4th Jun 2014

Another week, another round-up of the UK’s Arabidopsis research publications! Today’s episode of the round-up features one of our committee members, David Salt, from the University of Aberdeen, as well as work from the Universities of Leicester, Birmingham and Nottingham, and a 3D-graphic designer from Imperial College London. It takes all sorts to produce a journal article!


  • Zhai Z, Gayomba SR, Jung H et al. OPT3 is a phloem-speccific iron transporter that is essential for systemic iron signaling and redistribution of iron and cadmium in Arabidopsis. The Plant Cell, 22 April 2014. DOI: 10.1105/tpc.114.123737. [Open Access]

GARNet committee member David Salt from the University of Aberdeen was involved in this Plant Cell paper, which challenges a preconception of the OPT3 protein. This protein had previously been characterised as an oligopeptide transporter, but through studies in Arabidopsis thaliana, this group has shown that OPT3 is in fact capable of loading iron into the phloem, facilitating recirculation from the xylem to the phloem, and regulates both shoot-to-root iron signaling and the redistribution of iron from mature to developing tissues.


  • Borg M, Rutley N, Kagale S, et al. An EAR-dependent regulatory module promotes male germ cell division and sperm fertility in Arabidopsis. The Plant Cell, 2 May 2014. DOI: 10.1105/tpc.114.124743. [Open Access]

In Arabidopsis thaliana, the germline-specific MYB protein, DUO1, integrates the processes of cell division and cell differentiation during sperm cell production. However, until now, the hierarchical way in which DUO1 regulates these processes has been unknown. In this paper, scientists from the University of Leicester, working with Canadian and Japanese colleagues, demonstrate an essential module in a regulatory hierarchy that drives mitotic transition in male germs cells and implicates gene repression pathways in sperm cell formation and fertility.


  • Bassel GW, Stamm P, Mosca G, Barbier de Reuille P, Gibbs DJ, Winter R, Janka A, Holdsworth MJ and Smith RS. Mechanical constraints imposed by 3D cellular geometry and arrangement modulate growth patterns in the Arabidopsis embryo. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 6 May 2014. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1404616111. [Open Access]

Co-led by scientists at the University of Birmingham and the Max Plank Institute for Plant Breeding Research, this paper also involved plant scientists from the University of Nottingham, and a 3D design expert based at Imperial College London. Using 3D cellular level finite-element simulation models, this group provides evidence to suggest a mechanism whereby 3D cellular geometry helps direct where genetically specified growth takes place in Arabidopsis embryos.


  • Lanyon-Hogg T, Hooper J, Gunn S, Warriner SL and Baker A. PEX14 binding to Arabidopsis PEX5 has differential effects of PTS1 and PTS2 cargo occupancy of the receptor. FEBS Letters, 28 May 2014. DOI: 10.1016/j.febslet.2014.05.038. [Will be open access when issue is archived]

Led by Alison Baker from the University of Leeds, this offering from FEBS Letters presents an advance in the understanding of the role of the protein PEX14 in the cargo unloading mechanism of PTS2 cycling.