted by plant biology
3
Some plants can "hear" the sound waves emitted from pollinators, and respond by making their nectar sweeter.
From Paper: Flowers respond to pollinator sound within minutes by increasing nectar sugar concentration
  • The flowers vibrated mechanically in response to these sounds, suggesting a plausible mechanism where the flower serves as an auditory sensory organ
  • Oenothera drummondii flowers, exposed to playback sound of a flying bee or to synthetic sound signals at similar frequencies, produce sweeter nectar within 3 min
Submitted by Kayla Burris
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