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Striga Harro
Strigolactones: New plant hormones in action
23 April 2018

Strigolactones were only recently recognized as an important new class of plant hormone, and are now the subject of intensive research. This is leading to rapid growth in our understanding of their diverse roles, as well as novel agricultural applications. The reviews and research in the latest special issue from Journal of Experimental Botany cover a wide range of aspects, from biosynthesis and specificity to the cascade of events leading to perception and transduction, as well as the importance of strigolactone transport and activity in plant development and plant–microbe interactions. The role of the emerging class of non-canonical strigolactones is...

Cyclotide image 69-3 Jan 2018
A cyclotide tide to sweep agriculture?
30 January 2018

Abundant cyclotide production in plants would be an exciting step forward for agriculture. Such molecular farming could make possible transgenic plants protected by these highly stable defence peptides. Moreover there is the intriguing prospect of cyclotides as medicines in edible plants. A new paper from Simon Poon and co-authors in Journal of Experimental Botany brings these possibilities significantly closer.

Extracellular vesicles
Plants, pathogens, poisoned vesicles
18 December 2017

The commonplace is the pathogen killing the plant. The opposite would be the ultimate defence, and research reported in Journal of Experimental Botany shows the plant may be packing extracellular vesicles with a toxic mix to do just that.

Persulfidation image 68-17 Oct 2017_opt
Persulfidation in plants: the new phosphorylation?
31 October 2017

One in 20 proteins in Arabidopsis is persulfidated: this we now know. Evidence of the role played by hydrogen sulfide signalling in plants has been building in recent years, and it is new methodology which has revealed the likely extent. Indeed, the study by Angeles Aroca and colleagues in Journal of Experimental Botany goes further in showing an association with a wide range of biological functions. See also the separate Insight article for further reflection on the implications of this ground-breaking research, including the questions it opens up from our knowledge of animal systems.