News & Comment

  • Editorial |

    Cities need green spaces to maintain the well-being of their citizens. But is the realization of their value making them more private luxury than public commons?

  • Comment |

    The European infrastructures EMPHASIS and AnaEE aim to collaborate in bringing innovative solutions for a sustainable intensification of agriculture. By integrating the study of plant phenomics and agricultural ecology they hope to foster the development of novel scientific concepts, sensors and integrated models.

    • Jacques Roy
    • , François Tardieu
    • , Michèle Tixier-Boichard
    •  & Ulrich Schurr
  • News and Views |

    Gibberellins (GAs) control key growth and developmental processes in plants. Real-time monitoring of GA concentrations in living tissues is critical for understanding the actions of this hormone class. A first-generation optogenetic GA-nano-indicator now illuminates the effects of GA levels on cell length and light signalling.

    • Tamar Azoulay-Shemer
    • , Po-Kai Hsu
    •  & Julian I. Schroeder
  • News and Views |

    A global analysis of translation efficiency and RNA accumulation revealed that microRNAs in the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas regulate target gene expression via RNA destabilization and translational repression like land plants and metazoans, yet in a different way.

    • Hiro-oki Iwakawa
    •  & Yukihide Tomari
  • News and Views |

    Plastids are integrated into the cellular metabolism by several metabolite and ion transporters. The first crystal structure of one of these transporters, a member of the plastid phosphate transporter family, unravels a rocker-switch transport mode and serves as lead structure for other plastidial and endomembrane system transporters.

    • Karsten Fischer
    •  & Andreas P. M. Weber
  • News and Views |

    Temperature increases are associated with decreases in rainfall and ensuing crop yields. A recent study estimates that such warming over the last 30 years is responsible for 59,300 extra suicides in India, and proposes a new perspective to contextualize the linked effects of global warming in affected agricultural communities.

    • Steven Stack
  • News and Views |

    A mechanism by which plants detect and respond to oxygen starvation has been known for some years. Three recent papers suggest that we haven’t been seeing the full picture.

    • Michael J. Holdsworth
  • Editorial |

    The recent International Botanical Congress in Shenzhen was the largest meeting in its history. That a gathering rooted in the superficially traditional science of taxonomy is thriving in the age of genomics and biotechnology shows the strength and adaptability of modern botany and botanists.

  • News and Views |

    Hi-C experiments in rice reveal that the rice genome is partitioned into well-defined three-dimensional structures similar to so-called topologically associating domains found in metazoans.

    • Stefan Grob
  • News and Views |

    The genes in maize that influence environmental sensitivity are largely independent of the genes that influence mean trait values.

    • Bruce Walsh
  • News and Views |

    New genomic maps reveal that R-loop structures formed upon hybridization of nascent RNA transcripts to the DNA template are a common characteristic of Arabidopsis chromatin that may have a broad impact on gene expression.

    • Frédéric Chédin
  • News and Views |

    Semi-dwarf cereal varieties have greatly increased crop yields due to their reduced stature, but they also reduce individual spike (ear) size. However, these traits appear to be regulated by distinct pathways, opening new opportunities to develop higher yielding crops.

    • Jonathan Atkinson
    • , Daniel von Wangenheim
    • , Leah R. Band
    •  & Malcolm J. Bennett
  • News and Views |

    The sequencing and draft assembly of the sweet potato genome has resolved much of its complex genetic redundancies, allowing a better inference of the botanical origin of the staple crop.

    • Haibao Tang
  • Editorial |

    Fire has always been one of the more dramatic routes by which humanity and the plant kingdom interact. Forest management practices, urban planning and global warming are conspiring to make the relationship ever more destructive.

  • News and Views |

    The evolutionary relationships between extinct species are almost exclusively based on the shape and structure of their fossil specimens. Now, a spectroscopic technique that records a ‘chemical fingerprint’ of fossil plant cuticles is being used to re-interpret the histories of thousands of specimens languishing in museum collections.

    • Jennifer C. McElwain
  • News and Views |

    For multicellular organisms, long-distance communication is essential for coordination of organ growth and development. In higher plants, a dual root-to-shoot cytokinin signalling system plays a key role in adapting the growth of distant shoot organs to fluctuating environments.

    • Jean-Michel Davière
    •  & Patrick Achard