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Current Opinion in Plant Biology

Keiji Nakajima
In flowering plants, germ cells are formed via tightly coordinated patterning processes that facilitate specification of spore mother cells and meiosis during sporogenesis, as well as functional differentiation of germ cells in gametogenesis. Studies using the conventional Arabidopsis system and the newly emerged bryophyte system have revealed novel interactions between regulatory factors that restrict the number of spore mother cells, and evolutionarily conserved factors that promote germ cell differentiation...
December 6, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Richard J Morris
Messenger RNA (mRNA) can move through the vascular system in plants. Until recently the transport of mRNA had been demonstrated only for a few well-documented cases, leading to the suggestion that transport was selective and specific. The extent of this long-distance transport has now been shown to be on the genomic scale with thousands of transcripts covering broad regions of gene ontological space. In light of this recent data, I revisit proposed mechanisms of transport of mRNA and critically assess their potential role in signalling...
December 5, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Eugenia Russinova, Karin Schumacher
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 9, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Elena Sánchez Martín-Fontecha, Carlos Tarancón, Pilar Cubas
Plant shoot branching patterns determine leaf, flower and fruit production, and thus reproductive success and yield. Branch primordia, or axillary buds, arise in the axils of leaves and their decision to either grow or enter dormancy is coordinated at the whole plant level. Comparisons of transcriptional profiles of axillary buds entering dormancy have identified a shared set of responses that closely resemble a Low Energy Syndrome. This syndrome is aimed at saving carbon use to support essential maintenance functions, rather than additional growth, and involves growth arrest (thus dormancy), metabolic reprogramming and hormone signalling...
November 7, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Ben Scheres, Beth A Krizek
Growth at the root tip and organ generation at the shoot tip depend on the proper functioning of apical meristems and the transitioning of meristematic cell descendants from a proliferating state to cell elongation and differentiation. Members of the AINTEGUMENTA-LIKE/PLETHORA (AIL/PLT) transcription factor family, a clade of two-AP2 domain proteins, specify both stem cell fate and control cellular progression of stem cell daughter cells toward differentiation. Here we highlight the importance of an AIL/PLT protein gradient in controlling distinct cellular behaviors in the root through the regulation of distinct targets in different parts of the root tip...
November 6, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Stacey L Harmer, Christopher J Brooks
While fast plant movements are spectacular but rare, almost all plants exhibit relatively slow, growth-mediated tropic movements that are key to their survival in the natural world. In this brief review, we discuss recent insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying phototropism, gravitropism, hydrotropism, and autostraightening. Careful molecular genetic and physiological studies have helped confirm the importance of lateral auxin gradients in gravitropic and phototropic responses. However, auxin signaling does not explain all tropisms: recent work has shown that abscisic acid signaling mediates root hydrotropism and has implicated mechanosensing in autostraightening, the organ straightening process recently modeled as a proprioceptive response...
November 3, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Donald A Levin, Douglas E Soltis
The large wave of polyploidization following the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction has been explained by enhanced polyploid persistence arising from adaptive properties of the polyploids themselves, as well as an increase in unreduced gamete production and diploid hybridization. We propose that the demise of diploids afforded opportunities for polyploid establishment and expansion into novel habitats. Augmented polyploid gene pools from diploid and polyploid relatives, in association with their multiple and independent origins (of both autopolyploids and allopolyploids), facilitated their subsequent diversification...
October 27, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Jekaterina Truskina, Teva Vernoux
Plants are characterized by their ability to produce new organs post-embryonically throughout their entire life cycle. In particular development of all above-ground organs relies almost entirely on the function of the shoot apical meristem (SAM). The SAM performs a dual role by maintaining a pool of undifferentiated cells and simultaneously driving cell differentiation to initiate organogenesis. Both processes require strict coordination between individual cells which leads to formation of reproducible morphological and molecular patterns within SAM...
October 23, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Marília Kf de Campos, Gabriel Schaaf
SEC14 lipid transfer proteins are important regulators of phospholipid metabolism. Structural, genetic and cell biological studies in yeast suggest that they help phosphatidylinositol (PtdIns)/phosphoinositide (PIP) kinases to overcome their intrinsic inefficiency to recognize membrane-embedded substrate, thereby playing a key role in PIP homeostasis. Genomes of higher plants encode a high number and diversity of SEC14 proteins, often in combination with other domains. The Arabidopsis SEC14-Nlj16 protein AtSFH1, an important regulator of root hair development, plays an important role in the establishment of PIP microdomains...
October 6, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Jorge P Muschietti, Diego L Wengier
Successful fertilization depends on active molecular dialogues that the male gametophyte can establish with the pistil and the female gametophyte. Pollen grains and stigmas must recognize each other; pollen tubes need to identify the pistil tissues they will penetrate, follow positional cues to exit the transmitting tract and finally, locate the ovules. These molecular dialogues directly affect pollen tube growth rate and orientation. Receptor-like kinases (RLKs) are natural candidates for the perception and decoding of extracellular signals and their transduction to downstream cytoplasmic interactors...
October 6, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Markus Schwarzländer, Philippe Fuchs
The membranes of mitochondria are focal points of cellular physiology and respiratory energy transformation. Recent discoveries have started painting a refined picture of plant mitochondrial membranes as platforms in which structure and function have evolved in an interconnected and dynamically regulated manner. Hosting ancillary functions that interact with other mitochondrial properties gives mitochondria the characteristics of multitasking and integrated molecular mega machines. We review recent insights into the makeup and the plasticity of the outer and inner mitochondrial membranes, their intimate relationship with respiratory function and regulation, and their properties in mediating solute transport...
October 6, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Yonghua Li-Beisson, Jens Neunzig, Youngsook Lee, Katrin Philippar
In plants, de novo synthesis of fatty acids (FAs) occurs in plastids, whereas assembly and modification of acyl lipids is accomplished in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and plastids as well as in mitochondria. Subsequently, lipophilic compounds are distributed within the cell and delivered to their destination site. Thus, constant acyl-exchanges between subcellular compartments exist. These can occur via several modes of transport and plant membrane-intrinsic proteins for FA/lipid transfer have been shown to play an essential role in delivery and distribution...
October 3, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Dorothee Stoeckle, Martha Thellmann, Joop Em Vermeer
Lateral roots are determinants of plant root system architecture. Besides providing anchorage, they are a plant's means to explore the soil environment for water and nutrients. Lateral roots form post-embryonically and initiate deep within the root. On its way to the surface, the newly formed organ needs to grow through three overlying cell layers; the endodermis, cortex and epidermis. A picture is emerging that a tight integration of chemical and mechanical signalling between the lateral root and the surrounding tissue is essential for proper organogenesis...
September 28, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Ellie Himschoot, Roman Pleskot, Daniël Van Damme, Steffen Vanneste
Trafficking of proteins and lipids within the plant endomembrane system is essential to support cellular functions and is subject to rigorous regulation. Despite this seemingly strict regulation, endomembrane trafficking needs to be dynamically adjusted to ever-changing internal and environmental stimuli, while maintaining cellular integrity. Although often overlooked, the versatile second messenger Ca(2+) is intimately connected to several endomembrane-associated processes. Here, we discuss the impact of electrostatic interactions between Ca(2+) and anionic phospholipids on endomembrane trafficking, and illustrate the direct role of Ca(2+) sensing proteins in regulating endomembrane trafficking and membrane integrity preservation...
September 28, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Ying Wang, Yuling Jiao
Plants differ from most animals in their retained ability to initiate new cycles of growth and development, which relies on the establishment and activity of branch meristems. In seed plants, branching is achieved by axillary meristems, which are established in the axil of each leaf base and develop into lateral branches. Research into axillary meristem initiation has identified transcription factors and phytohormones as key regulators. Based on these findings, a mechanistic framework for understanding axillary meristem initiation has emerged...
September 27, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Joyita Deb, Heather M Bland, Lars Østergaard
Development in multicellular organisms requires the establishment of tissue identity through polarity cues. The Arabidopsis gynoecium presents an excellent model to study this coordination, as it comprises a complex tissue structure which is established through multiple polarity systems. The gynoecium is derived from the fusion of two carpels and forms in the centre of the flower. Many regulators of carpel development also have roles in leaf development, emphasizing the evolutionary origin of carpels as modified leaves...
September 26, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Suayib Üstün, Anders Hafrén, Daniel Hofius
Autophagy is a major pathway for degradation and recycling of cytoplasmic material, including individual proteins, aggregates, and entire organelles. Autophagic processes serve mainly survival functions in cellular homeostasis, stress adaptation and immune responses but can also have death-promoting activities in different eukaryotic organisms. In plants, the role of autophagy in the regulation of programmed cell death (PCD) remained elusive and a subject of debate. More recent evidence, however, has resulted in the consensus that autophagy can either promote or restrict different forms of PCD...
September 21, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Tzyy-Jen Chiou, Wayne K Versaw, Toru Fujiwara
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Alaeddine Safi, Anna Medici, Wojciech Szponarski, Sandrine Ruffel, Benoît Lacombe, Gabriel Krouk
Plant specific GARP transcription factor family (made of ARR-B and G2-like) contains genes with very diverse in planta functions: nutrient sensing, root and shoot development, floral transition, chloroplast development, circadian clock oscillation maintenance, hormonal transport and signaling. In this work we review: first, their structural but distant relationships with MYB transcription factors, second, their role in planta, third, the diversity of their Cis-regulatory elements, fourth, their potential protein partners...
October 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Verónica G Doblas, Niko Geldner, Marie Barberon
Plant roots acquire nutrients from the soil and transport them upwards to the aerial parts. To reach the central vasculature of the root, water and nutrients radially cross all external cell layers. The endodermis surrounds the vascular tissues and forms diffusion barriers. It thereby compartmentalizes the root and allows control of nutrient transport from the soil to the vasculature, as well as preventing backflow of nutrients from the stele. To achieve this role, endodermal cells undergo two specialized differentiations states consisting of deposition of two impermeable polymers in the cell wall: lignin, forming the Casparian strips, and suberin lamellae...
October 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
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