Green is back for a few months in the northern hemisphere as winter is slowly giving way to spring. Living cells that have slumbered are now awake and starting to divide, forcing green buds and colorful petals to grow. Dormant genes are being turned on and active genes being switched off. New growth above and … More 🌱
Cells are the units that make up life. Multi-cellular organisms like humans or plants can be millions or trillions of cells. Most cells are also specialized in function. Skin cells look and do very different things from a brain neuron. A leaf cell is much different than a root cell. Specialized (i.e. differentiated) cells started … More How (plant) cells know who they are.
Plants have roots. And a new way of imaging them was recently published in eLife. It’s called GLO-roots and is a way to monitor roots growing in soil as well as track gene expression in those roots via glowing reporters detectable by a very sensitive imaging camera. The story of GLO-roots is clever and new, … More Roots of Modern Plant Biology.
Being multi-cellular has advantages. Specialization of cells for different jobs is one advantage– akin to humans adopting agriculture, freeing up some of us to do other things. Multi-cellularity is also quite challenging as those cells have to communicate well together and there are more cells to feed/keep healthy. Different cells have to be able to … More Guardians of Gas Exchange.
Do you ever wonder about how a plant goes from seed to whole plant? The flip answer is ‘it grows’. But how? How is a plant organized to generate shoots, leaves, roots, flowers, etc.? A scientist that studied that question passed away recently. His name: Ian Sussex. One of his former postdocs and a great … More Ian Sussex and Plant Meristems