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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
Erica D LaMontagne, Antje Heese
In plants, the trans-Golgi network (TGN) functionally overlaps with the early endosome (EE), serving as a central sorting hub to direct newly synthesized and endocytosed cargo to the cell surface or vacuole. Here, we focus on the emerging role of the TGN/EE in sorting of immune cargo proteins for effective plant immunity against pathogenic bacteria and fungi. Specific vesicle coat and regulatory components at the TGN/EE ensure that immune cargoes are correctly sorted and transported to the location of their cellular functions...
September 12, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Christopher Kesten, Alexandra Menna, Clara Sánchez-Rodríguez
The cell wall is a complex polysaccharide network that provides stability and protection to the plant and is one of the first layers of biotic and abiotic stimuli perception. A controlled remodeling of the primary cell wall is essential for the plant to adapt its growth to environmental stresses. Cellulose, the main component of plant cell walls is synthesized by plasma membrane-localized cellulose synthases moving along cortical microtubule tracks. Recent advancements demonstrate a tight regulation of cellulose synthesis at the primary cell wall by phytohormone networks...
September 8, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Raksha Ravikumar, Alexander Steiner, Farhah F Assaad
Tethering complexes mediate the initial, specific contact between donor and acceptor membranes. This review focuses on the modularity and function of multisubunit tethering complexes (MTCs) in higher plants. One emphasis is on molecular interactions of plant MTCs. Here, a number of insights have been gained concerning interactions between different tethering complexes, and between tethers and microtubule-associated proteins. The roles of tethering complexes in abiotic stress responses appear indirect, but in the context of biotic stress responses it has been suggested that some tethers are direct targets of pathogen effectors or virulence factors...
September 7, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Moritaka Nakamura, Markus Grebe
Plant roots control uptake of water and nutrients and cope with environmental challenges. The root epidermis provides the first selective interface for nutrient absorption, while the endodermis produces the main apoplastic diffusion barrier in the form of a structure called the Casparian strip. The positioning of root hairs on epidermal cells, and of the Casparian strip around endodermal cells, requires asymmetries along cellular axes (cell polarity). Cell polarity is termed planar polarity, when coordinated within the plane of a given tissue layer...
September 1, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Emmanuelle M Bayer, Imogen Sparkes, Steffen Vanneste, Abel Rosado
The plant endoplasmic reticulum (ER) defines the biosynthetic site of lipids and proteins destined for secretion, but also contains important signal transduction and homeostasis components that regulate multiple hormonal and developmental responses. To achieve its various functions, the ER has a unique architecture, both reticulated and highly plastic, that facilitates the spatial-temporal segregation of biochemical reactions and the establishment of inter-organelle communication networks. At the cell cortex, the cortical ER (cER) anchors to and functionally couples with the PM through largely static structures known as ER-PM contact sites (EPCS)...
August 31, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Thomas Ott
During plant-microbe interactions, host cells need to keep stringent control over the approaching pathogens and symbionts. This requires specific spatio-temporal assemblies of pattern recognition receptors and other complex constituents and a strict physical separation of genetically overlapping pathways. Increasing evidence suggests that this is, at least partially, achieved by the formation of nanometer scale membrane platforms that might act as signaling hubs. These and other larger-scale sub-compartments have been termed 'membrane rafts', 'nanodomains' and 'microdomains'...
August 31, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Carla Brillada, Marcela Rojas-Pierce
The vacuole is a prominent organelle that is essential for plant viability. The vacuole size, and its role in ion homeostasis, protein degradation and storage, place significant demands for trafficking of vacuolar cargo along the endomembrane system. Recent studies indicate that sorting of vacuolar cargo initiates at the ER and Golgi, but not the trans-Golgi network/early endosome, as previously thought. Furthermore, maturation of the trans-Golgi network into pre-vacuolar compartments seems to contribute to a major route for plant vacuolar traffic that works by bulk flow and ends with membrane fusion between the pre-vacuolar compartment and the tonoplast...
August 31, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Lin Xu
Root organogenesis after tissue damage is a type of plant regeneration known as de novo root regeneration (DNRR). The DNRR process is widely exploited in agricultural technologies, such as cuttings for vegetative propagation. This review summarizes recent advances in our understanding of the cellular and molecular framework of DNRR, mainly focusing on rooting from Arabidopsis thaliana leaf explants. The framework comprises three successive phases, that is, early signaling, auxin accumulation, and cell fate transition, and involves two types of cells with different functions: the converter cell that converts the early signals as the input into auxin flux as the output; and the regeneration-competent cell that undergoes fate transition guided by auxin...
August 30, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Dhanya Radhakrishnan, Abdul Kareem, Kavya Durgaprasad, E Sreeraj, Kaoru Sugimoto, Kalika Prasad
Plants display an extraordinary ability to regenerate complete shoot systems from a tissue fragment or even from a single cell. Upregulation of the determinants of pluripotency during a precise window of time in response to external inductive cues is a key decisive factor for shoot regeneration. A burst of recent studies has begun to provide an understanding of signaling molecules that are instrumental in the making of the regenerative mass, as well as the developmental regulators that are seminal in shaping the pluripotent state...
August 30, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Thanh Ha Thi Do, Enrico Martinoia, Youngsook Lee
ABC transporters are essential for plant development, playing roles in processes such as gametogenesis, seed development, seed germination, organ formation, and secondary growth. ABC transporters are directly energized by ATP and can transport complex organic materials against concentration gradients; thus, they are uniquely suited to provide the complex building blocks required for the development of specialized plant cells. We review recent progress in our understanding of the contribution ABC transporters make to the growth and development of plants, including their roles in protective layer formation and in transporting phytohormones...
August 27, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Adrienne Hk Roeder
A process that is stochastic has a probabilistic or randomly determined outcome. At the molecular level, all processes are stochastic; but development is highly reproducible, suggesting that plants and other multicellular organisms have evolved mechanisms to ensure robustness (achieving correct development despite stochastic and environmental perturbations). Mechanisms of robustness can be discovered through isolating mutants with increased variability in phenotype; such mutations do not necessarily change the average phenotype...
August 21, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
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