Volume 1 Issue 9, September 2015

Volume 1 Issue 9

Sink investment

A trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatase gene, OsTPP7, enhances anaerobic germination tolerance in rice, a key trait for direct-seeded rice, through modulation of sink strength. The gene is expressed in germinating embryos, coleoptiles and young roots — sink tissues that depend on reserve carbohydrates for proliferation.

See Tobias Kretzschmar et al. 1, 15124 (2015)

S. Whitham from an image by Endang Septiningsih


  • Editorial |

    Images of ‘real’ scientists are rare in everyday society, and those of scientists who are also women are doubly so. Could a female scientist on something as commonplace as a banknote help?


  • Comment |

    In October 1865, Julius Sachs published a monograph entitled Experimental Physiology of Plants, and so initiated a new, quantitative branch of basic and applied botany. In our current post-genomic era the legacy of Sachs is re-emerging as a key discipline of the botanical sciences.

    • Ulrich Kutschera

Research Highlights

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    The involvement of Ca2+ signalling in Brassica self-incompatibility has been a contentious topic. New evidence suggests that stigmas use Ca2+ to signal to incompatible pollen to prevent pollen hydration and self-seed set. Moreover, this may involve a glutamate receptor.

    • Noni Franklin-Tong
  • News & Views |

    The maintenance of closed canopy conditions can delay the onset of warming-induced changes in plant community composition, according to an experimental manipulation of temperature, light and nutrient levels in a temperate forest understorey.

    • Michael Scherer-Lorenzen
  • News & Views |

    The function and mechanism of the kinesin-14 protein family in plants remain largely obscure. Now, two studies suggest a role in long-distance transport, akin to dynein in animals. One shows that clustering of a moss kinesin-14 is required for cargo transport, the other that in rice a kinesin-14 translocates actin filaments along microtubules.

    • Ram Dixit
  • News & Views |

    Photosynthesis underpins life on earth and is often limited by the activity of the CO2-fixing enzyme Rubisco. New structural and functional insights into one of Rubisco's assembly chaperones offer opportunities to advance technologies tailored to improve Rubisco performance.

    • Robert Wilson
    •  & Spencer Whitney


  • Article |

    Competition for light has profound effects on plant performance in virtually all terrestrial ecosystems. An experimental study in a temperate forest understorey suggests that low light levels limit warming-induced changes in the composition of the forest floor plant community.

    • Pieter De Frenne
    • , Francisco Rodríguez-Sánchez
    • , An De Schrijver
    • , David A. Coomes
    • , Martin Hermy
    • , Pieter Vangansbeke
    •  & Kris Verheyen
  • Article |

    Agricultural rice production germinates seeds and establishes seedlings underwater. Now a trehalose-6-phosphate (T6P) phosphatase, OsTPP7, is shown to enhance anaerobic germination tolerance by increasing T6P turnover and thus starch mobilization.

    • Tobias Kretzschmar
    • , Margaret Anne F. Pelayo
    • , Kurniawan R. Trijatmiko
    • , Lourd Franz M. Gabunada
    • , Rejbana Alam
    • , Rosario Jimenez
    • , Merlyn S. Mendioro
    • , Inez H. Slamet-Loedin
    • , Nese Sreenivasulu
    • , Julia Bailey-Serres
    • , Abdelbagi M. Ismail
    • , David J. Mackill
    •  & Endang M. Septiningsih
  • Article |

    The signalling pathway underlying the self-incompatibility response in Brassicaceae remains elusive. Genetic and physiological experiments now show that Ca2+-influx, probably mediated by glutamate receptor-like channels, leads to self-pollen rejection.

    • Megumi Iwano
    • , Kanae Ito
    • , Sota Fujii
    • , Mitsuru Kakita
    • , Hiroko Asano-Shimosato
    • , Motoko Igarashi
    • , Pulla Kaothien-Nakayama
    • , Tetsuyuki Entani
    • , Asaka Kanatani
    • , Masashi Takehisa
    • , Masaki Tanaka
    • , Kunihiko Komatsu
    • , Hiroshi Shiba
    • , Takeharu Nagai
    • , Atsushi Miyawaki
    • , Akira Isogai
    •  & Seiji Takayama
  • Article |

    There is a lack of knowledge on how defence gene priming is repressed under standard conditions. Now, mutant analyses show that the histone chaperone CAF-1 acts under normal conditions to prevent spurious activation of defence responses.

    • Iva Mozgová
    • , Thomas Wildhaber
    • , Qinsong Liu
    • , Eliane Abou-Mansour
    • , Floriane L'Haridon
    • , Jean-Pierre Métraux
    • , Wilhelm Gruissem
    • , Daniel Hofius
    •  & Lars Hennig
  • Article |

    Magnesium chelatase catalyses Mg insertion into the centre of protoporphyrin IX during chlorophyll synthesis. The crystal structure of magnesium chelatase from the cyanobacterium Synechocystis shows an active site deeply buried within protein lined with evolutionary conserved residues.

    • Xuemin Chen
    • , Hua Pu
    • , Ying Fang
    • , Xiao Wang
    • , Shun Zhao
    • , Yajing Lin
    • , Min Zhang
    • , Huai-En Dai
    • , Weimin Gong
    •  & Lin Liu