Volume 2 Issue 1 January 2016

Volume 2 Issue 1

Yielding growth 

A key to sustainability in agriculture is making the most of every hectare of land under cultivation. Three independent genetic studies focus on a regulatory module in rice controlling both the number of spikelets on a plant and the size of individual grains.

See Nature Plants 1, 15210 (2015).

Image: Yunhai Li Cover design: David Shand

Editorial

  • Editorial |

    Nature Plants has now completed a full year of publication as a journal aimed at all the plant sciences. What better time to assess the extent to which this goal has been met?

Correspondence

Research Highlights

News & Views

  • News and Views |

    Three independent genetic studies reveal that the GRF–miR396 module regulates rice grain yield by controlling the number of spikelets or the size of individual grains. These findings provide promising targets for significantly increasing crop yield.

    • Hirokazu Tsukaya
  • News and Views |

    Angiosperm evolution involves a major transition from spiral to whorled arrangements of floral organs. Examination of the genetic programs specifying floral organ identity in Nigella damascene, a species of Ranunculaceae with spiral flowers, illuminates the molecular basis of how spiral flowers can have flexible numbers of floral organs.

    • Douglas E. Soltis

Reviews

Research

  • Article |

    Central carbon metabolism in cyanobacteria consists of the CBB cycle, glycolysis, the pentose phosphate pathway and the TCA cycle. Metabolic analyses of mutant and wild-type Synechocystis reveal the presence of a functional phosphoketolase pathway, previously uncharacterized in photosynthetic organisms.

    • Wei Xiong
    • , Tai-Chi Lee
    • , Sarah Rommelfanger
    • , Erica Gjersing
    • , Melissa Cano
    • , Pin-Ching Maness
    • , Maria Ghirardi
    •  & Jianping Yu
  • Article |

    How spiral flowers produce organs in variable numbers remains elusive. By studying Nigella damascena, scientists now illuminate the genetic programs that specify floral organ identity and determine the flexibility of organ numbers in spiral flowers.

    • Peipei Wang
    • , Hong Liao
    • , Wengen Zhang
    • , Xianxian Yu
    • , Rui Zhang
    • , Hongyan Shan
    • , Xiaoshan Duan
    • , Xu Yao
    •  & Hongzhi Kong
  • Article |

    To understand the mechanisms of grain size control, researchers experimentally reveal that the molecular module miR396/GRF4 regulates rice grain size by activating brassinosteroid signalling. Modulating miR396/GRF4 or brassinosteroid responses can thus be used to improve crop yield.

    • Ronghui Che
    • , Hongning Tong
    • , Bihong Shi
    • , Yuqin Liu
    • , Shanru Fang
    • , Dapu Liu
    • , Yunhua Xiao
    • , Bin Hu
    • , Linchuan Liu
    • , Hongru Wang
    • , Mingfu Zhao
    •  & Chengcai Chu
  • Article |

    The molecular network controlling seed size remains elusive. Using genetic and functional analyses, researchers found that the transcription factor OsGRF4 (GS2) forms a module with its regulator OsmiR396 and coactivator GIFs to regulate grain size in rice.

    • Penggen Duan
    • , Shen Ni
    • , Junmin Wang
    • , Baolan Zhang
    • , Ran Xu
    • , Yuexing Wang
    • , Hongqi Chen
    • , Xudong Zhu
    •  & Yunhai Li
  • Article |

    The regulatory pathway associated with crop yield remains poorly understood. Now researchers have found that blocking miR396 dramatically increases rice grain yield by inducing the GRF6 gene and subsequently activating the auxin pathway and development-related genes.

    • Feng Gao
    • , Kun Wang
    • , Ying Liu
    • , Yunping Chen
    • , Pian Chen
    • , Zhenying Shi
    • , Jie Luo
    • , Daqing Jiang
    • , Fengfeng Fan
    • , Yingguo Zhu
    •  & Shaoqing Li
  • Article |

    Arsenic contamination of groundwater and soils threatens the health of tens of millions people worldwide. A series of laboratory experiments suggest that in Arabidopsis, inositol transporters are responsible for arsenite loading into the phloem, the key source of arsenic in seeds.

    • Gui-Lan Duan
    • , Ying Hu
    • , Sabine Schneider
    • , Joseph McDermott
    • , Jian Chen
    • , Norbert Sauer
    • , Barry P. Rosen
    • , Birgit Daus
    • , Zijuan Liu
    •  & Yong-Guan Zhu