Volume 1 Issue 8, August 2015

Volume 1 Issue 8

SNAREing voltage sensors

How plants coordinate ion transport with secretory traffic has been an open question for at least a century. Membrane voltage is ideally suited as a proxy for solute accumulation and cell turgor both driving and responding to all charged transport across the plant plasma membrane. The molecular machinery driving secretion binds the voltage sensors of potassium channels, co-opting them to couple traffic to membrane voltage.

See Christopher Grefen et al. 1, 15108 (2015)

K. Moore from an image by Michael R. Blatt


  • Editorial |

    The involvement of online discussion sites in the identification of errors, anomalies and worse in the published literature continues to demonstrate the usefulness of post-publication review. It also highlights the ambiguous power of anonymity.



  • Comment |

    The tremendous gains in crop yields seen over the twentieth century were underpinned by fertilizer use and manipulation of the aboveground parts of the plant. To meet the food demands of the twenty-first century, plant scientists must turn their attention belowground.

    • Anthony Bishopp
    •  & Jonathan P. Lynch
  • Comment |

    Raising the water productivity of crops, such that they yield more with less water, is one route to raising food production over the coming century. To achieve this goal, breeders must look beyond the conservative strategies that plants employ to cope with drought in the wild.

    • William J. Davies
    •  & Malcolm J. Bennett

Research Highlights

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    GABA, a major brain neurotransmitter, was known to be important in plant development and stress responses. The discovery of an anion channel inhibited by GABA in wheat confirms its signalling role, indicating a convergent similarity between plants and animals.

    • Viktor Žárský


  • Review Article |

    Proteaceae in southwestern Australia exhibit a range of adaptions that allow them to both acquire and utilize phosphorus from some of the most phosphorus-impoverished soils in the world. This Review explores these traits and discusses those which hold promise for crop improvement.

    • H. Lambers
    • , P.M. Finnegan
    • , R. Jost
    • , W.C. Plaxton
    • , M.W. Shane
    •  & M. Stitt


  • Article |

    The production of alga-derived lipids, a valuable source of biofuels, is restricted by the growth arrest of algae. Now a regulator of algal lipid accumulation is identified using an integrative chromatin signature and transcriptomic analysis.

    • Chew Yee Ngan
    • , Chee-Hong Wong
    • , Cindy Choi
    • , Yuko Yoshinaga
    • , Katherine Louie
    • , Jing Jia
    • , Cindy Chen
    • , Benjamin Bowen
    • , Haoyu Cheng
    • , Lauriebeth Leonelli
    • , Rita Kuo
    • , Richard Baran
    • , José G. García-Cerdán
    • , Abhishek Pratap
    • , Mei Wang
    • , Joanne Lim
    • , Hope Tice
    • , Chris Daum
    • , Jian Xu
    • , Trent Northen
    • , Axel Visel
    • , James Bristow
    • , Krishna K. Niyogi
    •  & Chia-Lin Wei
  • Article |

    Coordination between vesicle trafficking and osmotic solute uptake is needed for plant growth. It is regulated by the interaction between voltage sensor domains of K+ channels and a SNARE protein, conferring a voltage dependence on secretory traffic.

    • Christopher Grefen
    • , Rucha Karnik
    • , Emily Larson
    • , Cécile Lefoulon
    • , Yizhou Wang
    • , Sakharam Waghmare
    • , Ben Zhang
    • , Adrian Hills
    •  & Michael R. Blatt