25th Jul 2014

Apologies there has been no Arabidopsis Research Round-up for a few weeks – as you may have seen on the Weeding the Gems blog, the GARNet team has been here, there and everywhere over the last few weeks, and our travelling isn’t over yet! There have been some really great papers published in the last month or so, so in an attempt to catch up, here’s some of the ones we missed in June.


  • Muller-Xing R, Clarenz O, Pokorny L, Goodrich J and Schubert D. Polycomb-group proteins and FLOWERING LOCUS T maintain commitment to flowering in Arabidopsis thaliana. The Plant Cell, 19 May 2014. DOI: 10.1105/tpc.114.123323.

While it is known that FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) encodes flower-inducing florigen, it is not well understood how the plant commits to maintaining a stable flowering state since FT is only transiently expressed. Here the authors, from the University of Edinburgh and Heinrich-Heine University in Germany, show that Polycomb-group proteins, which mediate epigenetic gene regulation, are able to indirectly sustain expression of FT.


  • Pajoro A, Blewers S, Dougali E et al. The (r)evolution of gene regulatory networks controlling Arabidopsis plant reproduction; a two decades history. Journal of Experimental Botany, 9 June 2014. DOI: 10.1093/jxb/eru233. [Open Access]

This really useful review provides an overview of recent progress in understanding the complex regulatory networks that underlie the major steps in plant reproduction. It focuses on Arabidopsis thaliana as the model for basic plant science research, but also discusses the conserved nature of many of Arabidopsis’ processes in other plants. It was put together by an international team, which included Sandra Biewers and Brendan Davis from the University of Leeds.


  • Grubb CD, Zipp BJ, Kopycki J, Schubert M, Quint M, Lim E-K, Bowles DJ, Pedras MSC and Abel S. Comparative analysis of Arabidopsis UGT74 glucosyltransferases reveals a special role of UGT74C1 in glucosinolate biosynthesis. The Plant Journal, 13 June 2014. DOI: 10.1111/tpj.12541.

Eng-Kat Liam and Dianna Bowles from the University of York collaborated on this paper, which reveals new understanding of the glucosinolate biosynthesis pathway. It was previously understood that the thiohydroxyimate S-glucosyltransferase UGT74B1 was important in the core pathway, but is functionally redundant. Following an in vitro activity screen, we now understand that other enzymes in the UTG74 clade are involved, with UTG74C1 being particularly important in the synthesis of aliphatic glucosinolates. 


  • Sanchez-Moran E and Armstrong SJ. Meiotic chromosome synapsis and recombination in Arabidopsis thaliana: new ways of integrating cytological and molecular approaches. Chromosome Research, 19 June 2014. DOI: 10.1007/s10577-014-9426-8. [Open Access]

Another really useful review article, this time in Springer’s Chromosome Research journal, and coming from Eugenio Sanchez Moran and Sue Armstrong at the University of Birmingham. This paper provides an overview of meiosis research, focusing on the special contribution that Arabidopsis thaliana has made to our understanding of plant meiosis, and its implications for plant breeding and agriculture.


  • Zhang B, Tremousaygue D, Denance N, van Esse HP, Hörger AC, Dabos P, Goffner D, Thomma BPHJ, van der Hoorn RAL and Tuominen H. PIRIN2 stabilizes cysteine protease XCP2 and increases susceptibility to the vascular pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum in Arabidopsis. The Plant Journal, 20 June 2014. DOI: 10.1111/tpj.12602. [Open Access]

Anja Hörger, currently working at the Plant Chemetics laboratory at the University of Oxford, was involved in this paper, which provides new understanding on the role of PIRIN proteins. Though we know that PIRINs are a member of the cuprin superfamily, we don’t really know what they do – but this group has identified a role for PIRIN2 as a resistance factor against the bacterial plant pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum.  


  • Attard A, Evangelisti E, Kebdani-Minet N, Panabieres F, Deleury E, Maggio C, Ponchet M and Gourgues M. Transcriptome dynamics of Arabidopsis thaliana root penetration by the oomycete pathogen Phytophthora parasitica. BMC Genomics, 29 June 2014. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2164-15-538. [Open Access]

Edouard Evangelisti from the Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge, contributed to this otherwise French-led paper in BMC Genomics, which describes research  research leading to the characterisation of the genetic program activated during the initial invasion of plant cells by the pathogen Phytopthora parasitica.