Volume 1 Issue 3 March 2015

Volume 1 Issue 3

Ringing the changes

Herbivorous insects influence forest structure and function.  Experiments at the Aspen Free-Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment (FACE) facility in Wisconsin, USA suggest that elevated concentrations of carbon dioxide enhance insect-induced reductions in forest productivity, whereas elevated concentrations of ozone have the opposite effect. The cover shows an aerial view of the ring shaped experimental plots within the FACE faciliy.

See Couture et al. 1, 15016 

S Whitham from an image by Rick Anderson, Skypixs Aerial Photography - Lake Linden Michigan


  • Editorial |

    Plant research projects are increasingly producing large systematic collections of phenotype data. But how can it be stored so that others can easily use it and that proper credit goes to the creators of the data?

Features and Comment

  • Comment |

    Increasing the yields of crops requires the investigation, and subsequent exploitation, of the genetic diversity preserved beyond the narrow range of commonly cultivated varieties. Such an undertaking requires a partnership of academia and industry.

    • Graham Moore

Research Highlights

News and Views

  • News and Views |

    Animal microRNAs appear to either cleave or repress the translation of target messenger RNAs depending on complementarity between the two. Contrastingly, the biogenesis of plant microRNAs seems to dictate their mode of action.

    • Hervé Vaucheret
  • News and Views |

    The auxin receptor TIR1 is an F-box protein functioning in a ubiquitin ligase complex to target repressors for degradation. It is itself an unstable protein, but newly identified mutations protect both TIR1 and its substrates from degradation. These mutations could help in identifying the substrates for hundreds of other F-box proteins.

    • Dolf Weijers
  • News and Views |

    A new large-scale sequencing and phenotyping experiment of hybrid rice varieties leads to associations with genetic determinants whose mode of action was revealed.

    • James A. Birchler
  • News and Views |

    The nitrate transporter NRT1.1 is a versatile plasma-membrane protein that mediates not only nitrate uptake in roots, but also nitrate sensing and signalling. A study of the structural features of NRT1.1 reveals how this protein can coordinate a range of physiological and morphological responses to nitrate.

    • Ricardo F. H. Giehl
    •  & Nicolaus von Wirén


  • Review Article |

    The protein content of plant cells is constantly being updated. Proteomic analyses are revealing the cellular processes that contribute to protein synthesis and degradation in plants, and their sensitivity to developmental and environmental change.

    • Clark J. Nelson
    •  & A. Harvey Millar


  • Article |

    Herbivorous insects influence forest structure and function. Experiments at the Aspen FACE facility in the US suggest that elevated concentrations of carbon dioxide enhance insect-induced reductions in forest productivity, whereas elevated concentrations of ozone have the opposite effect.

    • J. J. Couture
    • , T. D. Meehan
    • , E. L. Kruger
    •  & R. L. Lindroth
  • Article |

    In Arabidopsis the plasma membrane nitrate transceptor (transporter/receptor) NRT1.1 governs many physiological and developmental responses to nitrate. Point mutations in two key residues of the transceptor differentially affect several of the NRT1.1-dependent responses to nitrate, suggesting that NRT1.1 activates independent signalling pathways.

    • E. Bouguyon
    • , F. Brun
    • , D. Meynard
    • , M. Kubeš
    • , M. Pervent
    • , S. Leran
    • , B. Lacombe
    • , G. Krouk
    • , E. Guiderdoni
    • , E. Zažímalová
    • , K. Hoyerová
    • , P. Nacry
    •  & A. Gojon
  • Article |

    Touch can lead to a reduction in plant growth and a delay in flowering time. Experiments with wild-type Arabidopsis plants, and mutants impaired in gibberellin signalling and breakdown, suggest that touch-induced changes in plant morphology depend on gibberellin catabolism.

    • Maria João Pimenta Lange
    •  & Theo Lange
  • Article |

    Little is known about the selection of regulatory mechanisms for plant microRNAs. Now a Dicer partnering protein, DRB2, is reported to determine translational inhibition and repress transcript cleavage, allowing the selection of the two mechanisms.

    • Rodrigo S. Reis
    • , Gene Hart-Smith
    • , Andrew L. Eamens
    • , Marc R. Wilkins
    •  & Peter M. Waterhouse
  • Article |

    The plant auxin receptor TIR1 needs to associate with the SCF complex to be functional and target substrates. Newly discovered mutations that can block this interaction suggest that TIR1 is autocatalytically degraded once assembled in the SCF complex.

    • Hong Yu
    • , Yi Zhang
    • , Britney L. Moss
    • , Bastiaan O. R. Bargmann
    • , Renhou Wang
    • , Michael Prigge
    • , Jennifer L. Nemhauser
    •  & Mark Estelle
  • Article |

    Live-cell imaging and finite-element modelling shows how the plant's cytoskeleton gives shape to trichomes. The actin-related protein (ARP)2/3 complex generates an actin meshwork that directs growth through cell-wall anisotropy and organelle transport control.

    • Makoto Yanagisawa
    • , Anastasia S. Desyatova
    • , Samuel A. Belteton
    • , Eileen L. Mallery
    • , Joseph A. Turner
    •  & Daniel B. Szymanski