Volume 1 Issue 4 April 2015

Volume 1 Issue 4

Upturn in Growth

Movement of the inflorescence stem of Arabidopsis thaliana at 10-min intervals during gravitropism. The actin–myosin XI cytoskeleton regulates organ straightening to attain the new position more rapidly than would a series of diminishing overshoots in environmental stimuli.

See Okamoto et al. 1, 15031

K. Moore from an image by Ikuko Hara-Nishimura

Editorial

  • Editorial |

    Synthetic biology could be seen as a natural development of traditional biotechnology and applied genetics. However, the exuberant culture that it has embraced should ensure it has a very bright future.

Research Highlights

Books and Arts

News & Views

  • News and Views |

    The diversity of agricultural systems has been minimized in order to maximize yields under favourable conditions. Diversification of agroecosystems may be required to maintain and stabilize yields in an increasingly unpredictable climate.

    • Forest Isbell
  • News and Views |

    Analysis of fruit development in Arabidopsis reveals how a four-component regulatory module, comprising a microRNA and three types of transcription factors, functions to control fruit size.

    • Charles Gasser
  • News and Views |

    Breakthrough technologies to study living cells at the subcellular scale reveal that light modulates the dynamic and reversible morphological adaptation of peroxisomes to optimize metabolic exchanges with chloroplasts during photorespiration.

    • Francisco J. Corpas
  • News and Views |

    Messenger RNAs are translocated between plant shoots and roots in patterns that reflect directionality, environmental responsiveness, and organ targeting.

    • James H. Westwood

Research

  • Article |

    Plant species diversity regulates the productivity and stability of natural ecosystems and their resilience to disturbance. Experiments in a managed grassland suggest that whereas species diversity promotes livestock fodder production, genetic diversity enhances the temporal stability of that production.

    • Iván Prieto
    • , Cyrille Violle
    • , Philippe Barre
    • , Jean-Louis Durand
    • , Marc Ghesquiere
    •  & Isabelle Litrico
  • Article |

    A gene that helps protect potatoes from destructive late blight is identified in a wild relative. It encodes a membrane receptor-like protein, the first discovered in this system, and makes cultivated potato plants more resistant to a broad range of pathogens.

    • Juan Du
    • , Estelle Verzaux
    • , Angela Chaparro-Garcia
    • , Gerard Bijsterbosch
    • , L. C. Paul Keizer
    • , Ji Zhou
    • , Thomas W. H. Liebrand
    • , Conghua Xie
    • , Francine Govers
    • , Silke Robatzek
    • , Edwin A. G. van der Vossen
    • , Evert Jacobsen
    • , Richard G. F. Visser
    • , Sophien Kamoun
    •  & Vivianne G. A. A. Vleeshouwers
  • Article |

    Plant organs bend in response to external stimuli such as light or gravity. This study documents the role of the actin–myosin cytoskeleton in the process by which the organs stop bending once they reach adequate posture.

    • Keishi Okamoto
    • , Haruko Ueda
    • , Tomoo Shimada
    • , Kentaro Tamura
    • , Takehide Kato
    • , Masao Tasaka
    • , Miyo Terao Morita
    •  & Ikuko Hara-Nishimura
  • Article |

    Plant cell organelles interact dynamically, most notably during photosynthesis. A femtosecond laser technology, that creates localized micro-shockwaves, is used to precisely analyse adhesion forces between peroxisomes, mitochondria and chloroplasts.

    • Kazusato Oikawa
    • , Shigeru Matsunaga
    • , Shoji Mano
    • , Maki Kondo
    • , Kenji Yamada
    • , Makoto Hayashi
    • , Takatoshi Kagawa
    • , Akeo Kadota
    • , Wataru Sakamoto
    • , Shoichi Higashi
    • , Masakatsu Watanabe
    • , Toshiaki Mitsui
    • , Akinori Shigemasa
    • , Takanori Iino
    • , Yoichiroh Hosokawa
    •  & Mikio Nishimura
  • Article |

    The mechanism of how plant growth is controlled during the reproductive phase is not well understood. Now a study reveals a new miRNA-dependent module integrating auxin signalling and developmental pathways to promote Arabidopsis fruit morphogenesis.

    • Juan José Ripoll
    • , Lindsay J. Bailey
    • , Quynh-Anh Mai
    • , Scott L. Wu
    • , Cindy T. Hon
    • , Elisabeth J. Chapman
    • , Gary S. Ditta
    • , Mark Estelle
    •  & Martin F. Yanofsky
  • Article |

    There's a lack of knowledge on the extent to which mRNAs are transported across tissues in plants. Now a study combining RNA-seq with grafting experiments identifies 2,006 genes in Arabidopsis thaliana that generate mobile mRNAs.

    • Christoph J. Thieme
    • , Monica Rojas-Triana
    • , Ewelina Stecyk
    • , Christian Schudoma
    • , Wenna Zhang
    • , Lei Yang
    • , Miguel Miñambres
    • , Dirk Walther
    • , Waltraud X. Schulze
    • , Javier Paz-Ares
    • , Wolf-Rüdiger Scheible
    •  & Friedrich Kragler