Volume 1 Issue 10 October 2015

Volume 1 Issue 10

The sharp end

Cacti are a culturally significant group, distributed primarily in arid environments, with a long history of human use for ornamental horticulture, food and medicine. And yet they are among the most threatened of plant groups with 31% of species at risk of extinction. The image shows Mammillaria herrerae, a critically endangered cactus endemic to Mexico.

See Bárbara Goettsch et al. 1, 15142 (2015).

Image: Jardín Botánico de Cadereyta Cover design: Karen Moore

Editorial

  • Editorial |

    Scientific and technological advances can only be achieved through careful experimentation, but what has been discovered often overshadows how the discovery was made. However, there are a variety of mechanisms, old and new, for the sharing of practical expertise.

Correspondence

Research Highlights

News & Views

  • News and Views |

    CRISPR–Cas technology has been extensively applied to editing endogenous genes in plants for gene functional studies. New application of this technology to combating viral infection by destroying invading virus DNA has now become possible in plants.

    • Dandan Zhang
    • , Zhenxiang Li
    •  & Jian-Feng Li
  • News and Views |

    Large trees deliver many benefits to forest ecosystems, including the provision of habitats for other species and the storage of carbon. A synthesis of tree growth and mortality data from around the globe now suggests that under drought large trees are dying in higher numbers than smaller trees.

    • Michael G. Ryan
  • News and Views |

    The length of root hairs, a critical determinant of a plant's absorption capacity, is dictated by a translational pulse of the transcription factor RSL4. The intensity and duration of this pulse depends on the integration of endogenous and environmental information that tunes the phenotypic readout to the environment.

    • Wolfgang Schmidt
  • News and Views |

    Most plant pattern recognition receptors induce immune responses by detecting molecular patterns typical to one group of microbes. A newly identified complex, on the other hand, monitors effector proteins widely distributed among bacteria, fungi and oomycetes, casting a new light on the evolution of pattern recognition in plants.

    • Naoto Shibuya
    •  & Yoshitake Desaki

Research

  • Brief Communication |

    Mimicry, deception and sensory exploitation of animals by plants is controversial, especially for seed dispersal. A field experiment in a South African nature reserve suggests that the large brown, round, strongly scented seeds of Ceratocaryum argenteum that emit many volatiles found to be present in herbivore dung, attract dung beetles that roll and bury them.

    • Jeremy J. Midgley
    • , Joseph D. M. White
    • , Steven D. Johnson
    •  & Gary N. Bronner
  • Brief Communication |

    Transient assays and transgenic experiments demonstrate that sgRNA/Cas9 constructs targeting the bean yellow dwarf virus inhibit the accumulation of the virus and confer resistance in transgenic N. benthamiana plants.

    • Nicholas J. Baltes
    • , Aaron W. Hummel
    • , Eva Konecna
    • , Radim Cegan
    • , Aaron N. Bruns
    • , David M. Bisaro
    •  & Daniel F. Voytas
  • Article |

    The frequency of severe droughts is increasing in many regions around the world as a result of climate change. An analysis of tree growth and mortality data from forests worldwide suggests that large trees fare worse under drought than small trees.

    • Amy C. Bennett
    • , Nathan G. McDowell
    • , Craig D. Allen
    •  & Kristina J. Anderson-Teixeira
  • Article |

    Predictions suggest that a high proportion of plant species will be threatened with extinction in the near future. A global assessment of the threat status of cacti suggests that these iconic plants are amongst the most threatened taxonomic groups, with 31% of the 1,478 evaluated species at risk of extinction.

    • Bárbara Goettsch
    • , Craig Hilton-Taylor
    • , Gabriela Cruz-Piñón
    • , James P. Duffy
    • , Anne Frances
    • , Héctor M. Hernández
    • , Richard Inger
    • , Caroline Pollock
    • , Jan Schipper
    • , Mariella Superina
    • , Nigel P. Taylor
    • , Marcelo Tognelli
    • , Agustín M. Abba
    • , Salvador Arias
    • , Hilda J. Arreola-Nava
    • , Marc A. Baker
    • , Rolando T. Bárcenas
    • , Duniel Barrios
    • , Pierre Braun
    • , Charles A. Butterworth
    • , Alberto Búrquez
    • , Fátima Caceres
    • , Miguel Chazaro-Basañez
    • , Rafael Corral-Díaz
    • , Mario del Valle Perea
    • , Pablo H. Demaio
    • , Williams A. Duarte de Barros
    • , Rafael Durán
    • , Luis Faúndez Yancas
    • , Richard S. Felger
    • , Betty Fitz-Maurice
    • , Walter A. Fitz-Maurice
    • , George Gann
    • , Carlos Gómez-Hinostrosa
    • , Luis R. Gonzales-Torres
    • , M. Patrick Griffith
    • , Pablo C. Guerrero
    • , Barry Hammel
    • , Kenneth D. Heil
    • , José Guadalupe Hernández-Oria
    • , Michael Hoffmann
    • , Mario Ishiki Ishihara
    • , Roberto Kiesling
    • , João Larocca
    • , José Luis León-de la Luz
    • , Christian R. Loaiza S.
    • , Martin Lowry
    • , Marlon C. Machado
    • , Lucas C. Majure
    • , José Guadalupe Martínez Ávalos
    • , Carlos Martorell
    • , Joyce Maschinski
    • , Eduardo Méndez
    • , Russell A. Mittermeier
    • , Jafet M. Nassar
    • , Vivian Negrón-Ortiz
    • , Luis J. Oakley
    • , Pablo Ortega-Baes
    • , Ana Beatriz Pin Ferreira
    • , Donald J. Pinkava
    • , J. Mark Porter
    • , Raul Puente-Martinez
    • , José Roque Gamarra
    • , Patricio Saldivia Pérez
    • , Emiliano Sánchez Martínez
    • , Martin Smith
    • , J. Manuel Sotomayor M. del C.
    • , Simon N. Stuart
    • , José Luis Tapia Muñoz
    • , Teresa Terrazas
    • , Martin Terry
    • , Marcelo Trevisson
    • , Teresa Valverde
    • , Thomas R. Van Devender
    • , Mario Esteban Véliz-Pérez
    • , Helmut E. Walter
    • , Sarah A. Wyatt
    • , Daniela Zappi
    • , J. Alejandro Zavala-Hurtado
    •  & Kevin J. Gaston
  • Article |

    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
    • , Yuan Chai
    • , Terrance M. Hurley
    • , Darren J. Kriticos
    • , Hans-Joachim Braun
    • , Robert F. Park
    • , William S. Cuddy
    •  & Tania Yonow
  • Article |

    NLPs are immunogenic patterns present in three kingdoms of life. The authors identify the leucin-rich repeat membrane protein RLP23 as the NLP receptor in Arabidopsis. Expression of RLP23 in potato enhances immunity against pathogenic microbes.

    • Isabell Albert
    • , Hannah Böhm
    • , Markus Albert
    • , Christina E. Feiler
    • , Julia Imkampe
    • , Niklas Wallmeroth
    • , Caterina Brancato
    • , Tom M. Raaymakers
    • , Stan Oome
    • , Heqiao Zhang
    • , Elzbieta Krol
    • , Christopher Grefen
    • , Andrea A. Gust
    • , Jijie Chai
    • , Rainer Hedrich
    • , Guido Van den Ackerveken
    •  & Thorsten Nürnberger