Genome-wide association with structural variants
Genome-wide association is a powerful tool to identify the molecular causes of trait diversity within species. In most association studies, genotyping single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) is regarded as sufficient. [more]
With a little help from their friends: plants rely on their resident bacteria to protect them from harmful microbes
Conclusions of a study published in the journal CELL that was led by Stephane Hacquard and Paul Schulze-Lefert at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne, Germany. [more]

Large cells for tiny leaves

October 26, 2018
Scientists identify mechanism that controls leaf growth and shape [more]
Nitrogen-fixing bacteria and their plant hosts: old friends that go way back
The relationship between so-called rhizobia, nitrogen-fixing bacteria that are mostly from the order Rhizobiales, and leguminous plants is one of the best-characterized beneficial plant-microbe interactions in all of nature. [more]
A genetic barcode for the epigenetic repression of the floral program
Plant cells silence their flowering genes with the help of a small DNA-binding protein family which also stabilizes telomeres and promotes the expression of photosynthetic genes. A genetic barcodes shows this family what has to be done. These proteins are thus important mediators of epigenetic imprinting and determine cell fate in plants (Nature Genetics, doi: 10.1038/s41588-018-0109-9). [more]
<p>Revealing the intricacy of plant-bacteria interactions</p>
A team of researchers from Germany and the US led by Kenichi Tsuda at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research (MPIPZ) in Cologne have now developed a method that can be used to probe the complexity of plant-bacteria interactions. [more]

A jigsaw puzzle of plant cells

February 28, 2018
The epidermal cells of many plant organs resemble the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle helping them withstand the high pressure in their interior [more]
Soil resident microbes are resilient to long-term fertilizer application
New work from a team of scientists headed by Paul Schulze-Lefert at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne [more]
Enhancing leaf shape diversity

Enhancing leaf shape diversity

November 16, 2016
A small piece of DNA with a large effect on leaf shape [more]
Not without my microbiome

Not without my microbiome

November 14, 2016
Legume-rhizobia symbiosis influences bacterial community in plant roots [more]
Bittercress genome

Bittercress genome

October 31, 2016
A high-quality genome sequence helps pinpoint the genetic basis for trait diversity.  [more]
Exploding myths about seed dispersal
Scientists discover how a common garden weed expels its seeds at record speeds. [more]
Flowering at the right time
The success of plant and animal species depends on producing as many offspring as possible. [more]
When foes become friends
A few modifications in the genome turn a fungal plant pathogen into a potentially beneficial organism [more]
The Art of Being Connected in the Microbial World
Similar to the skin of humans millions of microbes are living on the surface of a leaf influencing the health and fitness of the plant. [more]

Make Peace not War

December 18, 2015
“The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend”. Abraham Lincoln’s political wisdom can also be transferred to evolution as illustrated by many examples of mutually beneficial interactions or even symbioses between species that started out as deadly adversaries. [more]
Toolkit for microbiota research
Researchers cultivate the majority of bacteria in the laboratory that colonize Arabidopsis plants in nature [more]
Pleiotropy influences the genes shaping leaf diversity [more]
Wild and domesticated varieties of tomato have a different circadian rhythm [more]
Variation in leaf shapes within a plant species is caused by differences in how fast plants develop [more]
Direct capture of a potent bacterial virulence activity by a plant immune receptor pair
In this article published in Cell, Le Roux et al. (2015), describe an exquisite recognition mechanism in the model plant species Arabidopsis. [more]
Exploring the maintenance and diversity of plant immunity genes in nature
A study published by Alcazar et al in PLoS Genetics provides some important leads to the evolution of the immune system in European populations of Arabidopsis thaliana and mechanisms underlying the maintenance of particular immunity-related genes or allelic forms in nature. [more]
A small molecule inhibits jasmonic acid and helps to explain its effects [more]

Gene for dissected leaves

February 14, 2014
Arabidopsis thaliana lost the RCO gene over the course of evolution and thus forms simple leaves [more]

Immune system's errand boy

December 16, 2013
Signalling pathway links local and systemic plant immunity [more]
The molecular architecture of three key proteins and their complexes reveals how plants fine-tune their immune response to pathogens [more]
The parasitic plant fungi primarily turn to sexual reproduction when host plants improve their defense mechanisms [more]
Alpine rock cress uses a ribonucleic acid to measure its age and tell when it’s the right time to flower [more]
An algorithm that compares genomes to find serious mutations [more]
Even in closely-related species, life-style moulds the genetic make-up of pathogens and how their genes are used [more]
Plants choose the soil bacteria that they allow into their roots [more]
A change in its internal clock helps barley adjust to cultivation in northern environments with short summers [more]
A leaf gene active in the maize cob causes leaves to grow in the male and female inflorescences [more]
Immune response depends on the distribution of plant and bacterial proteins [more]
When seeds from the thale cress Arabidopsis thaliana mature, their cell nuclei reduce in size and the chromatin condenses [more]
So-called "coil-coil domain" drives cells to programmed cell death [more]
When it comes to pollen formation, seed plants go for overproduction [more]
The fungal pathogen has only those genes left that are necessary for its parasitical existence [more]

Mildew-resistant and infertile

November 24, 2010
Two proteins involved in powdery mildew infection in plants also play an important role in fertilisation [more]
Crossbreeding can result in incompatible gene combinations [more]

Barley genes against drought

November 08, 2010
With many regions of the world becoming more arid as a result of the climate change, the crop yield also decreases. New types of crops should therefore be more resistant to aridity. [more]
New insights into the function of microRNAs in plants: abolishing a microRNA converts petals to stamens [more]
Max Planck researchers develop another tool for making the interactions between proteins visible [more]

The Secret Love Life of Plants

December 08, 2005
Researchers in Cologne discover signals between plant embryos and their endosperm [more]
Max Planck researchers in Cologne, Germany demonstrate that a multi-step defence system underlies the durable resistance of plants to fungal parasites [more]

Take Two!

October 20, 2005
Max Planck researchers in Cologne have discovered how protein kinases in plants regulate adaptation to changing light conditions [more]

Imported Fitness

August 19, 2004
Max Planck Researcher in Cologne, Germany, unravel mechanism of resistance to fungal infection in Barley [more]
Max Planck scientists have discovered how plants initiate the formation of flowers depending on the length of day and time of year [more]
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