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  • The geographic extent of stripe rust, a fungal disease that adversely affects wheat production, has increased in recent decades. Observations and model simulations suggest that over 5 million tonnes of wheat are lost to this pathogen each year, necessitating a sustained annual investment of at least US$32 million into rust resistance research.

    • Jason M. Beddow
    • Philip G. Pardey
    • Tania Yonow
  • The signalling pathway underlying the self-incompatibility response in Brassicaceae remains elusive. Genetic and physiological experiments now show that Ca2+-influx, probably mediated by glutamate receptor-like channels, leads to self-pollen rejection.

    • Megumi Iwano
    • Kanae Ito
    • Seiji Takayama
  • Magnesium chelatase catalyses Mg insertion into the centre of protoporphyrin IX during chlorophyll synthesis. The crystal structure of magnesium chelatase from the cyanobacterium Synechocystis shows an active site deeply buried within protein lined with evolutionary conserved residues.

    • Xuemin Chen
    • Hua Pu
    • Lin Liu
  • Competition for light has profound effects on plant performance in virtually all terrestrial ecosystems. An experimental study in a temperate forest understorey suggests that low light levels limit warming-induced changes in the composition of the forest floor plant community.

    • Pieter De Frenne
    • Francisco Rodríguez-Sánchez
    • Kris Verheyen
  • Terrestrial ecosystem productivity is widely accepted to be nutrient limited. A series of standardized nutrient addition experiments, carried out on grasslands on five continents, suggests aboveground grassland productivity is commonly limited by multiple nutrients, including potassium and micronutrients.

    • Philip A. Fay
    • Suzanne M. Prober
    • Louie H. Yang
  • Plant somatic cells are totipotent, but once differentiated, must keep their own identity and function. Chromatin regulator PRC2 represses downstream transcription factors and prevents dedifferentiation and division of fully mature root hair cells.

    • Momoko Ikeuchi
    • Akira Iwase
    • Keiko Sugimoto
  • The balance of beneficial and detrimental effects of nitrogen-fixing plants hinges on the degree to which plants regulate fixation to meet their needs. Legumes show a large diversity of fixation regimes due to differing evolutionary strategies.

    • Duncan N. L. Menge
    • Amelia A. Wolf
    • Jennifer L. Funk
  • Invasive Centaurea solstitialis (yellow starthistle) is larger than in its native range as declines in native competitors make water more available. Such opening of niches may be a factor in the widespread success of invasives.

    • Katrina M. Dlugosch
    • F. Alice Cang
    • Loren H. Rieseberg