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Plant molecular biology is the study of the molecular basis of plant life. It is particularly concerned with the processes by which the information encoded in the genome is manifested as structures, processes and behaviours.
New genomic maps reveal that R-loop structures formed upon hybridization of nascent RNA transcripts to the DNA template are a common characteristic of Arabidopsis chromatin that may have a broad impact on gene expression.
Cold stress activates Arabidopsis thaliana plasma membrane-localized CRPK1, which leads to 14-3-3 proteins entering the nucleus and promoting the degradation of CBF transcription factors, thus attenuating the cold-induced response.
Agriculture has depended since its Neolithic origins upon spontaneous or induced genetic variation. Human selection on naturally occurring variation in flowering is the most frequent source of domesticated crop plants. In the current era of rapid technological advance in reading and writing genomes, we advocate universal access to some safe modular variation in flower, leaf and color traits that can be operated without labs or restrictions by ordinary farmers and gardeners.
A defining characteristic of grasses, including major cereal crops, is the way in which flowers are arranged on an inflorescence. A new study finds that regulation of hormone levels during development is crucial for determining the arrangement of flowers on a barley inflorescence, opening new doors for increasing grain yield.
Polycomb-mediated silencing of the floral repressor gene FLC in response to long-term cold is a central event during vernalization in Arabidopsis thaliana, but how it is initiated is unclear. Two new studies identify a DNA element that mediates FLC silencing by attracting a pair of transcriptional repressors, VAL1 and VAL2, which in turn trigger epigenetic silencing by the Polycomb complex PHD–PRC2.