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Trends in Plant Science

Hakan Karan, Christiane Funk, Martin Grabert, Melanie Oey, Ben Hankamer
The rapid accumulation of plastic waste is driving international demand for renewable plastics with superior qualities (e.g., full biodegradability to CO2 without harmful byproducts), as part of an expanding circular bioeconomy. Higher plants, microalgae, and cyanobacteria can drive solar-driven processes for the production of feedstocks that can be used to produce a wide variety of biodegradable plastics, as well as bioplastic-based infrastructure that can act as a long-term carbon sink. The plastic types produced, their chemical synthesis, scaled-up biorefinery concepts (e...
January 3, 2019: Trends in Plant Science
Lam Dai Vu, Kris Gevaert, Ive De Smet
To draw the complete picture of plant thermal signaling, it is important to find the missing links between the temperature cue, the actual sensing, and the subsequent response. In this context, several plant thermosensors have been proposed. Here, we compare these with thermosensors in various other organisms, put them in the context of thermosensing in plants, and suggest a set of criteria to which a thermosensor must adhere. Finally, we propose that more emphasis should be given to structural analysis of DNA, RNA, and proteins in light of the activity of potential thermosensors...
December 17, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Khanh Le Nguyen, Alexandre Grondin, Brigitte Courtois, Pascal Gantet
The identification and isolation of genes underlying quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with agronomic traits in crops have been recently accelerated thanks to next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based technologies combined with plant genetics. With NGS, various revisited genetic approaches, which benefited from higher marker density, have been elaborated. These approaches improved resolution in QTL position and assisted in determining functional causative variations in genes. Examples of QTLs/genes associated with agronomic traits in crops and identified using different strategies based on whole-genome sequencing (WGS)/whole-genome resequencing (WGR) or RNA-seq are presented and discussed in this review...
December 17, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Nadia Bazihizina, Timothy D Colmer, Tracey Ann Cuin, Stefano Mancuso, Sergey Shabala
In this opinion article, we challenge the traditional view that breeding for reduced Cl- uptake would benefit plant salinity tolerance. A negative correlation between shoot Cl- concentration and plant biomass does not hold for halophytes - naturally salt tolerant species. We argue that, under physiologically relevant conditions, Cl- uptake requires plants to invest metabolic energy, and that the poor selectivity of Cl- -transporting proteins may explain the reported negative correlation between Cl- accumulation and crop salinity tolerance...
December 14, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Wouter H Maes, Kathy Steppe
Remote sensing with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is a game-changer in precision agriculture. It offers unprecedented spectral, spatial, and temporal resolution, but can also provide detailed vegetation height data and multiangular observations. In this article, we review the progress of remote sensing with UAVs in drought stress, in weed and pathogen detection, in nutrient status and growth vigor assessment, and in yield prediction. To transfer this knowledge to everyday practice of precision agriculture, future research should focus on exploiting the complementarity of hyperspectral or multispectral data with thermal data, on integrating observations into robust transfer or growth models rather than linear regression models, and on combining UAV products with other spatially explicit information...
December 14, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Heikki Hänninen, Koen Kramer, Karen Tanino, Rui Zhang, Jiasheng Wu, Yongshuo H Fu
In boreal and temperate trees, air temperature is a major environmental factor regulating the timing of spring phenological events, such as vegetative bud burst, through underlying physiological processes. This has been established by experimental research, and mathematical process-based tree phenology models have been developed based on the results. The models have often been applied when assessing the effects of climate change. Currently, there is an increasing trend to develop process-based tree phenology models using only observational phenological records from natural conditions...
December 7, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Emmanuel Rezende Naves, Lucas de Ávila Silva, Ronan Sulpice, Wagner L Araújo, Adriano Nunes-Nesi, Lázaro E P Peres, Agustin Zsögön
Capsaicinoids are metabolites responsible for the appealing pungency of Capsicum (chili pepper) species. The completion of the Capsicum annuum genome has sparked new interest into the development of biotechnological applications involving the manipulation of pungency levels. Pungent dishes are already part of the traditional cuisine in many countries, and numerous health benefits and industrial applications are associated to capsaicinoids. This raises the question of how to successfully produce more capsaicinoids, whose biosynthesis is strongly influenced by genotype-environment interactions in fruits of Capsicum...
December 6, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Claus Wasternack
Electric signaling and Ca2+ waves were discussed to occur in systemic wound responses. Two new overlapping scenarios were identified: (i) membrane depolarization in two special cell types followed by an increase in systemic cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+ ]cyt ), and (ii) glutamate sensed by GLUTAMATE RECEPTOR LIKE proteins and followed by Ca2+ -based defense in distal leaves.
December 6, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
M Asaduzzaman Prodhan, Patrick M Finnegan, Hans Lambers
Phosphorus (P) fertilisers, made from rock phosphate, are used to attain high crop yields. However, rock phosphate is a finite resource and excessive P fertilisers pollute our environment, stressing the need for more P-efficient crops. Some Proteaceae have evolved in extremely P-impoverished environments. One of their adaptations is to curtail the abundance of ribosomal RNA, and thus protein, and tightly control the acquisition and assimilation of nitrogen (N) and sulfur. This differs fundamentally from plants that evolved in environments where N limits plant productivity, but is likely common in many species that evolved in P-impoverished landscapes...
December 3, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Yiwen Luo, Hui Shi
Plants must adjust their growth and development adaptively in response to light. Four recent studies have now established novel paradigms connecting light and hormone signaling pathways, in which photoreceptors adopt three modes to directly inhibit internal hormonal responses to external stimuli.
December 1, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Sotirios A Tsaftaris, Hanno Scharr
In 2014 plant phenotyping research was not benefiting from the machine learning (ML) revolution because appropriate data were lacking. We report the success of the first open-access dataset suitable for ML in image-based plant phenotyping suitable for machine learning, fuelling a true interdisciplinary symbiosis, increased awareness, and steep performance improvements on key phenotyping tasks.
November 26, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
John J Ewel, Laura A Schreeg, Thomas R Sinclair
An acute imbalance between human population and food production is projected, partially due to increasing resource scarcity; dietary shifts and the current course of technology alone will not soon solve the problem. Natural ecosystems, typically characterized by high species richness and perennial growth habit, have solved many of the resource-acquisition problems faced by crops, making nature a likely source of insights for potential application in commercial agriculture. Further research on undomesticated plants and natural ecosystems, and the adaptations that enable them to meet their needs for N, P, and water, could change the face of commercial food production, including on marginal lands...
November 21, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Bénédicte Charrier, Hervé Rabillé, Bernard Billoud
In plants, cell growth is constrained by a stiff cell wall, at least this is the way textbooks usually present it. Accordingly, many studies have focused on the elasticity and plasticity of the cell wall as prerequisites for expansion during growth. With their specific evolutionary history, cell wall composition, and environment, brown algae present a unique configuration offering a new perspective on the involvement of the cell wall, viewed as an inert material yet with intrinsic mechanical properties, in growth...
November 21, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Bingsheng Lv, Zhenwei Yan, Huiyu Tian, Xiansheng Zhang, Zhaojun Ding
Auxin is one of the most important plant hormones controlling various aspects of plant growth and development. Here, we highlight three recent papers that shed light on how local auxin biosynthesis contributes to plant growth and development in response to endogenous developmental signals and exogenous environmental cues, such as shade and aluminum stress.
November 15, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Brecht Wybouw, Bert De Rybel
In the past decade tremendous advances have been made in understanding the biosynthesis, perception, and signaling pathways of the plant hormone cytokinin. It also became clear that interfering with any of these steps greatly impacts all on stages of growth and development. This has recently spurted renewed effort to understand how cytokinin signaling affects developmental processes. As a result, new insights on the role of cytokinin signaling and the downstream targets during, for example, shoot apical meristem, flower, female gametophyte, stomata and vascular development are being unraveled...
November 13, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Zhilei Gao, Ida Karlsson, Stefan Geisen, George Kowalchuk, Alexandre Jousset
The rhizosphere microbiome is a central determinant of plant performance. Microbiome assembly has traditionally been investigated from a bottom-up perspective, assessing how resources such as root exudates drive microbiome assembly. However, the importance of predation as a driver of microbiome structure has to date largely remained overlooked. Here we review the importance of protists, a paraphyletic group of unicellular eukaryotes, as a key regulator of microbiome assembly. Protists can promote plant-beneficial functions within the microbiome, accelerate nutrient cycling, and remove pathogens...
November 13, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Marino B Arnao, Josefa Hernández-Ruiz
Melatonin is a pleiotropic molecule with many diverse actions in plants. It is considered primarily an antioxidant with important actions in the control of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS and RNS), among other free radicals, and harmful oxidative molecules present in plant cells. In addition, plant melatonin is involved in multiple physiological actions, such as growth, rooting, seed germination, photosynthesis, and protection against abiotic and/or biotic stressors. The recent identification of the first plant melatonin receptor opened the door to this regulatory molecule being considered a new plant hormone...
November 13, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Zhu-Qing Shao, Jia-Yu Xue, Qiang Wang, Bin Wang, Jian-Qun Chen
The NBS-LRR genes are functionally responsible for plant resistance to alien pathogens. Here, we show that NBS-LRR genes originated in the common ancestor of the whole green lineage, and have rapidly diverged into three subclasses with different domain combinations (TNL, CNL, and RNL) before the split of green algae.
November 13, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Ken Yokawa, Tomoko Kagenishi, František Baluška
General anesthesia, its nature, and how exactly it works are still poorly understood. Plants can also be anesthetized and lose their responses to external stimuli. Interestingly, plants are known to produce endogenous anesthetic compounds to deal with stress. Plants offer an excellent model object for studies on anesthetics and anesthesia.
November 13, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Robin van Velzen, Jeff J Doyle, Rene Geurts
Root nodule endosymbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria provides plants with unlimited access to fixed nitrogen, but at a significant energetic cost. Nodulation is generally considered to have originated in parallel in different lineages, but this hypothesis downplays the genetic complexity of nodulation and requires independent recruitment of many common features across lineages. Recent phylogenomic studies revealed that genes that function in establishing or maintaining nitrogen-fixing nodules are independently lost in non-nodulating relatives of nitrogen-fixing plants...
November 5, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
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