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Trends in Plant Science

Byron B Lamont, Tianhua He
Fire as a major evolutionary force has been disputed because it is considered to lack supporting evidence. If a trait has evolved in response to selection by fire then the environment of the plant must have been fire-prone before the appearance of that trait. Using outcomes of trait assignments applied to molecular phylogenies for fire-stimulated flowering, seed-release, and germination, in this Opinion article we show that fire-proneness precedes, or rarely coincides with, the evolution of these fire-adapted traits...
December 2, 2016: Trends in Plant Science
Bénédicte Charrier, Juliet C Coates, Ioanna Stavridou
The COST Action Phycomorph (FA1406) was initiated in 2015 from a handful of academic researchers, and now joins together 19 European countries and nine international partners. Phycomorph's goal is to coordinate and develop research on developmental biology in macroalgae. This is an ambitious project, as the related scientific community is small, the concepts are complex, and there is currently limited knowledge of these organisms and there are few technologies to study them. Here we report the first step in achieving this enterprise, the creation of the Phycomorph network...
November 30, 2016: Trends in Plant Science
Stefano Mancuso, Frantisek Baluška
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 30, 2016: Trends in Plant Science
Steven Dodsworth
In petaloid monocots expansion of B-gene expression into whorl 1 of the flower results in two whorls of petaloid organs (tepals), as opposed to sepals in whorl 1 of typical eudicot flowers. Recently, new gene-silencing technologies have provided the first functional data to support this, in the genus Tricyrtis (Liliaceae).
November 25, 2016: Trends in Plant Science
Syed Shan-E-Ali Zaidi, Rob W Briddon, Shahid Mansoor
The whitefly Bemisia tabaci is an important pest of many economically important crops and the vector of begomoviruses (family Geminiviridae). Recently, the expression of insecticidal proteins and/or toxins or double-stranded (ds)RNA homologous to B. tabaci genes has been demonstrated to provide the plant with protection against B. tabaci and the viruses that it transmits.
November 24, 2016: Trends in Plant Science
Ludivine Hocq, Jérôme Pelloux, Valérie Lefebvre
According to the 'acid growth theory', cell wall acidification controls cell elongation, therefore plant growth. This notably involves changes in cell wall mechanics through modifications of cell wall polysaccharide structure. Recently, advances in cell biology showed that changes in cell elongation rate can be mediated by the remodeling of pectins, and in particular of homogalacturonans (HGs). Their demethylesterification appears to be a key element controlling the chemistry and the rheology of the cell wall...
November 21, 2016: Trends in Plant Science
Nicolas Corradi, Andreas Brachmann
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are relevant plant symbionts whose hyphae and spores carry hundreds of coexisting nuclei with supposedly divergent genomes but no sign of sexual reproduction. This unusual biology suggested that conventional fungal mating is not amendable to optimize strains for plant growth, but recent evidence of sexual-related nuclear inheritance in these organisms is now challenging this widespread notion. Here, we outline our knowledge of AMF genetics within a historical context, and discuss how past and new information in this area changed our understanding of AMF biology...
November 19, 2016: Trends in Plant Science
Ernesto Gianoli
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 15, 2016: Trends in Plant Science
Thomas Rey, Bernard Dumas
Streptomyces spp. constitute a major clade of the phylum Actinobacteria. These Gram-positive, filamentous prokaryotes are ubiquitous in soils and marine sediments, and are commonly found in the rhizosphere or inside plant roots. Plant-interacting Streptomyces have received limited attention, in contrast to Streptomyces spp. extensively investigated for decades in medicine given their rich potential for secondary metabolite biosynthesis. Recent genomic, metabolomic, and biotechnological advances have produced key insights into Streptomyces spp...
November 5, 2016: Trends in Plant Science
Marian Bemer, Aalt D J van Dijk, Richard G H Immink, Gerco C Angenent
Specific and dynamic gene expression strongly depends on transcription factor (TF) activity and most plant TFs function in a combinatorial fashion. They can bind to DNA and control the expression of the corresponding gene in an additive fashion or cooperate by physical interactions, forming larger protein complexes. The importance of protein-protein interactions between members of a particular plant TF family has long been recognised; however, a significant number of interfamily TF interactions has recently been reported...
November 1, 2016: Trends in Plant Science
Rucha Karnik, Sakharam Waghmare, Ben Zhang, Emily Larson, Cécile Lefoulon, Wendy Gonzalez, Michael R Blatt
Control of cell volume and osmolarity is central to cellular homeostasis in all eukaryotes. It lies at the heart of the century-old problem of how plants regulate turgor, mineral and water transport. Plants use strongly electrogenic H(+)-ATPases, and the substantial membrane voltages they foster, to drive solute accumulation and generate turgor pressure for cell expansion. Vesicle traffic adds membrane surface and contributes to wall remodelling as the cell grows. Although a balance between vesicle traffic and ion transport is essential for cell turgor and volume control, the mechanisms coordinating these processes have remained obscure...
October 28, 2016: Trends in Plant Science
Zhong-Hua Chen, Guang Chen, Fei Dai, Yizhou Wang, Adrian Hills, Yong-Ling Ruan, Guoping Zhang, Peter J Franks, Eviatar Nevo, Michael R Blatt
Grasses began to diversify in the late Cretaceous Period and now dominate more than one third of global land area, including three-quarters of agricultural land. We hypothesize that their success is likely attributed to the evolution of highly responsive stomata capable of maximizing productivity in rapidly changing environments. Grass stomata harness the active turgor control mechanisms present in stomata of more ancient plant lineages, maximizing several morphological and developmental features to ensure rapid responses to environmental inputs...
October 21, 2016: Trends in Plant Science
David Vergauwen, Ive De Smet
The recent carrot genome assembly provides insight into carotenoid accumulation in carrots, and allows-together with other genetic information-to provide a molecular explanation for color differences observed in carrots painted throughout the centuries.
September 26, 2016: Trends in Plant Science
Ron Mittler
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are thought to play a dual role in plant biology. They are required for many important signaling reactions, but are also toxic byproducts of aerobic metabolism. Recent studies revealed that ROS are necessary for the progression of several basic biological processes including cellular proliferation and differentiation. Moreover, cell death-that was previously thought to be the outcome of ROS directly killing cells by oxidation, in other words via oxidative stress-is now considered to be the result of ROS triggering a physiological or programmed pathway for cell death...
September 22, 2016: Trends in Plant Science
Naohiko Ohama, Hikaru Sato, Kazuo Shinozaki, Kazuko Yamaguchi-Shinozaki
Heat stress (HS) is becoming an increasingly significant problem for food security as global warming progresses. Recent studies have elucidated the complex transcriptional regulatory networks involved in HS. Here, we provide an overview of current knowledge regarding the transcriptional regulatory network and post-translational regulation of the transcription factors involved in the HS response. Increasing evidence suggests that epigenetic regulation and small RNAs are important in heat-induced transcriptional responses and stress memory...
September 22, 2016: Trends in Plant Science
Camille Fonouni-Farde, Anouck Diet, Florian Frugier
DELLA proteins, acting as integrators of gibberellin (GA) action, are emerging as key regulators of root system architecture. Recent studies have revealed how they dictate the dynamics of root growth and are required for the establishment of root endosymbioses with rhizobial bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi. Like conductors, DELLAs can thereby harmonize root development depending on soil environments.
September 22, 2016: Trends in Plant Science
Changfu Zhu, Luisa Bortesi, Can Baysal, Richard M Twyman, Rainer Fischer, Teresa Capell, Stefan Schillberg, Paul Christou
Designer nucleases allow the creation of new plant genotypes by introducing precisely-targeted double-strand breaks that are resolved by endogenous repair pathways. The major nuclease technologies are meganucleases, zinc-finger nucleases, transcription activator-like effector nucleases, and the CRISPR/Cas9 system. Each comprises a promiscuous endonuclease guided by protein-DNA or RNA-DNA interactions. A great deal is known about the principles of designer nucleases but much remains to be learned about their detailed behavioral characteristics in different plant species...
September 16, 2016: Trends in Plant Science
Sotirios A Tsaftaris, Massimo Minervini, Hanno Scharr
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 2016: Trends in Plant Science
Natalia P Achkar, Damián A Cambiagno, Pablo A Manavella
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) modulate plant homeostasis through the inactivation of specific mRNAs, especially those encoding transcription factors. A delicate spatial/temporal balance between a miRNA and its targets is central to achieving the appropriate biological outcomes. In this review we discuss our growing understanding of the dynamic regulation of miRNA biogenesis. We put special emphasis on crosstalk between miRNA biogenesis and other cellular processes such as transcription and splicing. We also discuss how the pathway is regulated in specific tissues to achieve harmonious plant development through a subtle balance between gene expression and silencing...
December 2016: Trends in Plant Science
Roman Pavela, Giovanni Benelli
Recently, a growing number of plant essential oils (EOs) have been tested against a wide range of arthropod pests with promising results. EOs showed high effectiveness, multiple mechanisms of action, low toxicity on non-target vertebrates and potential for the use of byproducts as reducing and stabilizing agents for the synthesis of nanopesticides. However, the number of commercial biopesticides based on EOs remains low. We analyze the main strengths and weaknesses arising from the use of EO-based biopesticides...
December 2016: Trends in Plant Science
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