Plant molecular biology

Definition

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.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • Editorial |

    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.

  • News and Views |

    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.

    • Scott A Boden
    Nature Genetics 49, 8–9
  • News and Views |

    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.

    • Chenlong Li
    •  & Yuhai Cui
    Nature Genetics 48, 1451–1452
  • News and Views |

    The mechanism for T-DNA integration, a critical step of Agrobacterium-mediated transgenesis, remains poorly understood. Now, a study based on mutant analysis shows that Pol θ controls T-DNA integration and generates error-prone footprints at integration sites.

    • Avraham A. Levy
    Nature Plants 2, 16170