Browse Articles

  • Editorial |

    Cryo-electron microscopy is currently one of the most productive structural techniques, especially for large protein complexes such as photosystems. This success is built on a very long history of technological advances.

  • News & Views |

    Comprehensive phylogenomics and molecular dating support a Triassic origin for flowering plants that is substantially earlier than their appearance in the fossil record, leaving a puzzling gap spanning the entire Jurassic period.

    • Jennifer R. Mandel
  • Article |

    A study reconstructed angiosperm phylogeny on the basis of plastome data representing 2,351 angiosperm and 187 gymnosperm species, and dated the origin of crown angiosperms to be significantly earlier than the estimates based on fossil data.

    • Hong-Tao Li
    • , Ting-Shuang Yi
    • , Lian-Ming Gao
    • , Peng-Fei Ma
    • , Ting Zhang
    • , Jun-Bo Yang
    • , Matthew A. Gitzendanner
    • , Peter W. Fritsch
    • , Jie Cai
    • , Yang Luo
    • , Hong Wang
    • , Michelle van der Bank
    • , Shu-Dong Zhang
    • , Qing-Feng Wang
    • , Jian Wang
    • , Zhi-Rong Zhang
    • , Chao-Nan Fu
    • , Jing Yang
    • , Peter M. Hollingsworth
    • , Mark W. Chase
    • , Douglas E. Soltis
    • , Pamela S. Soltis
    •  & De-Zhu Li
  • Article |

    Retrograde signalling ensures message communication between organelles and the nucleus. A pivotal regulator of plant retrograde signalling, GENOMES UNCOUPLED1, is now found to regulate protein import into chloroplast during chloroplast biogenesis or under stress conditions.

    • Guo-Zhang Wu
    • , Etienne H. Meyer
    • , Andreas S. Richter
    • , Maja Schuster
    • , Qihua Ling
    • , Mark A. Schöttler
    • , Dirk Walther
    • , Reimo Zoschke
    • , Bernhard Grimm
    • , R. Paul Jarvis
    •  & Ralph Bock
  • Letter |

    Tomato breeding with a desirable MADS-box mutation to improve harvesting can often result in unwanted traits due to negative epistatis with cryptic mutations. A dosage mechanism involving a duplication of a second gene to overcoming the negative epistasis is dissected, enabling the design of gene editing strategies to predictably improve harvesting.

    • Sebastian Soyk
    • , Zachary H. Lemmon
    • , Fritz J. Sedlazeck
    • , José M. Jiménez-Gómez
    • , Michael Alonge
    • , Samuel F. Hutton
    • , Joyce Van Eck
    • , Michael C. Schatz
    •  & Zachary B. Lippman
  • Letter |

    Cotton fibre grows in a protective boll that becomes a barrier for researchers when tracking the growth dynamics. Now, the cytoskeleton in elongating cotton fibres has been visualized by live-cell imaging. The cytoskeleton organization and dynamics shed light on the elongation mode of cotton fibre.

    • Yanjun Yu
    • , Shenjie Wu
    • , Jacqueline Nowak
    • , Guangda Wang
    • , Libo Han
    • , Zhidi Feng
    • , Amelie Mendrinna
    • , Yinping Ma
    • , Huan Wang
    • , Xiaxia Zhang
    • , Juan Tian
    • , Li Dong
    • , Zoran Nikoloski
    • , Staffan Persson
    •  & Zhaosheng Kong
  • News & Views |

    A new strategy based on a sophisticated and efficient system of modified pentatricopeptide repeat 10 proteins boost plastid transgene expression and the accumulation of foreign proteins by up to 40-fold.

    • Francis Quétier
  • News & Views |

    A previously unknown biologically active gibberellin present in seeds of Arabidopsis thaliana is formed by hydration of the gibberellin precursor GA12 through the action of GAS2, a 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase that decreases sensitivity to abscisic acid and promotes seed germination and seedling establishment.

    • Peter Hedden
  • News & Views |

    Pathogen perception triggers a monomeric nucleotide-binding leucine-rich plant immune receptor to form a pentameric wheel-like complex termed a resistosome, with the N-terminal α helices forming a funnel-shaped structure that may perturb plasma membrane integrity to cause hypersensitive cell death.

    • Hiroaki Adachi
    • , Sophien Kamoun
    •  & Abbas Maqbool
  • Letter |

    A study reports a regulatory system that boosts transgene expression in the plastids of potato tubers. This system employed an RNA-binding protein PPR10 variant to bind a cognate cis-element of a plastid transgene, encoding GFP, and activate its expression.

    • Qiguo Yu
    • , Alice Barkan
    •  & Pal Maliga
  • Letter |

    Using de novo root regeneration from a detached Arabidopsis leaf as a model system, the authors show that jasmonates are a crucial signalling step from wounding to a local auxin response.

    • Guifang Zhang
    • , Fei Zhao
    • , Lyuqin Chen
    • , Yu Pan
    • , Lijun Sun
    • , Ning Bao
    • , Teng Zhang
    • , Chun-Xiao Cui
    • , Zaozao Qiu
    • , Yijing Zhang
    • , Li Yang
    •  & Lin Xu
  • Letter |

    A study using base editing generated transgene-free wheat with mutations that confer resistances to multiple herbicides, and developed a selectable marker that could facilitate co-editing of herbicide resistance and other target traits of interest.

    • Rui Zhang
    • , Jinxing Liu
    • , Zhuangzhuang Chai
    • , Sha Chen
    • , Yang Bai
    • , Yuan Zong
    • , Kunling Chen
    • , Jiayang Li
    • , Linjian Jiang
    •  & Caixia Gao
  • Article |

    This study uses ancient DNA sequencing to track Sorghum genome evolution over the past 1,800 years at a single archaeological site. The data unexpectedly reveal no evidence for domestication bottleneck, and instead reveal a steady drop in genetic diversity over time.

    • Oliver Smith
    • , William V. Nicholson
    • , Logan Kistler
    • , Emma Mace
    • , Alan Clapham
    • , Pamela Rose
    • , Chris Stevens
    • , Roselyn Ware
    • , Siva Samavedam
    • , Guy Barker
    • , David Jordan
    • , Dorian Q. Fuller
    •  & Robin G. Allaby
  • Editorial |

    In June 2019, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations will elect a new Director General, an individual who will be central to global development for the next decade.

  • Article |

    Cross-scale models connecting leaf photosynthesis to crop yield—with feedback between plant growth and the environment—can predict yield following enhancement of photosynthesis. Impacts range markedly depending on factors such as water limitation.

    • Alex Wu
    • , Graeme L. Hammer
    • , Al Doherty
    • , Susanne von Caemmerer
    •  & Graham D. Farquhar
  • Article |

    FREE1/FYVE1, a component of the ESCRT complex, is essential for the biogenesis of multivesicular bodies. A novel function of this protein is shown here—ABA promotes FREE1 nuclear import to downregulate ABA transcriptional downstream responses.

    • Hongbo Li
    • , Yingzhu Li
    • , Qiong Zhao
    • , Tingting Li
    • , Juan Wei
    • , Baiying Li
    • , Wenjin Shen
    • , Chao Yang
    • , Yonglun Zeng
    • , Pedro L. Rodriguez
    • , Yunde Zhao
    • , Liwen Jiang
    • , Xiaojing Wang
    •  & Caiji Gao
  • Perspective |

    The severe threat of weeds to agriculture and ecosystems necessitates management practices on the scale of landscapes. This Perspective uses four case studies to examine the best practices for this collective dilemma.

    • Muthukumar V. Bagavathiannan
    • , Sonia Graham
    • , Zhao Ma
    • , Jacob N. Barney
    • , Shaun R. Coutts
    • , Ana L. Caicedo
    • , Rosemarie De Clerck-Floate
    • , Natalie M. West
    • , Lior Blank
    • , Alexander L. Metcalf
    • , Myrtille Lacoste
    • , Carlo R. Moreno
    • , Jeffrey A. Evans
    • , Ian Burke
    •  & Hugh Beckie
  • Article |

    The three-dimensional architecture of the cyanobacterium Synechocystis was determined by in situ cryo-electron tomography. The tips of multiple thylakoids merge and contact the plasma membrane, performing a specialized biogenic function.

    • Anna Rast
    • , Miroslava Schaffer
    • , Sahradha Albert
    • , William Wan
    • , Stefan Pfeffer
    • , Florian Beck
    • , Jürgen M. Plitzko
    • , Jörg Nickelsen
    •  & Benjamin D. Engel
  • News & Views |

    Adenine base editors (ABEs) and cytosine base editors (CBEs) are powerful tools for targeted base conversions, but their editing specificities are largely unknown. Now, two reports demonstrate that ABEs are highly specific, but BE3-type CBEs tend to generate genome-wide off-target single nucleotide variations.

    • Jintao Tang
    • , Letian Chen
    •  & Yao-Guang Liu
  • News & Views |

    Genome sequences from archaeological sorghum plants raise questions about our understanding of plant domestication.

    • Terence A. Brown
  • Brief Communication |

    The mechanism of how trehalose 6-phosphate phosphatases (TPPs) regulate meristem fate remains unknown. Now, genetic and biochemical evidences support that this regulatory role is uncoupled from the enzymatic activity of TPPs.

    • Hannes Claeys
    • , Son Lang Vi
    • , Xiaosa Xu
    • , Namiko Satoh-Nagasawa
    • , Andrea L. Eveland
    • , Alexander Goldshmidt
    • , Regina Feil
    • , Grace A. Beggs
    • , Hajime Sakai
    • , Richard G. Brennan
    • , John E. Lunn
    •  & David Jackson
  • Brief Communication |

    In rice, a transcription factor named PREMATURE INTERNODE ELONGATION 1 (PINE1) represses internode elongation. During the vegetative phase, PINE1 reduces sensitivity to gibberellin and can uncouple floral transition from stem elongation.

    • Jorge Gómez-Ariza
    • , Vittoria Brambilla
    • , Giulio Vicentini
    • , Martina Landini
    • , Martina Cerise
    • , Esther Carrera
    • , Roshi Shrestha
    • , Remo Chiozzotto
    • , Francesca Galbiati
    • , Elisabetta Caporali
    • , Isabel López Díaz
    •  & Fabio Fornara
  • News & Views |

    Optimal plant growth requires an appropriate balance of mineral nutrients. A novel mechanism involving the physical interaction between nitrate and phosphate sensors in rice provides a regulatory framework for balanced acquisition and utilization of these nutrients.

    • César Poza-Carrión
    •  & Javier Paz-Ares
  • Letter |

    Efficient genome editing using DNA-free systems remains challenging in most plant species. Now, a new genome-editing system achieves efficient DNA- and selectable-marker-free gene editing by direct delivery of Cas9–guide RNA ribonucleoproteins into rice zygotes.

    • Erika Toda
    • , Narumi Koiso
    • , Arika Takebayashi
    • , Masako Ichikawa
    • , Takatoshi Kiba
    • , Keishi Osakabe
    • , Yuriko Osakabe
    • , Hitoshi Sakakibara
    • , Norio Kato
    •  & Takashi Okamoto
  • Article |

    In rice, nitrate perception by NRT1.1B activates genetic responses that increase the utilization of not only nitrate but also phosphate. A novel molecular mechanism centred on the presumed Pi sensor SPX4 underlies this nutritional signalling crosstalk.

    • Bin Hu
    • , Zhimin Jiang
    • , Wei Wang
    • , Yahong Qiu
    • , Zhihua Zhang
    • , Yongqiang Liu
    • , Aifu Li
    • , Xiaokai Gao
    • , Linchuan Liu
    • , Yangwen Qian
    • , Xiahe Huang
    • , Feifei Yu
    • , Sai Kang
    • , Yiqin Wang
    • , Junpeng Xie
    • , Shouyun Cao
    • , Lianhe Zhang
    • , Yingchun Wang
    • , Qi Xie
    • , Stanislav Kopriva
    •  & Chengcai Chu
  • Article |

    Breeding crops with both high yield and disease resistance remains challenging. A study has now identified microRNA-156–Ideal Plant Architecture1 (IPA1) as a regulator of the crosstalk between growth and defence in rice and overcame the trade-off by pathogen-induced expression of IPA1.

    • Mingming Liu
    • , Zhenying Shi
    • , Xiaohan Zhang
    • , Mingxuan Wang
    • , Lin Zhang
    • , Kezhi Zheng
    • , Jiyun Liu
    • , Xingming Hu
    • , Cuiru Di
    • , Qian Qian
    • , Zuhua He
    •  & Dong-Lei Yang
  • Brief Communication |

    Two sperm-specific DOMAIN OF UNKNOWN FUNCTION 679 membrane proteins are found to facilitate the gamete fusion events during double fertilization in angiosperms, with a greater impact on egg–sperm fusion than on sperm–central cell fusion.

    • Philipp Cyprys
    • , Maria Lindemeier
    •  & Stefanie Sprunck
  • News & Views |

    Fusion of lipid bilayers to deliver genetic information is a process common to both viral infection and fertilization, and the two share common molecular mechanisms. Now, identification of fusion-facilitators shows that plants have their own unique slant on the fusion process.

    • Jun Zhang
    • , Jennifer F. Pinello
    •  & William J. Snell
  • News & Views |

    An efficient route to the transformation of Arabidopsis plastids will allow the full power of molecular genetics to be brought to bear on the study of this key compartment.

    • Ian Small