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During gibberellic acid signalling, DELLAs restrict the size of the shoot apical meristem by targeting the cell cycle regulator KRP2. The roles of DELLAs in the shoot apical meristem and stem growth can be genetically uncoupled in Arabidopsis and barley.
Moderate heat stimulates the growth of Arabidopsis shoots in an auxin-dependent manner. Here, Martins et al. show that elevated ambient temperature modifies root growth by reducing the BRI1 brassinosteroid-receptor protein level and downregulating brassinosteroid signaling.
Semi-dwarf cereal varieties have greatly increased crop yields due to their reduced stature, but they also reduce individual spike (ear) size. However, these traits appear to be regulated by distinct pathways, opening new opportunities to develop higher yielding crops.
For multicellular organisms, long-distance communication is essential for coordination of organ growth and development. In higher plants, a dual root-to-shoot cytokinin signalling system plays a key role in adapting the growth of distant shoot organs to fluctuating environments.
A genetic screen in the model panicoid grass Setaria viridis reveals the importance of the auxin transporter AUX1 for inflorescence branching in maize, highlighting how model plants can accelerate gene discovery in complex crops.
Abscisic acid (ABA) dynamically balances plant water use and availability. It is synthesized during water deficit and quickly catabolized into breakdown products previously thought to be largely inactive. New work demonstrates that phaseic acid, a major ABA catabolite, is a weak ABA receptor agonist with its own auxiliary role in water relations.