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Showing posts from March, 2017

Mutant series: Argonaute 1 (AGO1)

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ARGONAUTE (AGO) protein family was named first as PAZ proteins. "PAZ" represents p ELEMENT-INDUCED WIMPY TESTS (PIWI) from Drosophila, ARGONAUTE1  (AGO1) and  ZWILLE (ZIL) from Arabidopsis thaliana. All these proteins were discovered initially, and they shared a common domain.   
Later, it has been found that DICER proteins also contain PAZ domain. To distinguish them from DICER proteins, then it was renamed as PPD (PAZ PIWI DOMAINS) proteins. Because of this renaming, it clearly distinguished between ARGONAUTE and DICER based on the presence of domains. For ARGONAUTE, PIWI domain is unique.   
From the functional analysis, it had been shown that few PPD proteins has RNaseH-like activity, cleaves targeted ssRNA (single-stranded RNA). To make an adjustment with the DICER for naming, they named as SLICER. It's a cool name, isn't it? Eric Lander called it "enzymatic king-fu"! 
However, problems remained. Not every member of this PPD protein family has RNaseH-like…

Plant Direct

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For plant scientists, two most popular plant specific journals are - The Plant Cell & Plant Physiology. Interestingly, both of these journals are publication venture of American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB). As a result, massive submission trafficking is going on through these journals. Let's consider few facts about these journals. Both of these journals have monthly issues. Total 24 issues. Each issue has 8-10 or maximum 12 research article. Annually approximately 250 research articles are published. On the other side, the number of lab working with only model plant Arabidopsis is several thousand. Just think about, what is expecting number if we consider all plant science lab around the globe. This facts and figures clearly illustrate that top 5% lab can publish up to that mark. But, if any manuscripts bounced back from ASPB journal doesn't mean that it's not worthy enough to be published in a respected journal. Rather than it means that scopes are less compar…

Mutant series: LORD OF THE RINGS 1 (LOTR1)

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I'm a huge fan of Niko Geldner and Casparian strip story. A new paper came up recently in Current Biology which is like another bead of that string.  Rather than describing the whole story, this post will focus only about the newly identified gene reported in this paper. In a broader sense, "Mutant series" is going to be lot more fun to know about the story behind the naming of mutants and science as well as. 
Figure 1: Graphical abstract of the paper
Nutrients pass through two ways - apoplastic and symplastic pathway - to enter the root system. Formation of Casparian strips and suberin lamellae limits the free diffusion of nutrients and harmful substances. In root, endodermis cells have Casparian strips and kind of act as a belt around the vascular tissues to control nutrient entry. Casparian strips are ring-like lignin polymers deposited in the middle of anticlinal cell walls between endodermal cells and fill the gap between them. Suberin lamellae are glycerolipid polyme…