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Volume 3 Issue 1, January 2017

Volume 3 Issue 1

Dominance constrained

Self-fertilization in Brassica rapa is prevented by the interaction of multiple alleles at the self-incompatibility locus. The complicated hierarchy among many alleles is epigenetically controlled by a discrete number of polymorphic small RNAs.

See Nature Plants 3, 16206 (2016).

Image: Y. Wada & S. YasudaCover Design: A. Wing


  • Editorial |

    January is traditionally a time for reflections and resolutions. By looking back on the past year at Nature Plants, we can perhaps see what might be in store for the year to come.

Comment & Opinion

  • Comment |

    Global demand for coffee is constantly rising while the security of its production is increasingly threatened by disease and a changing climate. Is the genetic diversity of coffee in Ethiopia, its site of origin, robust enough to provide solutions to these challenges?

    • Zia Mehrabi
    • Philippe Lashermes

Research Highlights

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    A new player and mode of action has been discovered in the creation of a dominance hierarchy in the Brassicaceae self-incompatibility system.

    • Daphne R. Goring
  • News & Views |

    A straightforward approach reveals the full cholesterol biosynthetic pathway in tomato, which is composed of ten enzymatic steps, opening the door for bioengineering of high-value molecules in crops. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that cholesterogenesis evolved from the more ancient phytosterol pathway.

    • Thomas J. Bach
  • News & Views |

    To determine the potential of any promising tool, its performance in practice must always be considered. Two recent articles reach different conclusions on one important benefit of Bacillus thuringiensis cotton management: the potential to reduce pesticide sprays.

    • Andrew Flachs


  • Letter |

    Despite improved farming practices, models suggest that droughts like those of the 1930s would still be devastating to the US today. High temperatures are more damaging than rainfall deficit, leading to losses 50% larger than the severe drought of 2012.

    • Michael Glotter
    • Joshua Elliott
  • Letter |

    Interrogation of a worldwide database of leaf traits in forest canopies shows that a large proportion of ‘full-sun’ readings were made in the shade. The majority of leaves exist in the shade but research is too focused on conditions in the sun.

    • Trevor F. Keenan
    • Ülo Niinemets
  • Letter |

    To explore how climate warming may affect rice yield, a study used field experiments and three modelling approaches to examine the sensitivity of rice yield to warming. The study predicts that severe rice yield losses are likely to occur without effective crop improvement.

    • Chuang Zhao
    • Shilong Piao
    • Josep Peñuelas
  • Article |

    Plants contain small levels of cholesterol. Analysis of transcripts, proteins and individual gene silencing in tomato identifies a biosynthetic pathway involving 12 enzymes that is shown to be functional by expression of the full set in Arabidopsis.

    • Prashant D. Sonawane
    • Jacob Pollier
    • Asaph Aharoni
  • Letter |

    Small RNAs regulate plant–pathogen interactions. In rice, AGO18 sequesters microRNA528, which negatively regulates resistance to viruses through the silencing of L-ascorbate oxidase and thus controls the production of reactive oxygen species.

    • Jianguo Wu
    • Rongxin Yang
    • Yi Li

Amendments & Corrections


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