9th Oct 2014

It’s a strong week for the institutes this week with appearances in the Round-up from Rothamsted Research, The Sainsbury Laboratory and the John Innes Centre. The Sainsbury Laboratory at the University of Cambridge also gets a mention, as does the University of Glasgow also gets a mention with Emily Larson’s contribution to a new Plant Method.  


  • Hsiao A-S, Haslam RP, Michaelson LV, Liao P, Napier JA and Chye M-L. Gene expression in plant lipid metabolism in Arabidopsis seedlings. PLOS One, 29 September 2014. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0107372. [Open Access]

This paper was a collaborative effort between scientists from Hong Kong, and Richard Haslam, Louise Michaelson and Johnathan Napier from Rothamsted Research. Using quantitative, real-time PCR analysis, the researchers investigated whether target genes associated with acyl-lipid transfer, b-oxidation and triacylglycerol synthesis and hydrolysis were under diurnal control in early seedling growth. A number of differentially expressed genes between two and five-day old seedlings suggest that yes, lipid metabolism in Arabidopsis seedling development is under diurnal control.


  • Paganelli L, Caillaud M-C, Quentin M, Damiani I, Givetto B, Lecomte P, Karpov PA, Abad P, Chabouté M-E and Favery B. Three BUB1 and BUBR1/MAD3-related spindle assembly checkpoint proteins are required for accurate mitosis in Arabidopsis. New Phytologist, 29 September 2014. DOI: 10.1111/nph.13073.

Marie-Cecile Caillaud, affiliated to The Sainsbury Laboratory and the John Innes Centre, contributed to this New Phytologist paper investigating protein interactions during plant mitosis. Though the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) has been studied extensively in metazoans and yeast, little is known about the roles of microtubule-associated proteins in plants. This research demonstrates the key roles that the Arabidopsis SAC proteins BRK1, BUBR/MAD3 and their associates play in ensuring chromosomes do not segregate before they have properly formed kinetochore attachments.


  • Lee S, Lee H-J, Jung J-H and Park C-M. The Arabidopsis thaliana RNA-binding protein FCA regulates thermotolerance by modulating the detoxification of reactive oxygen species. New Phytologist, 30 September 2014. DOI: 10.1111/nph.13079.

Working with Korean colleagues, Jae-Hoon Jung from The Sainsbury Laboratory at Cambridge University contributed to this paper in which the role of the RNA-binding protein FCA is discussed in terms of heat stress. The researchers found that transgenic plants over-expressing the FCA gene were resistant to heat stress, while FCA defective mutants were sensitive to it. It is proposed that FCA induces thermotolerance by triggering antioxidant accumulations under heat stress conditions.


  • Larson ER, Tierney ML, Tinaz B and Domozych DS. Using monoclonal antibodies to label living root hairs: a novel tool for studying cell wall microarchitecture and dynamics in Arabidopsis. Plant Methods, 2 October 2014. DOI: 10.1186/1746-4811-10-30. [Open Access]

Calling all root biologists! Here’s a new Plant Method for live cell labeling of roots with monoclonal antibodies that bind to specific cell wall polymers. Developed by researchers from the US and also involving Emily Larson from the University of Glasgow, the protocol allows for direct visualization of cell wall dynamics throughout development in stable transgenic plant lines.


  • Yang L, Zhao X, Paul M, Zhu H, Zu Y and Tang Z. Exogenous trehalose largely alleviates ionic unbalance, ROS burst and PCD occurrence induced by high salinity in Arabidopsis seedlings. Frontiers in Plant Science, 03 October 2014. DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2014.00570. [Open Access]

This Chinese-led paper also involved Matthew Paul from Rothamsted Research, who provided data analysis and helped to prepare the manuscript. Here, the scientists demonstrate the ability of trehalose to improve Arabidopsis’ resistance to salt stress by regulating the redox state of the plant, as well as programmed cell death and distribution of ions.