4th Nov 2016

A couple of weeks of inactivity leads to a bumper edition of the Arabidopsis Research Roundup. Firstly are two papers from the JIC led by Janelle Balk and Caroline Dean that look at the regulation of the maturation of Fe-S protein complexes or of FLC expression respectively. Secondly is a study from Liam Dolan in Oxford that looks at regulation of the root-hair specific gene expression. Thirdly are a pair of papers that include work from Phil Wigge’s lab at SLCU that uncover an important mechanism for thermosensing in plants. Fourth is a paper from the University of Bristol that looks at the factors that control the regulation of plastid RNA expression. Fifth are a set of three papers that look at different aspects of reproductive development from the Universities of Nottingham, Bath or Durham. Next is a study that includes members of NASC that looks at the transcriptional response to co-predation by two different insects and finally are two studies that focus on work in plants closely related to Arabidopsis thaliana, namely A.Lyrata for a study into the evolution of SI and also the published genome sequence of Cardamine hirsute.

Bastow EL, Bych K, Crack JC, Le Brun NE2, Balk J (2016) NBP35 interacts with DRE2 in the maturation of cytosolic iron-sulfur proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant J. Open Access

Janelle Balk (JIC) is the corresponding author on this study that investigates the role of NBP35 in the assembly of Fe-S protein assembly and uncovers its interaction with the DRE2 protein.


Rosa S, Duncan S, Dean C (2016) Mutually exclusive sense-antisense transcription at FLC facilitates environmentally induced gene repression Nat Commun. Open Access

Caroline Dean (JIC) leads this study that continues her labs analysis of the mechanisms that regulate eukaryotic gene expression focused on the FLC locus. This advance further assesses the role of the COOLAIR antisense transcript on the control of FLC expression.


Vijayakumar P, Datta S, Dolan L (2016) ROOT HAIR DEFECTIVE SIX-LIKE4 (RSL4) promotes root hair elongation by transcriptionally regulating the expression of genes required for cell growth. New Phytologist. Open Access

This paper from the lab of Liam Dolan (University of Oxford) looks at the gene expression network dependent on the role of the ROOT HAIR DEFECTIVE SIX-LIKE4 (RSL4) gene. This reveals genes that are involved in multiple pathways involved in growth including cell signalling and cell wall modifications.


Legris M, Klose C, Burgie ES, Costigliolo C, Neme M, Hiltbrunner A, Wigge PA, Schäfer E, Vierstra RD, Casal JJ (2016) Phytochrome B integrates light and temperature signals in Arabidopsis. Science

Jung JH, Domijan M, Klose C, Biswas S, Ezer D, Gao M, Khattak AK, Box MS, Charoensawan V, Cortijo S, Kumar M, Grant A, Locke JC, Schäfer E, Jaeger KE, Wigge PA (2016) Phytochromes function as thermosensors in Arabidopsis. Science.

These back-to-back papers both include work from Phil Wigge’s lab at the Sainsbury Laboratory in Cambridge. They discover that phytochromeB acts as a thermosensor providing exquisite integration of light and temperature sensing in plants.


Belbin FE, Noordally ZB, Wetherill SJ, Atkins KA, Franklin KA, Dodd AN (2016) Integration of light and circadian signals that regulate chloroplast transcription by a nuclear-encoded sigma factor New Phytol.

Open Access

GARNet committee member Anthony Dodd and colleague Kerry Franklin (University of Bristol) lead this paper that discovers additional aspects of the regulation of nuclear-encoded sigma factor subunit SIG5 that control activity of the plastid-encoded RNA polymerase. They show SIG5 is regulated by an integrated set of light and circadian-mediated signals.

Ferguson AC, Pearce S, Band LR, Yang C, Ferjentsikova I, King J, Yuan Z, Zhang D, Wilson ZA (2016) Biphasic regulation of the transcription factor ABORTED MICROSPORES (AMS) is essential for tapetum and pollen development in Arabidopsis. New Phytol.

GARNet committee member Zoe Wilson and colleagues at CPIB in Nottingham collaborate with Chinese researchers to investigate the role of the master regulator ABORTED MICROSPORES in pollen development, mostly through the use of an inducible promotor construct.  n addition they include mathematical modelling of the protein interactions that regulate pollen development.

Wang L, Clarke LA, Eason RJ, Parker CC, Qi B, Scott RJ, Doughty J (2016) PCP-B class pollen coat proteins are key regulators of the hydration checkpoint in Arabidopsis thaliana pollen-stigma interactions New Phytol.

Open Access

This study comes from the University of Bath and identifies a novel set of small cysteine-rich proteins (CRPs) that are involved in the pollen-pistil interaction. These proteins are involved in the pollen hydration ‘checkpoint’ that is critical for pollen recognition at the stigma.

Campanaro A, Battaglia R, Galbiati M, Sadanandom A, Tonelli C, Conti L (2016) SUMO proteases OTS1 and 2 control filament elongation through a DELLA-dependent mechanism. Plant Reprod.

This Italian-led study includes Ari Sadanandom (Durham University) as a co-author and builds upon past work in this lab that has looked at the role of the OTS SUMO proteases. This paper shows that OTS1 and OTS2 are involved in stamen elongation in a response that overlaps with GA signaling.


Kroes A, Broekgaarden C, Castellanos Uribe M, May S, van Loon JJ, Dicke M (2016) Brevicoryne brassicae aphids interfere with transcriptome responses of Arabidopsis thaliana to feeding by Plutella xylostella caterpillars in a density-dependent manner Oecologia.

Open Access

Two members of NASC, including GARNet committee member Sean May, are co-authors on this German-led study that investigates how the relationship between aphid and caterpillars effects the Arabidopsis transcriptome. They show that the response to caterpillars was altered by additional aphid predation, which was also dependent on aphid density.

Mable BK, Hagmann J, Kim ST, Adam A, Kilbride E, Weigel D, Stift M (2016) What causes mating system shifts in plants? Arabidopsis lyrata as a case study. Heredity

Members of Mark Stift’s lab group, which used to be at the University of Glasgow, are included in this German-led study that uses Arabidopsis lyrata to investigate the factors that contribute to the genetic breakdown of self-incompatibility (SI).

Gan X, Hay A, Kwantes M, Haberer G, Hallab A, Ioio RD, Hofhuis H, Pieper B, Cartolano M, Neumann U, Nikolov LA, Song B, Hajheidari M, Briskine R, Kougioumoutzi E, Vlad D, Broholm S, Hein J, Meksem K, Lightfoot D, Shimizu KK, Shimizu-Inatsugi R, Imprialou M, Kudrna D, Wing R, Sato S, Huijser P, Filatov D, Mayer KF, Mott R, Tsiantis M (2016) The Cardamine hirsuta genome offers insight into the evolution of morphological diversity.

Nat Plants.

This publication of the Cardamine hirsuita genome is led by Miltos Tsiantis and includes participants from University of Oxford and UCL. They demonstrate specific roles for Cardamine proteins in leaf diversity and seed pod shatter.