What We’re Reading: April 14

Note: Read Why We’re Writing “What We’re Reading” Review: Ion transport at the vacuole during stomatal movement Gas exchange and transpiration are regulated by the stomatal aperture, which is itself regulated by the changes in volume of the guard cells that overlie the stomatal pore. When triggered to open, solutes such as K+ and Cl– … Read moreWhat We’re Reading: April 14

What We’re Reading: April 7

Note: See Why We’re Writing “What We’re Reading” Review: Ammonium as a signal for physiological and morphological responses ($) Ammonium is one of the major forms in which nitrogen is assimilated. Besides being a nutrient, it also acts as signal that affects gene expression and root system architecture. Some ammonium-induced genes are also induced by … Read moreWhat We’re Reading: April 7

Why we’re writing “What We’re Reading”

In Episode 36 of the classic comedy television show I Love Lucy, Lucy and her friend Ethel get a job wrapping chocolates in a candy factory. Their boss warns, “If one piece of candy gets past you and into the packing room unwrapped, you’re fired!” Naturally, as the candy conveyer belt moves faster and faster, … Read moreWhy we’re writing “What We’re Reading”

What We’re Reading: March 31

Review: Wheat genomics comes of age Due to its highly repetitive, polyploid genome, wheat genomics has lagged behind that of other cereals, but new tools promise to begin closing that gap.  Uauy reviews these new tools, which include access to full genomes of several wheat varieties, gene expression data from hundreds of publicly available RNA-sequencing … Read moreWhat We’re Reading: March 31

What We’re Reading: March 24

Have you seen an exciting new paper you’d like to summarize for the community? Contact Mary Williams to inquire about contributing to this series! Reviews: Nature Insight: Plants ($) Nature journal published a special “Plant Insights” section featuring several excellent reviews.  Zipfel and Oldroyd review Plant signalling in symbiosis and immunity (10.1038/nature22009), Bevan et al. … Read moreWhat We’re Reading: March 24

What We’re Reading: March 17

Review: Methods of cell-specific hormone analysis ($) Plant hormones are active at very small quantities and often act differently in different cell types. Various methods, primarily involving mass spectrometry and sensors, have been developed to identify and quantify hormones with cellular-level precision. Novák et al. review these methods and discuss their strengths and limitations, as … Read moreWhat We’re Reading: March 17

What We’re Reading: March 10

Review: The increasing impact of activity-based protein profiling in plant science Activity-based protein profiling is a proteomics approach that involves covalently labeling reporter tags to subsets of proteins based on their active sites. Morimoto and van der Hoorn define different types of probes and the types of proteins that they bind to. Activity profiling can … Read moreWhat We’re Reading: March 10

What We’re Reading: March 3

Update: Stomatal biology of CAM plants Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) plants open their stomata at night, decreasing water loss and increasing water-use efficiency as well as drought tolerance. Males and Griffiths review the stomatal biology of CAM plants as compared to C3 plants. For example, CAM stomata are relatively insensitive to blue light, which is … Read moreWhat We’re Reading: March 3

What We’re Reading: February 24

Insight: Why we need more non-seed plant models There is much to be learned from comparing plant genomes, but as Rensing writes, currently available genomic data are skewed heavily towards angiosperms. He argues that a richer understanding of plant evolution depends upon gaining insights into the non-seed plants, including ferns, mosses and liverworts, but particularly … Read moreWhat We’re Reading: February 24

What We’re Reading: February 17

New Phytologist Tansley Medal finalists essays The New Phytologist Tansley Medal is awarded to an early career scientist for excellence in plant science. The essays submitted by each of the five finalists are published in the March 2017 issue of New Phytologist, and make good reading. We agree with the sentiments of the editors, “warmest … Read moreWhat We’re Reading: February 17

What We’re Reading: February 10

Review: Plant diversity change across scales during the Anthropocene ($) We’re living in the Anthropocene, a term that reflects the profound impact of human activities on Earth’s geology and ecology. A hallmark of the Anthropocene is a decrease in biodiversity due to an increase in the rate of extinctions. Vellend et al. examined how plant … Read moreWhat We’re Reading: February 10

What We’re Reading: February 3rd

Review: Cyanobacterial metabolites as a source of sunscreens and moisturizers The cosmetic industry uses many different chemicals to produce the seven or so skin care products used by the average American every day. Efforts are underway to develop renewable sources for some of these. Derikvand et al. review the chemistry and potential applications behind compounds … Read moreWhat We’re Reading: February 3rd

What We’re Reading: January 27th

Review: The sexual advantage of looking, smelling and tasting good, the metabolic network that produces signals for pollinators ($) The interaction between angiosperms and their pollinators provides an excellent system to study co-evolution, and underpins the evolution of the biosynthesis of numerous interesting and useful specialized metabolites, from pigments to fragrances. Borghi et al. review … Read moreWhat We’re Reading: January 27th

What We’re Reading: January 20th

Two Reviews: CRISPR/Cas for genome engineering in plants, and Genome editing in cereal crops ($) The gene-editing technology CRISPR/Cas, which introduces double-strand breaks that are repaired by non-homologous end joining (NHEJ), is best known for the promise it holds in modifying an organism’s DNA sequence without the introduction of exogenous genes. However, as Puchta describes … Read moreWhat We’re Reading: January 20th

What We’re Reading: January 13

Editorial: Rigorous Science: a How-To Guide Casadevall and Fang set out several proposals for research training to help ensure scientific “rigor”, which they define as promoting confidence in the truth or accuracy of the findings. The authors propose and elaborate on five foundations for scientific rigor: Redundancy in experimental design, recognition of error, intellectual honesty, … Read moreWhat We’re Reading: January 13

What We’re Reading: January 6th

Review: Transport and homeostasis of K and P ($) Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) are the three macronutrients required in highest amounts for plant growth. N is abundant in the atmosphere, therefore plentiful if we overlook the energetic costs of converting N2 to usable form. By contrast, K and P are present in … Read moreWhat We’re Reading: January 6th

What We’re Reading: Dec 30th

For the past three months, we (Mary Williams and Plantae Fellows) have been profiling selected papers of broad interest to the plant science community. You can see all of our posts here: What We’re Reading. Early in 2017 we’ll be moving this feature to the new, soon-to-be unveiled public pages on Plantae (watch this space!). … Read moreWhat We’re Reading: Dec 30th

What We’re Reading: December 23

Short, accessible summaries of articles of broad interest to plant scientists, with links to the papers for more in-depth reading. Enjoy! Review: Physics of pollinator attraction Flowers use a variety of strategies to attract pollinators and ensure successful pollination, including color and scent. Moyroud and Glover review some of the less familiar strategies including physical … Read moreWhat We’re Reading: December 23

What We’re Reading: Dec 16

Previewing Pollen Biology special issue of Plant Physiology In Plant Physiology Preview you can get a head start on reading the excellent set of articles from a forthcoming special issue on Pollen Biology. Updates and research articles cover all aspects of this crucial part of reproductive biology, from the complex cell biology that underpins polar … Read moreWhat We’re Reading: Dec 16

What We’re Reading: December 9

Review: Domestication and Breeding of Jatropha curcas L. Jatropha curcas L. is a drought-tolerant perennial angiosperm in the in the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae. As such, it has a high untapped potential to meet the food and bioenergy demands of the world. Montes and Melchinger review the current status of the progress in Jatropha domestication and … Read moreWhat We’re Reading: December 9