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Trends in Plant Science

Sangam L Dwivedi, Edith T Lammerts van Bueren, Salvatore Ceccarelli, Stefania Grando, Hari D Upadhyaya, Rodomiro Ortiz
Increasing demand for nutritious, safe, and healthy food because of a growing population, and the pledge to maintain biodiversity and other resources, pose a major challenge to agriculture that is already threatened by a changing climate. Diverse and healthy diets, largely based on plant-derived food, may reduce diet-related illnesses. Investments in plant sciences will be necessary to design diverse cropping systems balancing productivity, sustainability, and nutritional quality. Cultivar diversity and nutritional quality are crucial...
July 14, 2017: Trends in Plant Science
Hyo-Jun Lee, Young-Joon Park, Jun-Ho Ha, Ian T Baldwin, Chung-Mo Park
Plants dynamically adjust their architecture to optimize growth and performance under fluctuating light environments, a process termed photomorphogenesis. A variety of photomorphogenic responses have been studied extensively in the shoots, where diverse photoreceptors and signaling molecules have been functionally characterized. Notably, accumulating evidence demonstrates that the underground roots also undergo photomorphogenesis, raising the question of how roots perceive and respond to aboveground light. Recent findings indicate that root photomorphogenesis is mediated by multiple signaling routes, including shoot-to-root transmission of mobile signaling molecules, direct sensing of light by the roots, and light channeling through the plant body...
July 10, 2017: Trends in Plant Science
Johan A Stenberg
The concept of integrated pest management (IPM) has been accepted and incorporated in public policies and regulations in the European Union and elsewhere, but a holistic science of IPM has not yet been developed. Hence, current IPM programs may often be considerably less efficient than the sum of separately applied individual crop protection actions. Thus, there is a clear need to formulate general principles for synergistically combining traditional and novel IPM actions to improve efforts to optimize plant protection solutions...
July 4, 2017: Trends in Plant Science
Grégoire Denay, Gilles Vachon, Renaud Dumas, Chloe Zubieta, François Parcy
Proteins often act in complexes assembled via protein-protein interaction domains. The sterile alpha motif (SAM) domain is one of the most prominent interaction domains in animals and is present in proteins of diverse functions. This domain allows head-to-tail closed oligomerisation or polymer formation resulting in homo- and/or heterocomplexes that have been shown to be important for proper protein localisation and function. In plants this domain is also present but has been poorly studied except for recent studies on the LEAFY floral regulator and the tRNA import component (TRIC)1/2 proteins...
June 28, 2017: Trends in Plant Science
Sophia L Samodelov, Matias D Zurbriggen
With the need to respond to and integrate a multitude of external and internal stimuli, plant signaling is highly complex, exhibiting signaling component redundancy and high interconnectedness between individual pathways. We review here novel theoretical-experimental approaches in manipulating plant signaling towards the goal of a comprehensive understanding and targeted quantitative control of plant processes. We highlight approaches taken in the field of synthetic biology used in other systems and discuss their applicability in plants...
June 28, 2017: Trends in Plant Science
Julie A Hawkins, Irene Teixidor-Toneu
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 26, 2017: Trends in Plant Science
Ghader Mirzaghaderi, Annaliese S Mason
An interesting and possibly unique pattern of genome evolution following polyploidy can be observed among allopolyploids of the Triticum and Aegilops genera (wheat group). Most polyploids in this group are presumed to share a common unaltered (pivotal) subgenome (U, D, or A) together with one or two modified (differential) subgenomes, a status that has been referred to as 'pivotal-differential' genome evolution. In this review we discuss various mechanisms that could be responsible for this evolutionary pattern, as well as evidence for and against the putative evolutionary mechanisms involved...
June 22, 2017: Trends in Plant Science
Teresa Garnatje, Josep Peñuelas, Joan Vallès
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 21, 2017: Trends in Plant Science
Lei Wang, Qifa Zhang
Plant architecture is an important determinant of crop yield. Recent studies showed that SPL family genes regulate the architecture of rice plants. SPLs inhibit tillering in general, but promote panicle branching at optimal expression levels to increase grain number. Fine-tuning the expression of SPL genes may provide useful strategies for crop improvement.
June 21, 2017: Trends in Plant Science
Marion Clavel, Simon Michaeli, Pascal Genschik
In metazoans, autophagy is an essential component of host defense against viruses, orchestrating their degradation. Such antiviral functions for autophagy have also been long suspected in the green lineage. Two recent reports provide molecular insights on how plants selectively send viral proteins and even particles to the vacuole.
June 17, 2017: Trends in Plant Science
Gianluigi Ottaviani, Jana Martínková, Tomáš Herben, Juli G Pausas, Jitka Klimešová
On-spot persistence, space occupancy, and recovery after damage are key plant functions largely understudied. Traits relevant to these functions are difficult to assess because of their relationships to plant modularity. We suggest that developing collection protocols for these traits is feasible and could facilitate their inclusion in global syntheses.
June 15, 2017: Trends in Plant Science
Mélanie K Rich, Eva Nouri, Pierre-Emmanuel Courty, Didier Reinhardt
Most plants entertain mutualistic interactions known as arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) with soil fungi (Glomeromycota) which provide them with mineral nutrients in exchange for reduced carbon from the plant. Mycorrhizal roots represent strong carbon sinks in which hexoses are transferred from the plant host to the fungus. However, most of the carbon in AM fungi is stored in the form of lipids. The absence of the type I fatty acid synthase (FAS-I) complex from the AM fungal model species Rhizophagus irregularis suggests that lipids may also have a role in nutrition of the fungal partner...
June 13, 2017: Trends in Plant Science
Valentino Giarola, Quancan Hou, Dorothea Bartels
Desiccation tolerance (DT) in angiosperms is present in the small group of resurrection plants and in seeds. DT requires the presence of protective proteins, specific carbohydrates, restructuring of membrane lipids, and regulatory mechanisms directing a dedicated gene expression program. Many components are common to resurrection plants and seeds; however, some are specific for resurrection plants. Understanding how each component contributes to DT is challenging. Recent transcriptome analyses and genome sequencing indicate that increased expression is essential of genes encoding protective components, recently evolved, species-specific genes and non-protein-coding RNAs...
June 13, 2017: Trends in Plant Science
Ray J Rose, David W McCurdy
Massive mitochondrial fusion (MMF) in germinating arabidopsis seeds, together with earlier studies, suggests a significant role for MMF in the life cycle of flowering plants. MMF is likely to facilitate nucleoid transmission, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) recombination, and the homogenization of mitochondrial components, thus providing a type of quality control for mitochondrial populations in new generations.
June 13, 2017: Trends in Plant Science
Juliet Brodie, Cheong Xin Chan, Olivier De Clerck, J Mark Cock, Susana M Coelho, Claire Gachon, Arthur R Grossman, Thomas Mock, John A Raven, Alison G Smith, Hwan Su Yoon, Debashish Bhattacharya
Algae are (mostly) photosynthetic eukaryotes that occupy multiple branches of the tree of life, and are vital for planet function and health. In this review, we highlight a transformative period in studies of the evolution and functioning of this extraordinary group of organisms and their potential for novel applications, wrought by high-throughput 'omic' and reverse genetic methods. We cover the origin and diversification of algal groups, explore advances in understanding the link between phenotype and genotype, consider algal sex determination, and review progress in understanding the roots of algal multicellularity...
June 10, 2017: Trends in Plant Science
Devrim Coskun, Dev T Britto, Weiming Shi, Herbert J Kronzucker
Although the global nitrogen (N) cycle is largely driven by soil microbes, plant root exudates can profoundly modify soil microbial communities and influence their N transformations. A detailed understanding is now beginning to emerge regarding the control that root exudates exert over two major soil N processes - nitrification and N2 fixation. We discuss recent breakthroughs in this area, including the identification of root exudates as nitrification inhibitors and as signaling compounds facilitating N-acquisition symbioses...
June 7, 2017: Trends in Plant Science
Zhong Wei, Alexandre Jousset
Plant breeding has traditionally improved traits encoded in the plant genome. Here we propose an alternative framework reaching novel phenotypes by modifying together genomic information and plant-associated microbiota. This concept is made possible by a novel technology that enables the transmission of endophytic microbiota to the next plant generation.
July 2017: Trends in Plant Science
Philippe Gallusci, Zhanwu Dai, Michel Génard, Arnaud Gauffretau, Nathalie Leblanc-Fournier, Céline Richard-Molard, Denis Vile, Sophie Brunel-Muguet
Epigenetic variations are involved in the control of plant developmental processes and participate in shaping phenotypic plasticity to the environment. Intense breeding has eroded genetic diversity, and epigenetic diversity now emerge as a new source of phenotypic variations to improve adaptation to changing environments and ensure the yield and quality of crops. Here, we review how the characterization of the stability and heritability of epigenetic variations is required to drive breeding strategies, which can be assisted by process-based models...
July 2017: Trends in Plant Science
Guillaume Lobet
Image analysis has become a powerful technique for most plant scientists. In recent years dozens of image analysis tools have been published in plant science journals. These tools cover the full spectrum of plant scales, from single cells to organs and canopies. However, the field of plant image analysis remains in its infancy. It still has to overcome important challenges, such as the lack of robust validation practices or the absence of long-term support. In this Opinion article, I: (i) present the current state of the field, based on data from the plant-image-analysis...
July 2017: Trends in Plant Science
Philippe Lemanceau, Manuel Blouin, Daniel Muller, Yvan Moënne-Loccoz
The microbial community that is systematically associated with a given host plant is called the core microbiota. The definition of the core microbiota was so far based on its taxonomic composition, but we argue that it should also be based on its functions. This so-called functional core microbiota encompasses microbial vehicles carrying replicators (genes) with essential functions for holobiont (i.e., plant plus microbiota) fitness. It builds up from enhanced horizontal transfers of replicators as well as from ecological enrichment of their vehicles...
July 2017: Trends in Plant Science
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