Volume 2 Issue 2, February 2016

Volume 2 Issue 2

Progressing organics

To be sustainable, any farm must meet four goals: productivity, environmental soundness, financial viability and social responsibility. Organic agriculture balances multiple sustainability benefits but can it contribute more to safely feeding the world?

See Nature Plants 1, 15221 (2016).

Image: J. Richardson Cover Design: S. Whitham


  • Editorial |

    In an attempt to ensure high standards of transparency and reproducibility, Nature Plants is introducing a plant-specific reporting checklist for authors — and making it a requirement for all refereed papers.

Research Highlights

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    A broad-scale analysis of genic DNA methylation across the phylogeny of land plants reveals unexpected variation and provides insights into the evolutionary forces shaping it.

    • Korbinian Schneeberger
  • News & Views |

    Major life cycle transitions happen after changes in stem cells trigger new developmental programs. In moss, expression of the homeobox transcription factor BELL1 is sufficient to induce sporophyte stem cells from the gametophyte phase, without having to go through fertilization.

    • Mitsuyasu Hasebe
  • News & Views |

    Buried seedlings must grow both strongly, to push through soil to the surface, and fast, to reach the light as quickly as possible. A recent study finds that a pair of sequentially acting E3 ubiquitin ligases balances these conflicting imperatives.

    • Jorge J. Casal



  • Brief Communication |

    Photorespiration is a major light-dependent metabolic pathway that consumes O2 and produces CO2. Quantitative isotopic labelling experiments with sunflower leaves suggest that the O2/CO2 stoichiometric coefficient of photorespiration at the leaf level is very close to 2 under typical photorespiratory conditions.

    • Cyril Abadie
    • , Edouard R. A. Boex-Fontvieille
    • , Adam J. Carroll
    •  & Guillaume Tcherkez
  • Letter |

    How plant genic DNA methylation evolves remains elusive. Using methylome data covering the phylogenetic breadth of land plants, researchers show that evolutionary patterns of methylation vary considerably across species, genes and methylation contexts.

    • Shohei Takuno
    • , Jin-Hua Ran
    •  & Brandon S. Gaut
  • Letter |

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis (AMS) is a common mutualistic association in land plants. A comprehensive phylogenomics analysis identifies a set of genes required for AMS, and their importance is demonstrated experimentally with mutants.

    • Armando Bravo
    • , Thomas York
    • , Nathan Pumplin
    • , Lukas A. Mueller
    •  & Maria J. Harrison
  • Article |

    Specific tissues are developed by legumes during symbiosis to host soil bacteria that will fix nitrogen from air. One single t-SNARE gene in Medicago can switch from a housekeeping to a symbiosome-specific function by alternative transcription.

    • Huairong Pan
    • , Onur Oztas
    • , Xiaowei Zhang
    • , Xiaoyi Wu
    • , Christina Stonoha
    • , Ertao Wang
    • , Bin Wang
    •  & Dong Wang
  • Article |

    Control of cell death is crucial for plant life. A comprehensive screen for suppressors of BAK1/SERK4-mediated cell death identified a component of protein glycosylation pathways and ERQC, and its cysteine-rich receptor-like kinase (CRK) targets.

    • Marcos V. V. de Oliveira
    • , Guangyuan Xu
    • , Bo Li
    • , Luciano de Souza Vespoli
    • , Xiangzong Meng
    • , Xin Chen
    • , Xiao Yu
    • , Suzane Ariádina de Souza
    • , Aline C. Intorne
    • , Ana Marcia E. de A. Manhães
    • , Abbey L. Musinsky
    • , Hisashi Koiwa
    • , Gonçalo A. de Souza Filho
    • , Libo Shan
    •  & Ping He
  • Article |

    In photosynthesis, excess light energy is dissipated as heat by non-photochemical quenching (NPQ). The localization of proteins and their interactions in thylakoid membranes under high and low light conditions suggests that NPQ involves monomerization of the dimeric protein PsbS and interaction of the resulting monomers with components of trimeric light-harvesting complexes of photosystem II.

    • Viviana Correa-Galvis
    • , Gereon Poschmann
    • , Michael Melzer
    • , Kai Stühler
    •  & Peter Jahns