October 6, 2011

Plants are underrepresented on this blog. Thankfully, this isn’t a food blog with only carnivorous cholesterol-thickened readers. But still, plants need representing (woot woot!) and today’s lovely images should help.

Plant cell communication is accomplished through the direct cell-to-cell transport of transcription factors, which are proteins that regulate gene expression. Just as in animal cells, plant development depends on these signals being relayed correctly. A recent paper describes how one transcription factor called SHR (SHORT-ROOT) is trafficked. Koizumi and colleagues identified a SHR-interacting protein called SIEL, which also associates with endosomes. Without SIEL, plant embryos arrest in early development. The images above are cross-sections of roots. Top root is normal, with one layer each of 8 endodermis (E) and 8 cortex (C) cells. SIEL mutants (middle, bottom) had multiple endodermis and cortex layers, each with more cells than in wild-type. The double arrows indicate the thickness of these tissue layers combined.

ResearchBlogging.orgKoizumi, K., Wu, S., MacRae-Crerar, A., & Gallagher, K. (2011). An Essential Protein that Interacts with Endosomes and Promotes Movement of the SHORT-ROOT Transcription Factor Current Biology, 21 (18), 1559-1564 DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2011.08.013
Copyright ©2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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