Molecular engineering in plants articles from across Nature Portfolio

Plant molecular engineering is the modification of plants or plant material to produce novel compounds, or to improve the efficiency of beneficial products. Major challenges include the production of crop plants with increased nutritional value.

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  • News & Views |

    Plant gene silencing is usually achieved through chromatin modifications and repressive transcription factors. We used a gain-of-function approach in Arabidopsis that identified 14 proteins that can repress gene expression via diverse epigenetic pathways, including DNA methylation, histone modifications and interference with RNA polymerase II transcription.

    Nature Plants 9, 383-384
  • News & Views |

    Using leaf explants and morphological regulator genes (Babyboom and Wuschel 2) driven by new promoter combinations, an efficient transformation and genome editing system is developed in maize and sorghum and successfully applied in seven other Poaceae grass species.

    • Sadiye Hayta
    Nature Plants 9, 197-198
  • News & Views |

    Guard cell outward rectifying potassium (GORK) channel activity is associated with channel clustering at the guard cell membrane. We show that clustering and gating both depend on an extended ‘antenna’ of bound channel voltage sensors. Uncoupling clustering and gating facilitates K+ flux, accelerating stomatal movements in environments typical for plants in the field.

    Nature Plants 8, 1216-1217