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Building plant weapons

Posted by on July 27th, 2020

By Fei Zhang and Vivian F. Irish Flowering plants, from giant sequoias to miniscule duckweed, all depend on the action of small populations of cells, called meristems, to grow.  Meristems contain stem cells that continue to proliferate to give rise to roots, shoots, leaves, and branches. However, there are situations in which meristematic cells cease[…]

Bent into shape: The rules of tree form

Posted by on February 17th, 2020

From Knowable Magazine’s Special Report: Building Bodies. For an introduction to the series see Eva Emerson and Rosie Mestel’s Node post. How do trees find their sense of direction as they grow? Researchers are getting to the root — and the branches — of how the grandest of plants develop. By Rachel Ehrenberg   There’s[…]

BSDB Gurdon/The Company of Biologists 2019 Summer Studentship Report – Luca Argirò

Posted by on January 17th, 2020

Established by the British Society for Developmental Biology in 2014, The Gurdon/The Company of Biologists Summer Studentship scheme provides financial support to allow highly motivated undergraduate students an opportunity to engage in practical research during their summer vacation. Each year, ten successful applicants spend eight weeks in the research laboratories of their choices, and the feedback[…]

It’s the Father! Paternally expressed BABY BOOM1 initiates embryogenesis in rice

Posted by on January 29th, 2019

The story behind our recent Nature paper ‘A male-expressed rice embryogenic trigger redirected for asexual propagation through seeds‘ For sexually reproducing organisms, the diploid life cycle starts with the fusion of a sperm cell with an egg cell. This process, known as fertilization, results in the formation of a zygote, the first diploid cell from[…]

The people behind the papers – Vinh Ngoc Pham and Enamul Huq

Posted by on January 16th, 2019

This interview, the 53rd in our series, was published in Development last year The ability to sense and respond to light is fundamental to plant development. As seedlings move from the soil to the air, a switch in developmental program occurs to promote light capture and autotrophic growth. A paper in Development now provides a molecular analysis of the[…]

The people behind the papers – Ximena Anleu Gil & Dominique Bergmann

Posted by on July 18th, 2018

Asymmetric division is a widespread mechanism for generating cellular diversity during developmental patterning. The stomata of flowering plants are epidermal valves that regulate gas exchange, and provide an accessible system to investigate the mechanisms of asymmetric cell division both within and across species. A paper in the new issue of Development reports an investigation of the molecular control of this[…]

The people behind the papers – Pauline Anne & Christian Hardtke

Posted by on May 25th, 2018

Short CLE peptides regulate a wide variety of processes during plant development. In the developing root, the receptors and co-receptors for CLEs have remained largely unclear, as have the relationships between different CLEs and different (co-)receptors. A new paper in Development addresses this problem by reporting a new receptor kinase involved in CLE signaling. We caught[…]

Funded places for ECRs in plant development workshop

Posted by on January 23rd, 2018

In April, The Company of Biologists is hosting a workshop ‘Cellular gateways: expanding the role of endocytosis in plant development‘, organised by Jenny Rusinova, Takashi Ueda and Daniel van Damme. There are around 10 funded places available for early career scientists to attend the workshop, along with the 20 speakers. Deadline for applications = 16[…]

Shape the leaves

Posted by on January 10th, 2018

Before I started my PhD study, I didn’t notice that leaves have two sides: the adaxial side and the abaxial side. When my supervisor Dr. Yuling Jiao first asked me whether I would like to work on this leaf dorsiventral developmental process, I thought I should try, for my own curiosity.   The leaf dorsiventral[…]

The people behind the papers – Ross Carter, Yara Sánchez-Corrales, Verônica Grieneisen & Athanasius (Stan) Marée

Posted by on November 29th, 2017

Pavement cells in plant leaves were identified as a puzzle which deviated  from normal cell shape rules by D’Arcy Thompson in his classic text On Growth and Form. Now modern approaches allow researchers to revisit these problems and try to uncover the rules that govern pavement cell topology during leaf development. This week we feature a[…]