Latest Research

  • Perspective |

    To reduce climate warming we must stop adding CO2 to the atmopshere, and develop approaches for removing it. Adding crushed, fast-reacting silicate rocks to croplands could improve productivity, restore soil quality and reduce atmospheric CO2.

    • David J. Beerling
    • , Jonathan R. Leake
    • , Stephen P. Long
    • , Julie D. Scholes
    • , Jurriaan Ton
    • , Paul N. Nelson
    • , Michael Bird
    • , Euripides Kantzas
    • , Lyla L. Taylor
    • , Binoy Sarkar
    • , Mike Kelland
    • , Evan DeLucia
    • , Ilsa Kantola
    • , Christoph Müller
    • , Greg Rau
    •  & James Hansen
  • Letter |

    Systemin was the first peptide hormone discovered in plants almost 30 years ago. Here, the receptor for systemin is finally identified and is shown to be important in the response against insect herbivores.

    • Lei Wang
    • , Elias Einig
    • , Marilia Almeida-Trapp
    • , Markus Albert
    • , Judith Fliegmann
    • , Axel Mithöfer
    • , Hubert Kalbacher
    •  & Georg Felix
  • Article |

    The transition from darkness to light alters thylakoid membrane architecture and the organization of photosynthetic complexes. Structured illumination microscopy shows increased but smaller grana, with consequences for photosynthetic efficiency and quenching.

    • William H. J. Wood
    • , Craig MacGregor-Chatwin
    • , Samuel F. H. Barnett
    • , Guy E. Mayneord
    • , Xia Huang
    • , Jamie K. Hobbs
    • , C. Neil Hunter
    •  & Matthew P. Johnson
  • Article |

    In plants, RNA-directed DNA methylation requires non-coding RNAs transcribed by RNA polymerase V (Pol V). A modified global nuclear run-on protocol and deep sequencing to capture Pol V nascent transcripts uncovered unique characteristics of Pol V RNAs.

    • Wanlu Liu
    • , Sascha H. Duttke
    • , Jonathan Hetzel
    • , Martin Groth
    • , Suhua Feng
    • , Javier Gallego-Bartolome
    • , Zhenhui Zhong
    • , Hsuan Yu Kuo
    • , Zonghua Wang
    • , Jixian Zhai
    • , Joanne Chory
    •  & Steven E. Jacobsen
  • Article |

    Knowledge of three-dimensional (3D) genome structure and how polyploidization shapes it remains poor. A study now characterizes and compares 3D genomes for diploid and tetraploid cotton, showing how allopolyploidization affects 3D genome architecture and transcriptional regulation.

    • Maojun Wang
    • , Pengcheng Wang
    • , Min Lin
    • , Zhengxiu Ye
    • , Guoliang Li
    • , Lili Tu
    • , Chao Shen
    • , Jianying Li
    • , Qingyong Yang
    •  & Xianlong Zhang
  • Article | | open

    The evolution and phylogenetic placement of gnetophytes have remained elusive. The draft genome for a gnetophyte, Gnetum montanum, is now reported. Comparative analyses identify genomic features distinguishing gnetophytes from other gymnosperms.

    • Tao Wan
    • , Zhi-Ming Liu
    • , Ling-Fei Li
    • , Andrew R. Leitch
    • , Ilia J. Leitch
    • , Rolf Lohaus
    • , Zhong-Jian Liu
    • , Hai-Ping Xin
    • , Yan-Bing Gong
    • , Yang Liu
    • , Wen-Cai Wang
    • , Ling-Yun Chen
    • , Yong Yang
    • , Laura J. Kelly
    • , Ji Yang
    • , Jin-Ling Huang
    • , Zhen Li
    • , Ping Liu
    • , Li Zhang
    • , Hong-Mei Liu
    • , Hui Wang
    • , Shu-Han Deng
    • , Meng Liu
    • , Ji Li
    • , Lu Ma
    • , Yan Liu
    • , Yang Lei
    • , Wei Xu
    • , Ling-Qing Wu
    • , Fan Liu
    • , Qian Ma
    • , Xin-Ran Yu
    • , Zhi Jiang
    • , Guo-Qiang Zhang
    • , Shao-Hua Li
    • , Rui-Qiang Li
    • , Shou-Zhou Zhang
    • , Qing-Feng Wang
    • , Yves Van de Peer
    • , Jin-Bo Zhang
    •  & Xiao-Ming Wang
  • Article |

    Plants have remarkable regeneration ability under the control of phytohormones such as auxin and cytokinin. Here, the researchers identify a heterodimer that consists of two key transcription factors mediating the auxin-induced callus formation.

    • Chongyi Xu
    • , Huifen Cao
    • , Qianqian Zhang
    • , Hongzhe Wang
    • , Wei Xin
    • , Enjun Xu
    • , Shiqi Zhang
    • , Ruixue Yu
    • , Dongxue Yu
    •  & Yuxin Hu
  • Article |

    The function of MADS-box genes has been extensively studied in fungi, animals and flowering plants. Now, researchers report their role in non-flowering plants and further explore the evolution of this gene family in land plants.

    • Shizuka Koshimizu
    • , Rumiko Kofuji
    • , Yuko Sasaki-Sekimoto
    • , Masahide Kikkawa
    • , Mie Shimojima
    • , Hiroyuki Ohta
    • , Shuji Shigenobu
    • , Yukiko Kabeya
    • , Yuji Hiwatashi
    • , Yosuke Tamada
    • , Takashi Murata
    •  & Mitsuyasu Hasebe
  • Letter |

    Fully enclosed, controlled-environment growth chambers can accelerate plant development. Such ‘speed breeding’ reduces generation times to accelerate crop breeding and research programmes, and can integrate with other modern crop breeding technologies.

    • Amy Watson
    • , Sreya Ghosh
    • , Matthew J. Williams
    • , William S. Cuddy
    • , James Simmonds
    • , María-Dolores Rey
    • , M. Asyraf Md Hatta
    • , Alison Hinchliffe
    • , Andrew Steed
    • , Daniel Reynolds
    • , Nikolai M. Adamski
    • , Andy Breakspear
    • , Andrey Korolev
    • , Tracey Rayner
    • , Laura E. Dixon
    • , Adnan Riaz
    • , William Martin
    • , Merrill Ryan
    • , David Edwards
    • , Jacqueline Batley
    • , Harsh Raman
    • , Jeremy Carter
    • , Christian Rogers
    • , Claire Domoney
    • , Graham Moore
    • , Wendy Harwood
    • , Paul Nicholson
    • , Mark J. Dieters
    • , Ian H. DeLacy
    • , Ji Zhou
    • , Cristobal Uauy
    • , Scott A. Boden
    • , Robert F. Park
    • , Brande B. H. Wulff
    •  & Lee T. Hickey
  • Letter |

    The seed coat of many leguminous species has a powdery bloom containing hazardous allergens. In wild soybeans, the bloom is controlled by the BLOOM1 gene, a mutation in which abolishes bloom and elevates seed oil content in domesticated strains.

    • Dajian Zhang
    • , Lianjun Sun
    • , Shuai Li
    • , Weidong Wang
    • , Yanhua Ding
    • , Stephen A. Swarm
    • , Linghong Li
    • , Xutong Wang
    • , Xuemin Tang
    • , Zhifang Zhang
    • , Zhixi Tian
    • , Patrick J. Brown
    • , Chunmei Cai
    • , Randall L. Nelson
    •  & Jianxin Ma
  • Article |

    Photorespiration was considered to be wasteful because it reduces photosynthetic efficiency. However, here a modified photosynthesis model, which incorporates photorespiratory nitrogen assimilation, suggests that photorespiration also has beneficial effects on carbon uptake.

    • Florian A. Busch
    • , Rowan F. Sage
    •  & Graham D. Farquhar
  • Brief Communication |

    Sequencing of nested branches from a 234-year-old oak tree reveals a low number of somatic mutations accumulating during its lifetime, implying that mechanisms are in place to reduce these potentially deleterious mutations during ageing.

    • Emanuel Schmid-Siegert
    • , Namrata Sarkar
    • , Christian Iseli
    • , Sandra Calderon
    • , Caroline Gouhier-Darimont
    • , Jacqueline Chrast
    • , Pietro Cattaneo
    • , Frédéric Schütz
    • , Laurent Farinelli
    • , Marco Pagni
    • , Michel Schneider
    • , Jérémie Voumard
    • , Michel Jaboyedoff
    • , Christian Fankhauser
    • , Christian S. Hardtke
    • , Laurent Keller
    • , John R. Pannell
    • , Alexandre Reymond
    • , Marc Robinson-Rechavi
    • , Ioannis Xenarios
    •  & Philippe Reymond
  • Article |

    The phloem is the system of ‘blood vessels’ that translocates carbohydrates from the leaves to different plant organs. Here, using new structural imaging and pressure measuring tools, the researchers show interesting phloem structural changes that ensure a passive transport mechanism in tall trees.

    • Jessica A. Savage
    • , Sierra D. Beecher
    • , Laura Clerx
    • , Jessica T. Gersony
    • , Jan Knoblauch
    • , Juan M. Losada
    • , Kaare H. Jensen
    • , Michael Knoblauch
    •  & N. Michele Holbrook
  • Article |

    Current genetic modification methods require regeneration using tissue culture. This study now reports a type of transformation technology, pollen magnetofection, that allows production of transgenic seeds in multiple species in a fast, culture-free manner.

    • Xiang Zhao
    • , Zhigang Meng
    • , Yan Wang
    • , Wenjie Chen
    • , Changjiao Sun
    • , Bo Cui
    • , Jinhui Cui
    • , Manli Yu
    • , Zhanghua Zeng
    • , Sandui Guo
    • , Dan Luo
    • , Jerry Q. Cheng
    • , Rui Zhang
    •  & Haixin Cui
  • Letter |

    The herbicide-resistant BAR gene is broadly used in different plants. The current study reports the first crystal structure of the BAR enzyme and further demonstrate structure-guided engineering strategies to reduce the non-specific activities of BAR.

    • Bastien Christ
    • , Ramon Hochstrasser
    • , Luzia Guyer
    • , Rita Francisco
    • , Sylvain Aubry
    • , Stefan Hörtensteiner
    •  & Jing-Ke Weng
  • Article |

    The Deg/HtrA family of ATP-independent serine proteases functions in a wide range of regulatory pathways. Here, the crystal structure of Arabidopsis Deg9 shows a novel oligomeric assembly of this nuclear-localized protease, an interesting octamer.

    • Min Ouyang
    • , Xiaoyi Li
    • , Shun Zhao
    • , Hua Pu
    • , Jianren Shen
    • , Zach Adam
    • , Tim Clausen
    •  & Lixin Zhang
  • Article | | open

    The wild grass Aegilops tauschii is a wheat progenitor. A high-quality genome sequence, along with methylome and transcriptome data, provides insights on domestication and the effect of transposons, and offers a resource for wheat improvement.

    • Guangyao Zhao
    • , Cheng Zou
    • , Kui Li
    • , Kai Wang
    • , Tianbao Li
    • , Lifeng Gao
    • , Xiaoxia Zhang
    • , Hongjin Wang
    • , Zujun Yang
    • , Xu Liu
    • , Wenkai Jiang
    • , Long Mao
    • , Xiuying Kong
    • , Yuannian Jiao
    •  & Jizeng Jia
  • Letter |

    There is a lack of efficient transcriptional activation tools for plant cells. Now, a study describes the development of a new potent dCas9-based transcriptional activation system that allows activation of single or multiple genes in both plant and mammalian cells.

    • Zhenxiang Li
    • , Dandan Zhang
    • , Xiangyu Xiong
    • , Bingyu Yan
    • , Wei Xie
    • , Jen Sheen
    •  & Jian-Feng Li
  • Resource |

    In early Arabidopsis embryos, cell-type-specific labelling of the nuclear envelope, followed by affinity-based isolation of tagged nuclei, is used to build a temporal and spatial transcriptome atlas of the developing embryo.

    • Joakim Palovaara
    • , Shunsuke Saiga
    • , Jos R. Wendrich
    • , Nicole van ‘t Wout Hofland
    • , J. Paul van Schayck
    • , Friederike Hater
    • , Sumanth Mutte
    • , Jouke Sjollema
    • , Mark Boekschoten
    • , Guido J. Hooiveld
    •  & Dolf Weijers
  • Article |

    It is rarely reported that copy number variants (CNVs) might influence plant phenotypes. A genetic analysis now shows that a CNV silences the expression of the downstream FZP gene in rice and improves the yield by increasing the number of spikelets per panicle.

    • Xufeng Bai
    • , Yong Huang
    • , Yong Hu
    • , Haiyang Liu
    • , Bo Zhang
    • , Cezary Smaczniak
    • , Gang Hu
    • , Zhongmin Han
    •  & Yongzhong Xing
  • Article |

    The molecular basis underlying transgene susceptibility to silencing remains elusive. Now, using multiple examples, a study shows that higher GC content of coding sequences can reduce susceptibility of transgenes to heritable silencing.

    • Lyudmila V. Sidorenko
    • , Tzuu-fen Lee
    • , Aaron Woosley
    • , William A. Moskal
    • , Scott A. Bevan
    • , P. Ann Owens Merlo
    • , Terence A. Walsh
    • , Xiujuan Wang
    • , Staci Weaver
    • , Todd P. Glancy
    • , PoHao Wang
    • , Xiaozeng Yang
    • , Shreedharan Sriram
    •  & Blake C. Meyers