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Current Opinion in Plant Biology

Robert Sablowski
Plant tissue growth requires the interdependent cellular processes of cytoplasmic growth, cell wall extension and cell division, but the feedbacks that link these processes are poorly understood. Recent papers have revealed developmentally regulated coupling between plant cell growth and progression through both mitotic cycles and endocycles. Modeling has given insight into the effects of cell geometry and tissue mechanics on the orientation of cell divisions. Developmental inputs by auxin have been highlighted in the control of cell turgor, vacuole function and the microtubule dynamics that underlies oriented growth and division...
October 7, 2016: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Grégoire Denay, Hicham Chahtane, Gabrielle Tichtinsky, François Parcy
In Arabidopsis, floral meristems appear on the flanks of the inflorescence meristem. Their stereotypic development, ultimately producing the four whorls of floral organs, is essentially controlled by a network coordinating growth and cell-fate determination. This network integrates hormonal signals, transcriptional regulators, and mechanical constraints. Mechanisms regulating floral meristem formation have been studied at many different scales, from protein structure to tissue modeling. In this paper, we review recent findings related to the emergence of the floral meristem and floral fate determination and examine how this field has been impacted by recent technological developments...
October 6, 2016: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Guillaume Née, Yong Xiang, Wim Jj Soppe
Seed dormancy determines the timing of germination, thereby contributing to successful seedling establishment and plant fitness. The induction and release of dormancy are controlled by various regulators like plant hormones and dormancy proteins. The relative strengths of these regulators are influenced by environmental factors during seed maturation and storage. In the last few years additional processes have been identified to be involved in the release of dormancy during seed storage with an important role for non-enzymatic oxidative reactions...
October 3, 2016: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Barbara K Möller, Wei Xuan, Tom Beeckman
In dicot root systems, lateral roots are in general regularly spaced along the longitudinal axis of the primary root to facilitate water and nutrient uptake. Recently, recurrent programmed cell death in the root cap of the growing root has been implicated in lateral root spacing. The root cap contains an auxin source that modulates lateral root patterning. Periodic release of auxin by dying root cap cells seems to trigger lateral root specification at regular intervals. However, it is currently unclear through which molecular mechanisms auxin restricts lateral root specification to specific cells along the longitudinal and radial axes of the root, or how environmental signals impact this process...
September 17, 2016: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Jun Xiao, Un-Sa Lee, Doris Wagner
Histone lysine methylation plays a fundamental role in the epigenetic regulation of gene expression in multicellular eukaryotes, including plants. It shapes plant developmental and growth programs as well as responses to the environment. The methylation status of certain amino-acids, in particular of the histone 3 (H3) lysine tails, is dynamically controlled by opposite acting histone methyltransferase 'writers' and histone demethylase 'erasers'. The methylation status is interpreted by a third set of proteins, the histone modification 'readers', which specifically bind to a methylated amino-acid on the H3 tail...
September 7, 2016: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Satoru Okamoto, Ryo Tabata, Yoshikatsu Matsubayashi
Organ-to-organ communication is indispensable for higher organisms to maintain homeostasis over their entire life. Recent findings have uncovered that plants, like animals, mediate organ-to-organ communication by long-distance signaling through the vascular system. In particular, xylem-mobile secreted peptides have attracted much attention as root-to-shoot long-distance signaling molecules in response to fluctuating environmental nutrient status. Several leguminous CLE peptides induced by rhizobial inoculation act as 'satiety' signals in long-distance negative feedback of nodule formation...
August 20, 2016: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Ana Karina Morao, Daniel Bouyer, François Roudier
Plants are characterized by a remarkable phenotypic plasticity that meets the constraints of a sessile lifestyle and the need to adjust constantly to the environment. Recent studies have begun to reveal how chromatin dynamics participate in coordinating cell proliferation and differentiation in response to developmental cues as well as environmental fluctuations. In this review, we discuss the pivotal function of chromatin-based mechanisms in cell fate acquisition and maintenance, within as well as outside meristems...
August 11, 2016: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Sigrun Reumann, Bonnie Bartel
Peroxisomes are essential for life in plants. These organelles house a variety of metabolic processes that generate and inactivate reactive oxygen species. Our knowledge of pathways and mechanisms that depend on peroxisomes and their constituent enzymes continues to grow, and in this review we highlight recent advances in understanding the identity and biological functions of peroxisomal enzymes and metabolic processes. We also review how peroxisomal matrix and membrane proteins enter the organelle from their sites of synthesis...
August 5, 2016: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
René Schneider, Tobias Hanak, Staffan Persson, Christian A Voigt
Plant growth and development are supported by plastic but strong cell walls. These walls consist largely of polysaccharides that vary in content and structure. Most of the polysaccharides are produced in the Golgi apparatus and are then secreted to the apoplast and built into the growing walls. However, the two glucan polymers cellulose and callose are synthesized at the plasma membrane by cellulose or callose synthase complexes, respectively. Cellulose is the most common cell wall polymer in land plants and provides strength to the walls to support directed cell expansion...
July 29, 2016: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Kimberley C Snowden, Dirk Inzé
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 2016: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Sarah M Assmann, Timothy Jegla
By controlling the opening and closure of the stomatal pores through which gas exchange occurs, guard cells regulate two of the most important plant physiological processes: photosynthesis and transpiration. Accordingly, guard cells have evolved exquisite sensory systems. Here we summarize recent literature on guard cell sensing of light, drought (via the phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA)), and CO2. New advances in our understanding of how guard cells satisfy the energetic and osmotic requirements of stomatal opening and utilize phosphorylation to regulate the anion channels and aquaporins involved in ABA-stimulated stomatal closure are highlighted...
October 2016: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Andrea Chini, Selena Gimenez-Ibanez, Alain Goossens, Roberto Solano
Jasmonates (JAs) are essential phytohormones regulating plant development and environmental adaptation. Many components of the JA-signalling pathway have been identified. However, our insight into the mechanisms by which a single bioactive JA hormone can regulate a myriad of physiological processes and provide specificity in the response remains limited. Recent findings on molecular components suggest that, despite apparent redundancy, specificity is achieved by (1) distinct protein-protein interactions forming unique JAZ/transcription factor complexes, (2) discrete spatiotemporal expression of specific components, (3) variable hormone thresholds for the formation of multiple JA receptor complexes and (4) integration of several signals by JA-pathway components...
October 2016: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Mallikarjuna Rao Kovi, Åshild Ergon, Odd Arne Rognli
Climate change creates new patterns of seasonal climate variation with higher temperatures, longer growth seasons and more variable winter climates. This is challenging the winter survival of perennial herbaceous plants. In this review, we focus on the effects of variable temperatures during autumn/winter/spring, and its interactions with light, on the development and maintenance of freezing tolerance. Cold temperatures induce changes at several organizational levels in the plant (cold acclimation), leading to the development of freezing tolerance, which can be reduced/lost during warm spells (deacclimation) in winters, and attained again during cold spells (reacclimation)...
October 2016: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Neelima R Sinha, Steven D Rowland, Yasunori Ichihashi
An intricate web of regulatory relationships between DNA, RNA, proteins and metabolites regulates how organisms achieve form and function. Genome sequencing combined with computational methods has allowed us to look at diverse readouts and generate a comprehensive framework for how molecules generate morphological phenotypes. RNAseq has evolved and proved useful for identifying links between transcription factor activity and transcript abundance, and for the generation of transcriptomes in non-model species through de novo assembly...
October 2016: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Michael J Skelly, Lucas Frungillo, Steven H Spoel
Transcriptional reprogramming in response to developmental changes or environmental inputs is regulated by a wide variety of transcription factors and cofactors. In plants, the stability of many transcriptional regulators is mediated by the ubiquitin-mediated proteasome. Recent reports suggest that additional post-translational modifications modulate the ubiquitination and thus stability of transcriptional regulators. In addition to well-recognized phosphorylative control, particularly conjugation to the ubiquitin-like protein SUMO as well as thiol modification by nitric oxide to yield S-nitrosothiols, are emerging as key regulatory steps for governing protein ubiquitination in the nucleus...
October 2016: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Consuelo M De Moraes, Mark C Mescher
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 2016: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Fay Newbery, Aiming Qi, Bruce Dl Fitt
Combining climate change, crop growth and crop disease models to predict impacts of climate change on crop diseases can guide planning of climate change adaptation strategies to ensure future food security. This review summarises recent developments in modelling climate change impacts on crop diseases, emphasises some major challenges and highlights recent trends. The use of multi-model ensembles in climate change modelling and crop modelling is contributing towards measures of uncertainty in climate change impact projections but other aspects of uncertainty remain largely unexplored...
August 2016: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Graeme D Ruxton, H Martin Schaefer
Colour change in flowers (with age and/or after pollination) is taxonomically widespread, has evolved repeatedly, and has a range of putative selective benefits linked to modifying pollinator behaviour; however, this phenomenon seems paradoxically uncommon. We explore this paradox by reviewing the empirical evidence and argue that the evolution and maintenance of floral colour change as a signal to modify pollinator behaviour require special ecological circumstances that will often not be met across a plant population for a sustained number of generations, which potentially explains the scarcity of this phenomenon...
August 2016: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Michael G Schöner, Ralph Simon, Caroline R Schöner
Acoustic communication is widespread and well-studied in animals but has been neglected in other organisms such as plants. However, there is growing evidence for acoustic communication in plant-animal interactions. While knowledge about active acoustic signalling in plants (i.e. active sound production) is still in its infancy, research on passive acoustic signalling (i.e. reflection of animal sounds) revealed that bat-dependent plants have adapted to the bats' echolocation systems by providing acoustic reflectors to attract their animal partners...
August 2016: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Dalia Duran-Flores, Martin Heil
Plants perceive injury and herbivore attack via the recognition of damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) and herbivore-associated molecular patterns (HAMPs). Although HAMPs in particular are cues that can indicate the presence of a specific enemy, the application of pure DAMPs or HAMPs frequently activates general downstream responses: membrane depolarization, Ca(2+) influxes, oxidative stress, MAPKinase activation and octadecanoid signaling at the molecular level, and the expression of digestion inhibitors, cell wall modifications and other general defenses at the phenotypic level...
August 2016: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
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