Volume 3 Issue 6 June 2017

Volume 3 Issue 6

African parallels

Grain size and seed shattering are important agronomic traits, both of which are controlled by the GL4 gene. Selection of a SNP in GL4 causes small seeds and loss of seed shattering during African rice domestication, and may help enhance future crop yields to meet the challenge of food demand in West Africa.

See Nature Plants 3, 17064 (2017).

Image: Zuofeng Zhu Cover Design: L. Heslop

Editorial

  • Editorial |

    In the March for Science, held on 22 April in cities around the world, many placards bore Galileo's assertion that scientific truth is unaffected by political circumstance, “Eppur si muove”. But scientific research is inevitably shaped by the political climate in which it takes place.

Comment

  • Comment |

    Plant research produces data in a profusion of types and scales, and in ever-increasing volume. What are the challenges and opportunities presented by data management in contemporary plant science? And how can researchers make efficient and fruitful use of data management tools and strategies?

    • Sabina Leonelli
    • , Robert P. Davey
    • , Elizabeth Arnaud
    • , Geraint Parry
    •  & Ruth Bastow

Research Highlights

News & Views

  • News and Views |

    SHATTERING 4 is a key rice domestication gene. A non-synonymous mutation of this gene was found to be selected during Asian rice domestication as it confers non-shattering. Now, a nonsense mutation of SHATTERING 4 is shown to simultaneously result in non-shattering and small grain size during the independent domestication of African rice.

    • Haijun Liu
    •  & Jianbing Yan
  • News and Views |

    Cell metabolism relies on redox reactions to harness energy for life. Cells need to sense and regulate their internal redox state, typically with cysteine thiols. At plastid origin, cysteine residue frequency increased in the diatom genome lineage, an evolutionary redox footprint preserved in plant DNA.

    • William F. Martin
    •  & Helmut Sies

Reviews

  • Review Article |

    Invasive plants pose a particular environmental management issue given rapid environmental change and an unpredictable future. Productive connections have recently been established between social and natural science approaches to the problem.

    • Lesley Head

Research

  • Article |

    Carbon and nitrogen isotope measurements of crop remains from archaeological sites in northern Mesopotamia show labour-intensive practices such as manuring and water management forming an integral part of agriculture since the seventh millennium bc.

    • Amy K. Styring
    • , Michael Charles
    • , Federica Fantone
    • , Mette Marie Hald
    • , Augusta McMahon
    • , Richard H. Meadow
    • , Geoff K. Nicholls
    • , Ajita K. Patel
    • , Mindy C. Pitre
    • , Alexia Smith
    • , Arkadiusz Sołtysiak
    • , Gil Stein
    • , Jill A. Weber
    • , Harvey Weiss
    •  & Amy Bogaard
  • Letter |

    The reason why African cultivated rice has smaller grains than its wild progenitor has remained puzzling. Now, scientists find that the selection of a single-nucleotide polymorphism mutation in the GL4 gene during African rice domestication causes loss of seed shattering and smaller seeds.

    • Wenguang Wu
    • , Xiaoyun Liu
    • , Muhua Wang
    • , Rachel S. Meyer
    • , Xiaojin Luo
    • , Marie-Noelle Ndjiondjop
    • , Lubin Tan
    • , Jianwei Zhang
    • , Jianzhong Wu
    • , Hongwei Cai
    • , Chuanqing Sun
    • , Xiangkun Wang
    • , Rod A. Wing
    •  & Zuofeng Zhu
  • Article |

    An effective and high-throughput technology spatially profiles the whole transcriptome of intact plant tissues from Arabidopsis thaliana, Populus tremula and Picea abies. It is also suitable for other species that are less genetically tractable.

    • Stefania Giacomello
    • , Fredrik Salmén
    • , Barbara K. Terebieniec
    • , Sanja Vickovic
    • , José Fernandez Navarro
    • , Andrey Alexeyenko
    • , Johan Reimegård
    • , Lauren S. McKee
    • , Chanaka Mannapperuma
    • , Vincent Bulone
    • , Patrik L. Ståhl
    • , Jens F. Sundström
    • , Nathaniel R. Street
    •  & Joakim Lundeberg
  • Letter |

    Natural variation in Arabidopsis is used to identify the causal gene for acquired osmotolerance. ACQOS is a resistance NLR gene, highlighting the trade-off between immunity and abiotic stress tolerance.

    • Hirotaka Ariga
    • , Taku Katori
    • , Takashi Tsuchimatsu
    • , Taishi Hirase
    • , Yuri Tajima
    • , Jane E. Parker
    • , Rubén Alcázar
    • , Maarten Koornneef
    • , Owen Hoekenga
    • , Alexander E. Lipka
    • , Michael A. Gore
    • , Hitoshi Sakakibara
    • , Mikiko Kojima
    • , Yuriko Kobayashi
    • , Satoshi Iuchi
    • , Masatomo Kobayashi
    • , Kazuo Shinozaki
    • , Yoichi Sakata
    • , Takahisa Hayashi
    • , Yusuke Saijo
    •  & Teruaki Taji
  • Article |

    Roots bend towards water. The root cortex in the elongation zone is the site of perception during hydrotropism but also the site of differential root growth, which is different from gravitropism.

    • Daniela Dietrich
    • , Lei Pang
    • , Akie Kobayashi
    • , John A. Fozard
    • , Véronique Boudolf
    • , Rahul Bhosale
    • , Regina Antoni
    • , Tuan Nguyen
    • , Sotaro Hiratsuka
    • , Nobuharu Fujii
    • , Yutaka Miyazawa
    • , Tae-Woong Bae
    • , Darren M. Wells
    • , Markus R. Owen
    • , Leah R. Band
    • , Rosemary J. Dyson
    • , Oliver E. Jensen
    • , John R. King
    • , Saoirse R. Tracy
    • , Craig J. Sturrock
    • , Sacha J. Mooney
    • , Jeremy A. Roberts
    • , Rishikesh P. Bhalerao
    • , José R. Dinneny
    • , Pedro L. Rodriguez
    • , Akira Nagatani
    • , Yoichiroh Hosokawa
    • , Tobias I. Baskin
    • , Tony P. Pridmore
    • , Lieven De Veylder
    • , Hideyuki Takahashi
    •  & Malcolm J. Bennett
  • Brief Communication |

    A double mutant in bHLH transcription factors produces pollen without sperm cells. This pollen is able to germinate, grow, orient itself, penetrate the ovule and rupture, indicating that sperm cells are passive and do not participate in pollen tube development.

    • Jun Zhang
    • , Qingpei Huang
    • , Sheng Zhong
    • , Andrea Bleckmann
    • , Jiaying Huang
    • , Xinyang Guo
    • , Qing Lin
    • , Hongya Gu
    • , Juan Dong
    • , Thomas Dresselhaus
    •  & Li-Jia Qu
  • Article |

    The NOPE1 gene is required for arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis in maize. The causal gene is now identified using rice. It is the first identified GlcNAc transporter in plants, needed for presymbiotic fungal reprogramming.

    • Marina Nadal
    • , Ruairidh Sawers
    • , Shamoon Naseem
    • , Barbara Bassin
    • , Corinna Kulicke
    • , Abigail Sharman
    • , Gynheung An
    • , Kyungsook An
    • , Kevin R. Ahern
    • , Amanda Romag
    • , Thomas P. Brutnell
    • , Caroline Gutjahr
    • , Niko Geldner
    • , Christophe Roux
    • , Enrico Martinoia
    • , James B. Konopka
    •  & Uta Paszkowski
  • Article |

    The origin of photosynthetic eukaryotes requires two major endosymbiosis events. Organelle acquisitions impose an increase in reactive oxygen species production, as well as the expansion of redox-sensitive proteasome in photosynthetic eukaryotes.

    • Christian Woehle
    • , Tal Dagan
    • , Giddy Landan
    • , Assaf Vardi
    •  & Shilo Rosenwasser