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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
David Vergauwen, Ive De Smet
The history of the strawberry is one of ambitious kings and cunning spies, overseas adventures, and religious symbolism. Here, we will tell these stories, illustrated by relevant paintings and drawings, to give insight into the domestication of the strawberry. Furthermore, we will briefly discuss the complex strawberry genomes and aroma.
November 5, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Wei-Bang Sun, Yong-Peng Ma, Stephen Blackmore
Since 2005, a new conservation action concept has been implemented to address the most threatened plant species requiring priority conservation in China. The concept is now widely recognized at different levels of governmental departments and by the general public, and is leading to great achievements for plant conservation in China.
November 5, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Hannes Kollist, Sara I Zandalinas, Soham Sengupta, Maris Nuhkat, Jaakko Kangasjärvi, Ron Mittler
Plants grow and reproduce within a highly dynamic environment that can see abrupt changes in conditions, such as light intensity, temperature, humidity, or interactions with biotic agents. Recent studies revealed that plants can respond within seconds to some of these conditions, engaging many different metabolic and molecular networks, as well as rapidly altering their stomatal aperture. Some of these rapid responses were further shown to propagate throughout the entire plant via waves of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and Ca2+ that are possibly mediated through the plant vascular system...
November 3, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Rod A Herman, Meibao Zhuang, Nicholas P Storer, Filip Cnudde, Bryan Delaney
The risks of not considering benefits in risk assessment are often overlooked. Risks are also often evaluated without consideration of the broader context. We discuss these two concepts in relation to genetically engineered (GE) crops. The health, environmental, and economic risks and benefits of GE crops are exemplified and presented in the context of modern agriculture. Misattribution of unique risks to GE crops are discussed. It is concluded that the scale of modern agriculture is its distinguishing characteristic and that the greater knowledge around GE crops allows for a more thorough characterization of risk...
October 29, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Bastien Christ, Tomáš Pluskal, Sylvain Aubry, Jing-Ke Weng
The nutritional value and safety of food crops are ultimately determined by their chemical composition. Recent developments in the field of metabolomics have made it possible to characterize the metabolic profile of crops in a comprehensive and high-throughput manner. Here, we propose that state-of-the-art untargeted metabolomics technology should be leveraged for safety assessment of new crop products. We suggest generally applicable experimental design principles that facilitate the efficient and rigorous identification of both intended and unintended metabolic alterations associated with a newly engineered trait...
October 22, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Fuhao Cui, Wenxian Sun, Xiangpei Kong
Receptor-like cytoplasmic kinases (RLCKs) and MAP kinase (MAPK) cascades function downstream of diverse pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) to transduce immune signals. Recent studies identified two MAPK kinase kinases that are directly activated by RLCKs, and filled in a gap in immune signal transduction between PRR activation and the MAPK cascades.
October 17, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Aakanksha Wany, Christine H Foyer, Kapuganti Jagadis Gupta
Shoot and root growth is facilitated by stem cells in the shoot and root apical meristems (SAM and RAM). Recent reports have demonstrated a close link between nitrogen nutrition, nitric oxide (NO), and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the regulation of SAM and RAM functions in response to nitrogen availability.
October 10, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
J Mason Earles, Thomas N Buckley, Craig R Brodersen, Florian A Busch, F Javier Cano, Brendan Choat, John R Evans, Graham D Farquhar, Richard Harwood, Minh Huynh, Grace P John, Megan L Miller, Fulton E Rockwell, Lawren Sack, Christine Scoffoni, Paul C Struik, Alex Wu, Xinyou Yin, Margaret M Barbour
Leaves are a nexus for the exchange of water, carbon, and energy between terrestrial plants and the atmosphere. Research in recent decades has highlighted the critical importance of the underlying biophysical and anatomical determinants of CO2 and H2 O transport, but a quantitative understanding of how detailed 3D leaf anatomy mediates within-leaf transport has been hindered by the lack of a consensus framework for analyzing or simulating transport and its spatial and temporal dynamics realistically, and by the difficulty of measuring within-leaf transport at the appropriate scales...
October 8, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Chuanying Fang, Alisdair R Fernie, Jie Luo
Plants produce a huge array of metabolites, far more than those produced by most other organisms. Unraveling this diversity and its underlying genetic variation has attracted increasing research attention. Post-genomic profiling platforms have enabled the marriage and mining of the enormous amount of phenotypic and genetic diversity. We review here achievements to date and challenges remaining that are associated with plant metabolic research using multi-omic strategies. We focus mainly on strategies adopted in investigating the diversity of plant metabolism and its underlying features...
October 5, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Longbiao Guo, Jie Qiu, Lin-Feng Li, Baorong Lu, Kenneth Olsen, Longjiang Fan
Agronomically critical weeds that have evolved alongside crop species are characterized by rapid adaptation and invasiveness, which can result in an enormous reduction in annual crop yield worldwide. We discuss here recent genome-based research studies on agricultural weeds and crop-weed interactions that reveal several major evolutionary innovations such as de-domestication, interactions mediated by allelochemical secondary metabolites, and parasitic genetic elements that play crucial roles in enhancing weed invasiveness in agricultural settings...
October 4, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Cheng-Cai Zhang, Cong-Zhao Zhou, Robert L Burnap, Ling Peng
Carbon and nitrogen are the two most abundant nutrient elements for all living organisms, and their metabolism is tightly coupled. What are the signaling mechanisms that cells use to sense and control the carbon/nitrogen (C/N) metabolic balance following environmental changes? Based on studies in cyanobacteria, it was found that 2-phosphoglycolate derived from the oxygenase activity of Rubisco (ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase) and 2-oxoglutarate from the Krebs cycle act as the carbon- and nitrogen-starvation signals, respectively, and their concentration ratio likely reflects the status of the C/N metabolic balance...
October 3, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Gaowen Yang, Cameron Wagg, Stavros D Veresoglou, Stefan Hempel, Matthias C Rillig
High biodiversity aboveground tends to increase the stability of ecosystem functioning when faced with a changing environment. However, whether and how soil biota affect ecosystem stability is less clear. Here, we introduce a framework for understanding the effects of soil biota on variation in ecosystem functioning under environmental changes. We conclude that soil biota may be a neglected factor determining ecosystem stability through their direct and indirect effects on plant diversity, the net productivity of an ecosystem, and compensatory dynamics among plant species, and via altering ecosystem resistance and resilience...
October 1, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Runxiu Zeng, Xiaoshi Liu, Chengwei Yang, Jianbin Lai
Geminivirus infection results in systemic symptoms in plants, but the mechanism by which the virus affects cell-to-cell signalling involved in development and resistance remains unclear. Based on recent evidence, we suggest a potential mechanism that geminivirus C4 proteins interfere with intercellular signals by interacting with receptor-like kinases on the plasma membrane.
September 29, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Lam Dai Vu, Kris Gevaert, Ive De Smet
Post-translational modifications (PTMs) are at the heart of many cellular signaling events. Apart from a single regulatory PTM, there are also PTMs that function in orchestrated manners. Such PTM crosstalk usually serves as a fine-tuning mechanism to adjust cellular responses to the slightest changes in the environment. While PTM crosstalk has been studied in depth in various species; in plants, this field is just emerging. In this review, we discuss recent studies on crosstalk between three of the most common protein PTMs in plant cells, being phosphorylation, ubiquitination, and sumoylation, and we highlight the diverse underlying mechanisms as well as signaling outputs of such crosstalk...
September 29, 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Paula da Fonseca-Pereira, Roberto Neri-Silva, João Henrique F Cavalcanti, Danielle S Brito, Andreas P M Weber, Wagner L Araújo, Adriano Nunes-Nesi
Adenine nucleotides are essential in countless processes within the cellular metabolism. In plants, ATP is mainly produced in chloroplasts and mitochondria through photophosphorylation and oxidative phosphorylation, respectively. Thus, efficient adenylate transport systems are required for intracellular energy partitioning between the cell organelles. Adenylate carriers present in different subcellular compartments have been previously identified and biochemically characterized in plants. Here, by using data-mining bioinformatics tools, we propose how, and to what extent, these carriers integrate energy metabolism within a plant cell under different environmental conditions...
November 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Christian Zörb, Uwe Ludewig, Malcolm J Hawkesford
Wheat is an important cereal crop with a high demand for nitrogen (N) fertilizer to enable the grain protein accumulation that is necessary for baking and processing quality. Here, perspectives for the development of improved wheat genotypes with higher yield stability, better grain quality, and improved N use efficiency to lower environmental impacts are discussed. The development of improved wheat genotypes, for example, genotypes that lack storage proteins that do not contribute to baking quality (e.g., by genome editing), in combination with appropriate N fertilizer management to prevent N losses into the environment underpins a novel approach to improving N use efficiency...
November 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Olga Ferlian, Arjen Biere, Paola Bonfante, François Buscot, Nico Eisenhauer, Ivan Fernandez, Bettina Hause, Sylvie Herrmann, Franziska Krajinski-Barth, Ina C Meier, Maria J Pozo, Sergio Rasmann, Matthias C Rillig, Mika T Tarkka, Nicole M van Dam, Cameron Wagg, Ainhoa Martinez-Medina
Research on mycorrhizal interactions has traditionally developed into separate disciplines addressing different organizational levels. This separation has led to an incomplete understanding of mycorrhizal functioning. Integration of mycorrhiza research at different scales is needed to understand the mechanisms underlying the context dependency of mycorrhizal associations, and to use mycorrhizae for solving environmental issues. Here, we provide a road map for the integration of mycorrhiza research into a unique framework that spans genes to ecosystems...
November 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Tetsuya Ishii
Recent advances in crop gene-editing technologies allow for efficient site-specific mutagenesis without introducing exogenous DNA, potentially bypassing product-based genetically modified organism (GMO) regulations. Conversely, such plants can be subject to process-based GMO regulations. However, it is important to tailor existing GMO regulations with the aim to ensure social acceptance of gene-edited crops.
November 2018: Trends in Plant Science
Pingtao Ding, Amey Redkar
Root pathogen Verticillium dahliae deploys an effector called VdSCP41 into plants to disrupt the functions of SARD1 and CBP60g, two central transcriptional regulators of plant immunity. This provides new tools to dissect transcriptional regulation of tissue-specific immunity in the root and to understand dynamic interactions between plants and root-associated microorganisms.
November 2018: Trends in Plant Science
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