Volume 2 Issue 11 November 2016

Volume 2 Issue 11

Quantum collector

Begonia species adapted to deep-shade conditions display blue leaf iridescence, a form of structural colour originating from specialized chloroplasts in the epidermis. These ‘iridoplasts’ contain highly-ordered grana whose arrangement enhances absorption, tuning their photosynthesis to the depleted understory light-spectrum. 

See Nature Plants 2, 16162 (2016).

Image: M. Jacobs Cover Design: S. Whitham

Editorial

  • Editorial |

    Whether by accident or design, plants have accompanied people on many historical migrations. It is of little wonder then, that the history of humanity is recorded in the plants whose polysaccharides, proteins and oils keep us alive.

Research Highlights

News & Views

  • News and Views |

    A recent survey of transcript abundance in wheat grains found accumulation of mRNAs encoding key enzymes of C4 photosynthesis. However, this is not the same as showing that the C4 pathway operates in these tissues.

    • Julian M. Hibberd
    •  & Robert T. Furbank
  • News and Views |

    A new study uncovers thousands of RNA-directed DNA methylation target sites masked by the active removal of methylated cytosines by a demethylating enzyme.

    • Tzung-Fu Hsieh
  • News and Views |

    The mechanism for T-DNA integration, a critical step of Agrobacterium-mediated transgenesis, remains poorly understood. Now, a study based on mutant analysis shows that Pol θ controls T-DNA integration and generates error-prone footprints at integration sites.

    • Avraham A. Levy

Reviews

  • Review Article |

    A Review discusses the currently known non-canonical RNA-directed DNA methylation mechanisms, their diversity and interconnections, and puts forward the key unanswered questions in this field.

    • Diego Cuerda-Gil
    •  & R. Keith Slotkin

Research

  • Brief Communication |

    The authors identify novel NEGATIVE GRAVITROPIC RESPONSE OF ROOTS genes in Medicago and Arabidopsis. Mutants display a spectacular phenotype: gravity is still perceived, but the direction of growth is reversed: roots always grow upwards.

    • Liangfa Ge
    •  & Rujin Chen
  • Letter |

    Many plants exhibit iridescence but no link has been demonstrated between this phenomenon and photosynthesis. This study shows the epidermal chloroplasts of Begonia to have photonic properties that increase both light capture and quantum yield.

    • Matthew Jacobs
    • , Martin Lopez-Garcia
    • , O.-Phart Phrathep
    • , Tracy Lawson
    • , Ruth Oulton
    •  & Heather M. Whitney
  • Article |

    The evolution of sex-biased gene expression in plants is elusive. By comparing the transcriptomes of two closely related species of different mating systems, a study has found that the change in expression preferentially occurred in females and in sex-linked genes.

    • Niklaus Zemp
    • , Raquel Tavares
    • , Aline Muyle
    • , Deborah Charlesworth
    • , Gabriel A. B. Marais
    •  & Alex Widmer
  • Letter |

    C4 photosynthesis has evolved independently in over 60 plant lineages. This study shows expression of key C4 enzymes being controlled by light and the chloroplast in C3 leaves, potentially facilitating repeated evolution of C4 traits.

    • Steven J. Burgess
    • , Ignasi Granero-Moya
    • , Mathieu J. Grangé-Guermente
    • , Chris Boursnell
    • , Matthew J. Terry
    •  & Julian M. Hibberd
  • Letter |

    Plants can regenerate tissues after injury. The heterodimeric transcription factor complex ERF115–PAT1 is activated by the cell death of neighbouring cells, and is crucial for stem cell replenishment and the high regenerative potential of plants.

    • Jefri Heyman
    • , Toon Cools
    • , Balkan Canher
    • , Sviatlana Shavialenka
    • , Jan Traas
    • , Ilse Vercauteren
    • , Hilde Van den Daele
    • , Geert Persiau
    • , Geert De Jaeger
    • , Keiko Sugimoto
    •  & Lieven De Veylder
  • Letter |

    The mechanism for T-DNA integration, a critical step of Agrobacterium-mediated transgenesis, remains elusive. Now, a study shows that polymerase θ controls T-DNA integration and generates the error-prone sequences at the sites of integration.

    • Maartje van Kregten
    • , Sylvia de Pater
    • , Ron Romeijn
    • , Robin van Schendel
    • , Paul J. J. Hooykaas
    •  & Marcel Tijsterman
  • Article |

    The legume–Rhizobium symbiosis allows nitrogen fixation. Development of nodules is a finely regulated developmental process that involves a DNA demethylase called DEMETER, linking epigenetic regulation and symbiosis.

    • Carine Satgé
    • , Sandra Moreau
    • , Erika Sallet
    • , Gaëlle Lefort
    • , Marie-Christine Auriac
    • , Céline Remblière
    • , Ludovic Cottret
    • , Karine Gallardo
    • , Céline Noirot
    • , Marie-Françoise Jardinaud
    •  & Pascal Gamas
  • Letter | | open

    By assembling the genome of Cardamine hirsuta and conducting comparative genomic and transcriptomic analyses, a study reveals the prevalent role of transcription factors and gene duplication in morphological evolution.

    • Xiangchao Gan
    • , Angela Hay
    • , Michiel Kwantes
    • , Georg Haberer
    • , Asis Hallab
    • , Raffaele Dello Ioio
    • , Hugo Hofhuis
    • , Bjorn Pieper
    • , Maria Cartolano
    • , Ulla Neumann
    • , Lachezar A. Nikolov
    • , Baoxing Song
    • , Mohsen Hajheidari
    • , Roman Briskine
    • , Evangelia Kougioumoutzi
    • , Daniela Vlad
    • , Suvi Broholm
    • , Jotun Hein
    • , Khalid Meksem
    • , David Lightfoot
    • , Kentaro K. Shimizu
    • , Rie Shimizu-Inatsugi
    • , Martha Imprialou
    • , David Kudrna
    • , Rod Wing
    • , Shusei Sato
    • , Peter Huijser
    • , Dmitry Filatov
    • , Klaus F. X. Mayer
    • , Richard Mott
    •  & Miltos Tsiantis

Corrections