Current Arabidopsis News and Events

Current Arabidopsis News and Events, Arabidopsis News Articles.
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Researchers solve riddle of plant immune system
How do plants build resilience? An international research team led by the University of Göttingen studied the molecular mechanisms of the plant immune system. They were able to show a connection between a relatively unknown gene and resistance to pathogens. The results of the study were published in the journal The Plant Cell. (2021-02-16)

Scientists discover plants' roadblock to specialty oil production
Attempts to put genes for making specialty fatty acids into crops have led to plants that make less oil. Now scientists have identified the mechanism behind the oil-production slowdown. The work paves the way for making at least one industrially important specialty fatty acid in plants--and may work for many others. (2021-02-03)

How plants stabilize their water pipes
New techniques allow live-observation of forming cell walls in the vascular tissue (2021-02-02)

Warmer climate may make new mutations more harmful
A warmer global climate can cause mutations to have more severe consequences for the health of organisms through their detrimental effect on protein function. This may have major repercussions on organisms' ability to adapt to, and survive in, the altered habitats of the future. This is shown in a new Uppsala University research study now published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. (2021-02-02)

Possible explanation for more efficient maize growth
Plant researchers at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) have investigated the transport of compounds in maize. They focused on the mechanism used to transport the products of photosynthesis for further distribution in the plant through its phloem loading pathways. In the current edition of the journal ''The Plant Cell'', they describe how this mechanism has potentially created a special evolutionary advantage for maize. (2021-01-08)

A plant's way to its favorite food
Nitrogen is one the most essential nutrients for plants. Its availability in the soil plays a major role in plant growth and development, thereby affecting agricultural productivity. Scientists at the IST Austria were now able to show, how plants adjust their root growth to varying sources of nitrogen. In a new study published in The EMBO Journal they give insights in the molecular pathways of roots adaptation. (2021-01-05)

Uncovering how plants see blue light
Plants can perceive and react to light across a wide spectrum. New research from the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences shows how plants can respond to blue light in particular by revealing the structure of cryptochrome-2, the molecule that reacts to blue light. (2021-01-04)

Groups of bacteria can work together to better protect crops and improve their growth
Certain bacteria, known as plant-growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB), can improve plant health or protect them from pathogens and are used commercially to help crops. To further improve agricultural yields, it is helpful to identify factors that can improve PGPB behavior. (2020-12-28)

Newly discovered receptor helps to sneak a peek at evolution
Certain proteins call for unusual ways to get incorporated into membranes, because the signal sequence required for this process is located at their rear end instead of at the front. The relevant mechanism and its components are well-known and well-studied in yeast and mammals. Scientists have already hypothesised that it also occurs in plants, but there was no evidence of an indispensable receptor, until now. (2020-12-22)

Plants can be larks or night owls just like us
Plants have the same variation in body clocks as that found in humans, according to new research that explores the genes governing circadian rhythms in plants. (2020-12-18)

Science paper links root endodermis and microbiota in mineral balance
Valéria Custódio, ITQB NOVA PhD Student and GREEN-IT member, is a co-author of the paper, which offers new insight on the importance of the relationship between microbiota and root endodermis. (2020-12-09)

Hidden structure found in essential metabolic machinery
Rice University biochemists have discovered membrane-divided subcompartments within organelles called peroxisomes, essential pieces of metabolic machinery for all higher order life from yeast to humans. The research appears this week in Nature Communications. (2020-12-04)

Plants on aspirin
For centuries humans were using willow barks to treat a headache or an inflamed tooth. Later, the active ingredient, the plant hormone salicylic acid, was used to develop painkillers like Aspirin. But what happens, if plants are treated with these painkillers? By doing so, Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology (IST) Austria discovered an unexpected bioactivity of human pharmaceuticals in plants. The scientists published their study in the journal Cell Reports. (2020-12-01)

Trehalose 6-phosphate promotes seed filling by activating auxin biosynthesis
Plants undergo several developmental transitions during their life cycle. The differentiation of the young embryo from a meristem like structure into a highly specialized storage organ, is believed to be controlled by local connections between sugars and hormonal response systems. By modulating the trehalose 6?phosphate (T6P) content in growing embryos of pea (Pisum sativum), an international research team led by the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) investigated the role of this signaling sugar during the seed?filling process. (2020-11-05)

A molecular break for root growth
The dynamic change in root growth of plants plays an important role in their adjustment to soil conditions. Depending on the location, nutrients or moisture can be found in higher or lower soil layers. This is why, depending on the situation, a short or a long root is advantageous. Caroline Gutjahr, Professor of Plant Genetics at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), and her team investigate how plant hormones influence the growth of roots. (2020-10-26)

Planting parasites: Unveiling common molecular mechanisms of parasitism and grafting
Using the model Orobanchaceae parasitic plant Phtheirospermum japonicum, scientists have discerned the molecular mechanisms underlying plant parasitism and cross-species grafting, pinpointing enzyme β-1,4-glucanase (GH9B3) as an important contributor to both phenomena. Targeting this enzyme may help control plant parasitism in crops. (2020-10-10)

The plant hormone auxin may promote disease by regulating virulence gene expression
This work provides another example of how plant hormones can be used by microbes as an environmental cue, which seems to be emerging as a common strategy as scientists learn more about how pathogens and parasites sense their plant hosts. (2020-10-06)

Surplus sugar helps whiteflies detoxify plant defenses
When attacking crucifers, the sap-sucking whitefly Bemisia tabaci can activate the chemical defenses of these plants. In a new study, an international team of researchers demonstrated that the pest is able to render a large proportion of the plant toxins harmless by binding surplus sugar to them. The whitefly thus deploys a completely new and until now undescribed detoxification mechanism to defuse the plants' defenses, which could explain the success of this major agricultural pest. (2020-09-28)

First PhytoFrontiers™ paper discusses arabidopsis response to caterpillars
In their PhytoFrontiers article, Jacquie and colleagues, including first author Zhihong Zhang, who just completed her MSc studies and is interested in the regulation of plant responses to caterpillar herbivory, compare plant responses to two noctuid caterpillar species that are both considered to be ''generalist'' caterpillars. They investigated differences in plant defense responses from phytohormones to gene expression to specialized metabolites. (2020-09-24)

'Cellular compass' guides stem cell division in plants
Biologists observing the formation of leaves noticed the nuclei moved in bewildering ways. Further investigation uncovered proteins that act as compasses and motors, guiding the divisions of individual cells to create the overall pattern of the leaf. (2020-09-17)

Scientists find an enzyme that facilitates grafting between different family species
Nagoya University bioscientist Michitaka Notaguchi and colleagues in Japan recently found that the tobacco plant Nicotiana promotes adhesion of tissue and can maintain grafts between a broad range of species. They also identified ''β-1,4 glucanases'' as a key molecule in facilitating tissue adhesion of grafts. Their findings could aid crop production and lessen impact on ecosystems. (2020-09-12)

How plants ensure regular seed spacing
An international team of researchers led by biologists from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) has examined how seed formation is coordinated with fruit growth. In the latest edition of the journal Current Biology, they explain the genetic control mechanisms underlying the process. (2020-09-11)

Inheritance in plants can now be controlled specifically
A new application of the CRISPR/Cas molecular scissors promises progress in crop cultivation. At Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), researchers have succeeded in modifying the sequence of genes on a chromosome using CRISPR/Cas. For the first time, they took a known chromosome modification in the thale cress model plant and demonstrated how inversions of the gene sequence can be undone and inheritance can thus be controlled. The results are published in Nature Communications (DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-18277-z). (2020-09-07)

Parasitic plants attack crops when defending themselves from microbes
Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS) in Japan have discovered a link between defensive responses in plants and the beautiful but devastating crop parasite witchweed. Published in Nature, the new study shows that both parasitic and non-parasitic plants can detect and react to a class of organic compounds called quinones. While parasitic plants sense quinones in their prey and use it to invade, quinones trigger defensive responses in non-parasitic plants that can protect them from bacteria and other microbes. (2020-09-02)

Scientists shed new light on pollen tube growth in plants
New insight on how an enzyme ensures the correct growth of pollen tubes in flowering plants has been published today in the open-access journal eLife. (2020-09-01)

How plants close their gates when microbes attack
Like humans, plants protect themselves against pathogens. An international consortium under the lead of UZH professor Cyril Zipfel has now identified a long sought-after factor of this plant immune system: The calcium channel triggers the closure of stomata upon contact with microbes such as bacteria. This innate defense mechanism could help to engineer crop plants that are resistant to pathogens. (2020-08-26)

German-Argentinean doctoral program bears first fruits
The Faculty of Biology at TU Dresden and the Faculty of Biochemistry and Biological Sciences at the Universidad Nacional del Litoral (UNL) in Santa Fe, Argentina have had a very special partnership for more than five years. A bi-national doctoral program not only enables doctoral students from both research institutions to spend a longer period of time abroad, but also offers a double degree in Biochemistry and Applied Biology. (2020-08-14)

Research gets to the heart of organ shape in nature
Researchers have shed fresh light on the evolution and function of the shapes we see in nature - using as a model the heart shaped fruits of the Capsella genus. (2020-08-13)

Algal blue light switch control of electrical excitation in plants
What is the role and molecular basis of electrical signaling in higher plants? This can now be investigated non-invasively for the first time. The new method has been published in the journal PNAS. (2020-08-10)

Success in promoting plant growth for biodiesel
Scientists of Waseda University in Japan succeeded in promoting plant growth and increasing seed yield by heterologous expression of protein from Arabidopsis (artificially modified high-speed motor protein) in Camelina sativa, which is expected as a useful plant for biodiesel. The study is expected to apply to other plant resources for biodiesel, such as corn, rice, and sugar cane. (2020-08-07)

Moss protein corrects genetic defects of other plants
Almost all land plants employ an army of molecular editors who correct errors in their genetic information. Together with colleagues from Hanover, Ulm and Kyoto (Japan), researchers from the University of Bonn have now transferred one of these proofreaders from the moss Physcomitrium patens (previously known as Physcomitrella patens) into a flowering plant. Surprisingly, it performs its work there as reliably as in the moss itself. (2020-07-02)

Revisiting energy flow in photosynthetic plant cells
By developing innovative methods to visualize energy changes in subcellular compartments in live plants, the team of Dr Boon Leong LIM, Associate Professor of the School of Biological Sciences of The University of Hong Kong, recently solved a controversial question in photosynthesis: what is the source of NADH (Reduced Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) for mitochondria to generate ATP (Adenosine triphosphate)? The results were just published in the journal Nature Communications. (2020-06-30)

Plant tissue engineering improves drought and salinity tolerance
After several years of experimentation, scientists have engineered thale cress, or Arabidopsis thaliana, to behave like a succulent, improving water-use efficiency, salinity tolerance and reducing the effects of drought. The tissue succulence engineering method devised for this small flowering plant can be used in other plants to improve drought and salinity tolerance with the goal of moving this approach into food and bioenergy crops. (2020-06-30)

Research in land plants shows nanoplastics accumulating in tissues
As concern grows among environmentalists and consumers about micro- and nanoplastics in the oceans and in seafood, they are increasingly studied in marine environments, say Baoshan Xing at UMass Amherst and colleagues in China. But little was known about nanoplastics in agricultural soils. Xing and collaborators at Shandong University, China, say that now they have direct evidence that nanoplastics are internalized by terrestrial plants. (2020-06-22)

Fungal pathogen disables plant defense mechanism
Cabbage plants defend themselves against herbivores and pathogens by deploying a defensive mechanism called the mustard oil bomb. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology and the University of Pretoria have now been able to show that this defense is also effective against the widespread fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. However, the pathogen uses at least two different detoxification mechanisms that enable the fungus to successfully spread on plants defended in this way. (2020-06-19)

Cell wall research reveals possibility of simple and sustainable method to protect crops
Antonio Molina and his research group at Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas in Spain aimed to understand the role of the cell wall in the regulation of plant resistance responses to pathogens. To do that, they selected a collection of mutants with alterations on their cell walls composition/structure and analyzed their resistance to different pathogens. (2020-06-15)

Small see-through container improves plant micrografting
A transparent container made by Nagoya University researchers allows easy and quick grafting of very young plants, with benefits for agriculture and plant research. (2020-06-04)

How a molecular alarm system in plants protects them from danger
Some plants are known to possess an innate physiological defense machinery that helps them develop resistance against insects trying to feed on them. However, until now, it was not known exactly how these plants recognize ''danger signals'' from insects. In a new study, scientists in Japan have uncovered the molecular pathway that helps these plants to sense danger signals and respond to them. These findings could potentially have a myriad of agricultural applications. (2020-06-02)

Exchange of arms between chromosomes using molecular scissors
The CRISPR/Cas molecular scissors work like a fine surgical instrument and can be used to modify genetic information in plants. Research teams of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) have now been the first to not only exchange single genes, but to recombine entire chromosomes with the CRISPR/Cas technology. In this way, desired properties can be combined in crops -- published in Nature Plants. (2020-05-26)

Scientists discover mutation that enhances plant defense
Sometimes scientists begin research and find exactly what they expected. Other times they discover something unexpected. Such was the case for a group of scientists studying plant stress responses who stumbled upon a new mutation. (2020-05-18)

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