Volume 7

  • No. 5 May 2021

    Cutting down on phospholipids

    iDePP is a synthetic system designed to dephosphorylate phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate, a low-abundance lipid involved in development, immunity and reproduction. Formed by fusion of the phosphatase domain of a Drosophila enzyme and a fluorescent protein, it is artificially targeted to the plasma membrane.

    See Doumane, M. et al.

  • No. 4 April 2021

    Heirloom taste of climate resilience

    Coffea stenophylla is a wild species from Upper West Africa not cultivated since the early twentieth century, and now threatened with extinction. Blind tasting shows its flavour is like high-quality Arabica, but it can grow in warmer conditions.

    See Davis, A. et al.

  • No. 3 March 2021

    Shades of nitrate uptake

    Each molecule of nitrate imported into roots by the transporter NRT2.1 is accompanied by a proton. The consequent increase in soil pH can be used to follow its dephosphorylation-dependent activation using a pH-sensitive dye such as bromocresol purple.

    See Ohkubo, Y. et al.

  • No. 2 February 2021

    Fertilizing the Atacama with ‘white gold’

    Despite its hyperarid environment, the Atacama Desert of Chile supported a thriving agriculture from 3,000 to 500 years ago. Isotopic data of archaeological plant remains show that this was sustained from at least AD 1000 by importing guano as fertilizer from the Chilean coast.

    See Santana-Sagredo, F. et al.

  • No. 1 January 2021

    Bacterial antibacterial defence

    Cereal crop production can be severely affected by seed-borne bacterial diseases such as those caused by Burkholderia pathogens. Colonization by other endophytic bacteria, for example Sphingomonas sp., conveys resistance on seedlings (Gentiana asclepiadea in the image).

    See Matsumoto, H. et al.