Volume 2 Issue 7 July 2016

Volume 2 Issue 7

Moisture catcher

The small hairs at the end of the leaves of desert moss Syntrichia caninervis can systematically harvest all types of water from arid landscapes. Water collection is uniquely tuned to passively gather water from the smallest dew and fog particles to raindrops by utilizing nano- and microstructures, allowing it to rehydrate often.

See Nature Plants 2, 16076 (2016).

Image: T. Truscott & Z. Pan Cover Design: S. Whitham


  • Editorial |

    The use of preprints has been well established in physical science research for decades. Is it time for the plant sciences to also embrace the format?

Features & comment

  • Comment |

    Climate change will pose diverse challenges for pollination this century. Identifying and addressing these challenges will help to mitigate impacts, and avoid a scenario whereby plants and pollinators are in the ‘wrong place at the wrong time’.

    • Josef Settele
    • , Jacob Bishop
    •  & Simon G. Potts
  • Comment |

    Prolonged and intensive breeding of wheat has produced varieties that would be unrecognizable to our ancestors. Such artificial selection can risk prioritizing traits of value to producers over those of importance to consumers. So is there evidence that crop improvement has left modern wheat nutritionally impoverished?

    • Peter R. Shewry
    • , Till K. Pellny
    •  & Alison Lovegrove


Research Highlights

News & Views

  • News and Views |

    Trichomes are specific epidermal cells often functional in protection, seed dispersal and, less frequently, development. A MIXTA-like MYB transcription factor from cotton, GhMYBML10, has been shown to control petal trichome formation. Interestingly, the petal trichomes act as natural Velcro in maintaining correct flower bud shape, ensuring seed production.

    • Qing Zhao
    •  & Xiao-Ya Chen
  • News and Views |

    The electrostatic charge at the inner surface of the plasma membrane is strongly negative in higher organisms. A new study shows that phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate plays a critical role in establishing plasma membrane surface charge in Arabidopsis, which regulates the correct localization of signalling components.

    • Gergely Molnár
    • , Matyáš Fendrych
    •  & Jiří Friml


  • Article |

    A study using population genomic data of domesticated and wild maize shows that purifying selection plays a major role in shaping maize diversity, and the efficacy of purifying selection increased following post-domestication population expansion.

    • Timothy M. Beissinger
    • , Li Wang
    • , Kate Crosby
    • , Arun Durvasula
    • , Matthew B. Hufford
    •  & Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra
  • Article |

    The desert moss Syntrichia caninervis maximizes water collection in dry environments by collecting water droplets from fog using the tiny hairs on the end of its leaves and passing them down through the plant, rather than taking water up through the roots.

    • Zhao Pan
    • , William G. Pitt
    • , Yuanming Zhang
    • , Nan Wu
    • , Ye Tao
    •  & Tadd T. Truscott
  • Letter |

    The widespread trichomes in plants have been known to bear multiple forms and functions. Now a study reveals a previously unknown function of trichomes in controlling the development of flower bud shape by linking together young petals.

    • Jiafu Tan
    • , Sally-Anne Walford
    • , Elizabeth S. Dennis
    •  & Danny Llewellyn
  • Article |

    Cellular membranes have specific lipidic compositions that influence their biophysical properties. PtdIns4P accumulates in the plasma membrane and modifies its inner surface charge, which controls the localization and function of signalling proteins.

    • Mathilde Laetitia Audrey Simon
    • , Matthieu Pierre Platre
    • , Maria Mar Marquès-Bueno
    • , Laia Armengot
    • , Thomas Stanislas
    • , Vincent Bayle
    • , Marie-Cécile Caillaud
    •  & Yvon Jaillais
  • Letter |

    The relationship between the two complexes HRD1 and DOA10 in the ER-associated protein degradation system has remained largely unknown. Now, a study shows that the HDR1 complex negatively regulates a component of the DOA10 complex in both plants and animals.

    • Qian Chen
    • , Yongwang Zhong
    • , Yaorong Wu
    • , Lijing Liu
    • , Pengfei Wang
    • , Ruijun Liu
    • , Feng Cui
    • , Qingliang Li
    • , Xiaoyuan Yang
    • , Shengyun Fang
    •  & Qi Xie