Entries by Gaby Auge

What We’re Reading: June 23rd

This week’s What We’re Reading is guest edited by Gaby Auge, a Senior Research Associate at Fundación Instituto Leloir, IIBBA-CONICET (www.leloir.org.ar), in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Gaby’s research interests focus on how environmental changes shape plant responses (plasticity), and the ecological and evolutionary consequences such plasticity may have. Gaby is also interested in science communication to […]

Role of SPA proteins in COP1 subcellular localization ($)

SPA (SUPPRESSOR OF PHYTOCHROME A-105) proteins form a complex with COP1  (CONSTITUTIVELY PHOTOMORPHOGENIC 1) and are required for COP1 to respond to changes in the light environment and transduce light signals and influence plant development. In this paper, Balcerowicz et al. investigated the importance of SPA proteins in the COP1/SPA complex. Using fluorescence, they could […]

Early history of Arabidopsis thaliana

Arabidopsis thaliana is a good study system to shed light on evolutionary processes. Its broad native range and genetic diversity provide resources to study speciation and local adaptation. Durvasula et al. studied the early history and transition to selfing of this species by comparing genome sequences of populations native to Eurasia and Africa. They found […]

Review: Insights into grassland ecosystem responses to global environmental change – NutNet ($)

Environmental changes affect the biodiversity (variety of life forms) and productivity (conversion of sunlight energy and carbon into plant biomass) of ecological communities. The collaborative Nutrient Network (NutNet) was created 10 years ago with the goal of synthesizing studies of ecosystem environmental responses (mainly of grasslands) and tackling their shortcomings. This review by Borer et […]

Review: Novel consequences of bird pollination on plant mating

Pollination is an important evolutionary process as it allows gene flow. If pollen travels long distances, the likelihood of inbreeding is reduced and fitness may be increased. Pollen dispersal can be assisted by pollinators, and although most plants are pollinated by insects, birds are also important and contribute to pollination of around 500 vascular plant […]

Review: Insights into plant adaptation from transcriptomics and proteomics studies

Omics approaches have helped shed light on how plants relate to their environment and how they respond to changes in it. Although still relatively underutilized, comparative transcriptomics and proteomics approaches also can be applied to study mechanisms of plant adaptation. Voelckel et al. discuss the pros and cons of using omics approaches to study adaptability, […]

Decreasing readability in scientific papers over time

“Reporting science clearly and accurately is a fundamental part of the scientific process, facilitating both the dissemination of knowledge and reproducibility of results.” In this way, Plavén-Sigray et al. introduce us to their preprint in which they analyzed readability in over 700,000 abstracts of scientific articles published in 122 biomedical journals from 1881-2015. Using two […]

Review: The evo-devo of plant speciation

Speciation events result from a combination of molecular, environmental and stochastic (random) factors. Several models developed in the last 150 years help to explain how species emerge, but more recently evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) approaches give us tools to decipher plant speciation. In this review, Fernández-Mazueco and Glover show us the available evidence, from macro- […]

Divergent evolution driven by pollinators

A great variety of plants rely on pollinators to be fertilized successfully. This close relationship is thought to drive evolutionary diversification in plants, making the presence or absence of pollinators in response to climate change an increasingly relevant matter. Gervasi and Schiestl addressed the question of how pollinators influence real-time evolution of adaptive traits in […]

Divergence of annuality and perenniality in Brassicaceae and contribution of FLC variation ($)

FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC) is a flowering repressor that is highly conserved in the Brassicaceae family. This family contains species that show an annual life history (plants that flower and senesce, giving one generation per year), as well as perennials (plants that flower several times in their life cycle and don’t senesce after producing the […]

Review: Progeny responses to maternal vs progeny environmental cues

The range of responses an individual could display is a contribution of the inheritance of gene variants that determine such responses and the environments experienced by the individual itself and prior generations (nongenetic inheritance). In this review, we discuss recent empirical data to help us understand how the same cues experienced across and within generations […]

Early evolution of the land plant circadian clock

Clocks in green algae have been described as simple two-gene loops, while clocks in angiosperms have evolved to complex interlocked loops. This striking jump in complexity led Linde et al. to investigate the clocks in bryophytes and charophytes to shed light on this transition. First, through the sequence analysis of bryophyte’s and charophyte’s available genomes, […]

Review: Winter and summer dormancy: similar adaptive strategies?

Dormancy (growth arrest) is a state by which seeds and plants can survive harsh conditions. Seasonal dormancy is a strategy to survive seasonally unfavorable conditions. Plants can display winter and summer dormancy. Although woody species are the main study systems for winter dormancy, herbaceous species show us that both kinds of dormancy share some similarities, […]

Response of US crops to elevated temperatures

Climate change could affect agricultural productivity by increasing the number of days with temperatures above 30°C that staple crops like soybean, maize and wheat will experience during a given growing season. Schauberger et al. used nine statistical models to assess future threats to US crops. They found, consistent with previous studies, that for the crops […]

Regulation of tulip flowering by temperature ($)

Cultivation of Tulipa gesneriana (tulip), an economically important species due to its ornamental value, can be affected by warming winters, leading to low quality flowers produced out of season. Leeggangers et al. have sequenced RNA and used top-down and bottom-up approaches in tulips grown in two contrasting environments (cool and warm temperatures) to shed light […]

Review: Dark signaling in plants ($)

Plants use light as a source of energy and information; however, they are also sensitive and respond to  light/dark diurnal cycling, with many processes happening during the dark phase of the diurnal cycle. In this review, Seluzicki et al. emphasize the importance of studying and understanding what happens with the physiology of plants in darkness. […]

Sub-Antarctic plants warm up themselves

High latitude and altitude plants experience short growing seasons, consistent low temperatures, windy environments and unpredictable sunny spots. These plants are usually small and rely on self-pollination, but in Campbell, a Sub-Antarctic island, there are gardens of megaherbs that defy the predictions of what the flora should be according to the environment. Little et al. […]

Learning by association in plants

Animals can easily establish associations between environmental cues and food sources, acquiring conditional information that guides their foraging behaviour and in consequence, their survival. Proving whether plants show association or conditional learning has been tricky, but fortunately for us, Gagliano et al. have come with a way to show that learning by association is, in […]

Review: Competence to flower

The transition between vegetative and reproductive stages in the plant life cycle implies a change in the developmental program of the shoot apical meristem to stop developing leaves and start developing floral buds. The factors that allow this transition to happen are many and the underlying mechanisms by which those factors induce flowering have been […]

Plant farming by ants ($)

Farming mutualisms, in which an organism benefits from another to promote growth, have evolved in many lineages. In particular, symbioses between plants and ants are mostly defensive mutualisms. In this paper, Chomicki and Renner describe the obligate mutualism observed between epiphytes in the genus Squamellaria and Philidris nagasau ants. They observed that P. nagasau ants […]