News & Comment

  • News & Views |

    Bacterial pathogens have a multitude of effectors that target plant host cells and promote disease. A case is made for a new suspect, phytate, as a target of a novel phytase activity for a type III effector of Xanthomonas.

    • Frank F. White
    •  & Jeffrey B. Jones
  • Editorial |

    Sixty years ago, Francis Crick articulated the central dogma of molecular biology to explain the sequential information flow between genes and proteins. Nowadays our understanding of genes and the information they convey is no longer limited to the single-molecule level.

  • News & Views |

    High-throughput chromosome conformation capture studies comparing diploid and polyploid cotton varieties revealed evidence for stereotypical changes in chromatin contacts upon polyploidization.

    • Eric Lam
  • News & Views |

    A major transitional step in Earth’s history was the conquest of land by plants, which fundamentally changed carbon cycling and elevated oxygen levels. In a moss model of early land plants, three out of six MIKCC-type MADS-box transcription factors ensure external water conduction and the function of motile sperm.

    • Ralf Reski
  • News & Views |

    A new genome sequence of the enigmatic seed plant Gnetum montanum reveals a nuclear genome that is as distinct as the rest of its biology.

    • Michael S. Barker
  • Comment |

    The recently published reference genome of Aegilops tauschii provides new insights into the originator of the D genome donor of hexaploid wheat. This will be a foundation for exploring the genomic diversity underpinning adaptive traits in wheat, and ultimately advance wheat improvement efforts.

    • Awais Rasheed
    • , Francis C. Ogbonnaya
    • , Evans Lagudah
    • , Rudi Appels
    •  & Zhonghu He
  • News & Views |

    Auxin-induced callus formation, known as a type of cell reprogramming, involves several transcription factors that act in lateral root initiation for plant development. Now, a new partnership of transcription factors is identified to reveal the regulatory network of auxin-induced cell reprogramming.

    • Munetaka Sugiyama
  • Editorial |

    Breeding crops with a high yield and superior adaptability is vital to maintaining global food security. New technologies on multiple scales are re-engineering traditional plant breeding to meet these challenges.

  • Comment |

    Modern plant biology relies heavily on genetic sequence information from species with a diversity of origins. Could proposed changes to the terms of use of this digital sequence information threaten the development of new crop varieties and improvements in global agriculture?

    • Emily Marden
  • News & Views |

    It is hypothesized that morphological evolution occurs through a variety of molecular mechanisms. The position and patterning of petal spots in Clarkia evolved through changes to the regulatory region of a gene that encodes a transcriptional activator of pigment synthesis, prompting its control by novel positional cues.

    • Róisín Fattorini
    •  & Beverley J. Glover
  • News & Views |

    New capabilities for assembling plant Rubisco in bacteria offer a revolution for enhancing photosynthesis. The technology provides a breakthrough to identify and test solutions for improving CO2 fixation by crop Rubisco.

    • Brendon Conlan
    •  & Spencer Whitney
  • Editorial |

    The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals contain a commitment to abolish world hunger. Sounds like a job for a plant scientist!

  • News & Views |

    Resistance to moving sugars from foliage to roots is high in trees, suggesting that the transport mechanism found in herbs might not work in trees. Now with new measurements of phloem structure and leaf turgor pressure, it has been shown that the Münch pressure-flow hypothesis can also explain sugar transport in tall trees.

    • Michael G. Ryan
    •  & Elisabeth M. R. Robert
  • News & Views |

    The low number of mutations in multiple sectors from a 234-year-old oak tree reveals possible mechanisms to avoid the irreversible build-up of mutations in long-lived plants.

    • Cris Kuhlemeier