Volume 6

  • No. 12 December 2020

    Packaging up pyrenoids

    Around one-third of global CO2 fixation occurs in an algal organelle called the pyrenoid, assembled from the enzyme Rubisco and the intrinsically disordered protein EPYC1. The combination of the structured enzyme and flexible linker gives the organelle liquid-like properties.

    See He, S. et al.

  • No. 11 November 2020

    Inequalities of parental responsibility

    Maternal and paternal genomes contribute equally to the transcriptome of embryos during the early stages of their development. However, as the developing plant differentiates, the contributions from the parental alleles begin to vary with cell type.

    See Zhao, P. et al.

  • No. 10 October 2020

    Trigger warnings in calcium

    The carnivorous plant Venus flytrap Dionaea muscipula digests captured prey for their nutrients. The dynamics of calcium signalling in its traps form memories of recent stimuli so that they are only sprung shut by prey.

    See Suda, H. et al.

  • No. 9 September 2020

    Reprogramming stems from DNA damage

    Mosses such as Physcomitrella patens produce leafy shoots called gametophores, which bear their sex organs. Gametophore leaf cells are reprogrammed to stem cells by the actions of ATR kinase and STEMINs following DNA damage.

    See Gu, N. et al.

  • No. 8 August 2020

    The roots of regeneration

    Root cells originate from stem cells located in the root meristem. If this meristem is damaged or lost, nearby cells regenerate a new meristem. This requires auxin that is locally synthesized from newly specified sites near the wound.

    See Matosevich, R. et al.

  • No. 7 July 2020

    Conditional editing

    By combining a CRISPR–Cas9-based genome editing system with a cell-type-specific inducible system, genes can be knocked out at any developmental stage. This system efficiently removes target genes (marked with yellow fluorescence) in specific cell types (marked with red fluorescence).

    See Wang, X. et al.

  • No. 6 June 2020

    Female determination

    Many types of plants have distinct sexes, as determined by sex chromosomes. These have evolved independently in hundreds of lineages. In poplar, a single gene carried on the sex chromosome is sufficient to switch on female development and suppress maleness.

    See Müller, N. A. et al.

  • No. 5 May 2020

    Compound variations

    The leaves of legumes show a wide diversity of shapes, ranging from simple, pinnate and palmate compound leaves to higher-ordered complicated forms. The model legume Medicago truncatula provides a window onto the molecular mechanism underlying these leaves’ development.

    See He, L. et al.

  • No. 4 April 2020

    Defence cryptography

    Wounding of plant tissue triggers a complex set of signalling pathways, including a peroxide signalling wave, depending on the cause. Optical nanosensors that can be implanted within plant tissue enable the study of wound-induced H2O2 signalling dynamics across diverse plant species.

    See Lew, T. T. S. et al.

  • No. 3 March 2020

    Braving the light

    Plants prioritize growth over defence when faced with strong competition from neighbours. Far-red radiation, a signal of neighbour proximity, triggers the transcription of a sulfotransferase gene that inactivates jasmonate signalling and promotes shade avoidance at the expense of defence.

    See Fernández-Milmanda, G. L. et al.

  • No. 2 February 2020

    Hornworts and their sisters

    Of the seven living lineages of land plants, hornworts are the last to have a high-quality genome sequenced. The Anthoceros angustus sequence resolves their relationship to liverworts and mosses, and illuminates their molecular adaptations to life on land.

    See Zhang, J. et al.

  • No. 1 January 2020

    Five years of plant coverage

    Nature Plants is entering its sixth year and volume. To celebrate our fifth birthday, this issue’s cover looks back at many of the most striking images that we have used for issues over the last five years.

    See Editorial