Succinct articles now highlight excellent research in JXB every month

18 March 2016 - By: Christine Raines and Jonathan Ingram

Succinct articles now highlight excellent research in JXB every month

Rotundone provides the black pepper aroma in Syrah wines
Rotundone provides the black pepper aroma in Syrah wines. Photo: Archive Fondazione Edmund Mach – M. Brega

By Christine Raines and Jonathan Ingram

Hideki Takase, Kanako Sasaki, Hideyuki Shinmori, Akira Shinohara, Chihiro Mochizuki, Hironori Kobayashi, Gen Ikoma, Hiroshi Saito, Hironori Matsuo, Shunji Suzuki and Ryoji Takata J. Exp. Bot. (2016) 67 (3): 787–798 doi:10.1093/jxb/erv496

Damian Paul Drew, Trine Bundgaard Andersen, Crystal Sweetman, Birger Lindberg Møller, Christopher Ford and Henrik Toft Simonsen J. Exp. Bot. (2016) 67 (3): 799–808 doi:10.1093/jxb/erv491

Stefan Kircher and Peter Schopfer J. Exp. Bot.(2016) 67 (5) doi:10.1093/jxb/erv541

Peppery notes are part of the character of a good Syrah (or Shiraz) wine and favourite herbs like rosemary and thyme. They come from rotundone, and research reported by Drew et al. and Takase et al. in JXB has now identified the enzymes responsible for the synthesis of the precursor of this compound, alpha-guaiene, and for its conversion to the finished, and rather elusive, product. It leads the way to understanding the basis for the variation in aroma production in different wine varieties. Roots are a more acquired taste, but every scientist likes a tidy experiment that shifts our collective thinking. A paper by Kircher and Schopfer presents evidence that both curvature and frequency cues are required to determine the location of the development of lateral root primordia. Importantly, this novel work provides the basis for unifying two opposing theories enabling this field to focus on the integrating signal that determines lateral root initiation.

For non-specialists, do take the opportunity to look at our new Insight articles, highlighting thought-provoking research in each JXB issue. Fulvio Mattivi shares his fascination with the Syrah story in issue 67 (3), as well as educating us on the complexity of wines (and the power of trace amounts of rotundone left on rinsed glassware used in its isolation to fill a room with black pepper aroma). And Ben Scheres and Marta Laskowski are clearly inspired by the work on understanding basic root architecture in 67 (5), as well as enjoying just how much can be revealed by that humble lab staple, the petri dish.


Category: Plant Biology

Christine Raines & Jonathan Ingram

Christine Raines is a Professor of Plant and Molecular Physiology at the University of Essex as well as being Editor in Chief of the Journal of Experimental Botany. Christine is also a member of the SEB Plant Sections Committee and the SEB Council.

Jonathan Ingram is Senior Commissioning Editor/ Science Writer for Journal of Experimental Botany. Jonathan moved from lab research into publishing and communications with the launch of Trends in Plant Science in 1995, then going on to New Phytologist and, in the third sector, Age UK and Mind.