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Mutant Series: THESEUS (THE)

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Plants have one unique component as a boundary, known as "cell wall". Alteration of the cell wall or its components demonstrates visible phenotype at the whole plant level. One of the major components of the cell wall is cellulose.  
Cellulose-deficient mutant, such as procuste 1-1 (prc1-1), has short hypocotyl containing phenotype. prc1-1 has the defect in cellulose synthase catalytic subunit CESA6. But, it was not known how the short hypocotyl containing phenotype was developmentally coordinated. To understand that when chemical mutagenesis was introduced in the prc1-1 mutant background, 5 intermediate length hypocotyls (hypocotyl was between the wild-type and prc1-1) containing plants were picked up. Among these 5, the same gene was mutated into 2 cases. They named that gene THESEUS (THE). Theseus was the Greek mythical founder-hero of Athens and he slaughtered the rogue smith and bandit Procrustes. Here, in Arabidopsis, the short hypocotyl of pcr1-1 is also rescued by the…

BUM: Auxin inhibitor or Footballer?

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It's the time of the Football World Cup and we are going to find out the new champion within a week or so. It was a quite exciting month, but it doesn't mean that I can take a break from my regular study/work. These days I was working on auxin inhibitors and found something really interesting to share. Here it goes. 
Auxin uses diffusion and transport system for cell to cell movement. Popular auxin transporters are AUX1 as influx carrier; PINs as efflux carrier and several ABC transporters (ABCB1 and ABCB19). We often use chemical inhibitors of transporters to understand the transport mechanism and physiological perspective of plant development. Dissect the auxin efflux by separating the involvements of PINs and ABC transporters are usually carried out through specific inhibitors targeting ABC transporters. One of them such inhibitors is 2-[4-(diethylamino)-2-hydroxybenzoyl]benzoic acid a.k.a. BUM. BUM does not affect PINs as like as another inhibitor Gravacin. An interesting f…

Mutant Series: IRON MAN (IMA)

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Guess, how many people are suffering from Iron-deficiency induced anemia (IDA)?
It's more than one billion worldwide!

The number is incredibly big. It was even difficult for me to believe at the first time. The main cause of the disease is iron (Fe) deficiency. Fe is by mass the most common element on earth. Plants uptake Fe and as a consumer, we obtain Fe from the edible parts of plants. Unfortunately, free forms of Fe is taken up by plants and some parts of the soil which is rare. This is how such an abundant element becomes unavailable. Simply, finding the plant capable of uptaking more Fe or efficient of Fe uptake from the Fe-deficient soil will help to provide good enough amount of Fe in our food and get rid of IDA. 
The image is collected from wanelo.com
Recently in a preprint, there is a report about a short 19 C-terminal amino acid sequence consensus motif which is indispensable for Fe uptake in plants. They named it IRON MAN (IMA). It's based on the name of the superh…

What We're Reading: Guest contributions

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What We're Reading (WWR) is a weekly series on Plantae. In a time when research articles are constantly increasing every day, it's kind of challenging for all of us to keep the pace. WWR tries to cover exciting stories in summarized form. Mary Williams is the editor of this amazing series and along with her, other Plantae fellows, ASPB ambassadors, and plant biologists also contribute as well as. You may find the following article interesting to know details about WWR series. 
Why We're Writing "What We're Reading"
Apart from the ARIBIDOPSIS, I have made a commitment to write summaries regularly for WWR series. Sometimes, I try to contribute as a guest editor too. As I started to contribute from last year, I have realized that it would be beneficial for me and my readers, followers, and subscribers to have all contributed summaries for WWR in one particular place. To achieve this purpose, I'm going to consolidate every link of contributed summaries in this …

Mutant Series: SHY GIRL (SyGl)

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It's been few months, I haven't share any whimsical or funny gene or mutant. Partly, I was extremely busy with manuscript writing (academic excuse!) and another way, just holding myself to start with a very exciting story out of my comfort zone. Recently, I read an amazing article and definitely involves a funny and logical name too. Here it goes. 

During the evolution of land plants, we mostly observe flowering plant capable of producing fruits. These flowering plants are known as "angiosperm in plant biology term. Among flowering plants, we sometimes see that male and female organ stay at the same time, called "hermaphroditism". But, there is another type, which has a more similar sexual system as human. In that case, an individual plant has either male or female identity like the human. This is known as "dioecious". In the evolutionary time scale, dioecious plants appear later.  

In case of human, we already know that Y chromosome contains male-determ…

Twin Seedlings

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Twins: Biological facts
Not all of us are lucky enough to have twins! the point of mentioning it is that twin formation is not a regular event. In general, twins are formed in human embryos in two possible ways. Either, a single fertilized egg splits into two or separate eggs are fertilized two separate sperms. 

How plants maintain selectivity
The fundamental processes of life in plant system are analogous to the human system. In most plants, from the single embryo, they produce single seedling or plant. Usually, female germline starts with 1 MMC (megaspore mother cell) per ovule and becomes 4 megaspores through the process of meiosis. Out of these 4, only one survives to produce FM (functional megaspore) and other 3 megaspores undergo degeneration process. The only FM forms the embryo sac. This is how plant selectively let only one megaspore survive and for embryo sac. (Illustration is provided at the end of article). 
Does plant form twins
If we think about the formation of twins in huma…

Black Panther: Plant Biologist's Review

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This weekend I went to the theater with friends to watch "Black Panther". Most of the times, I fall in sleep in the halfway of the movie. Fortunately, I didn't at this time. Apart from that, this movie implanted few questions in the viewer's mind. One issue is definitely about the "heart-shaped herb". 


Mythology and Technology of Wakanda
The story of the movie went way back to the history of Wakanda and the futuristic technological advancement of the tribe. There is a subtle link between their past and future. Their groundbreaking future technologies are based on Vibranium. In the past, the place was crashed by a huge meteorite containing Vibranium. It caused massive radiation, stayed in their environment till today and undoubtedly changed the ecology of Wakanda. It shaped the plant life in that region. The radiation-caused mutation gave rise to a diverse plant kingdom, which is rare in the other part of the world. The heart-shaped herb was one of the example…