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A rise in cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration is a well-described response of plant cells to mechanical stimulation. Here the authors show that the DEK1 protein, which is essential for epidermis specification and development in plants, is required for triggering a mechanically-activated Ca2+ channel.
Gibberellin (GA) is a plant hormone that plays an irreplaceable role in regulating growth and development. Now, the first fluorescent GA biosensor has been developed to visualize GA distributions at cellular resolution in Arabidopsis.
Mechanical heterogeneity due to differences in methyl-esterification of cell wall pectins is sufficient to produce asymmetric leaf morphology, as predicted by a mathematical model and validated in Arabidopsis and tomato.
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.
Trichomes are specific epidermal cells often functional in protection, seed dispersal and, less frequently, development. A MIXTA-like MYB transcription factor from cotton, GhMYBML10, has been shown to control petal trichome formation. Interestingly, the petal trichomes act as natural Velcro in maintaining correct flower bud shape, ensuring seed production.
Brassinosteroids and gibberellins are two principal growth-promoting hormones in plants. A transcription factor called JUB1 connects their signalling and biosynthesis through positive and negative feedback loops to finely coordinate developmental output.
Unable to run away, plants adapt to environmental changes by adjusting their development. Two recent publications explore the unexpected contribution of blue light photoreceptors in the growth response to shade and warm temperatures.
Plants must adapt to unfavourable environmental conditions. Shade avoidance by organ elongation is an important mechanism to move towards sunlight. A new mutant affected in auxin conjugation shows that auxin homeostasis controls hypocotyl elongation.