Phytohormone Research Laboratory

University of Talca - Chile

Science

Oldest plant-like fossils discovered are 1.6 billion years old

The oldest plant-like fossils ever discovered suggest multicellular life began at least 1.6 billion years ago.

PLOS BIOLOGY article: Three-dimensional preservation of cellular and subcellular structures suggests 1.6 billion-year-old crown-group red algae

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Jasmonate Action in Plant Growth and Development

This review provides an up-to-date and comprehensive summary of the jasmonate signaling pathway and crosstalk in the regulation of plant growth and development.

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Si todas las plantas se alimentan de agua, sol y nutrientes del suelo, ¿por qué algunas se volvieron carnívoras?

Con su aroma dulzón atraen a las presas y, una vez que se han posado sobre sus hojas, ya no tienen escapatoria: el interior resbaladizo de las plantas carnívoras conocidas como plantas jarra hace que ya no puedan salir de allí.

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Pseudomonas syringae Type III Effector HopBB1 Promotes Host Transcriptional Repressor Degradation to Regulate Phytohormone Responses and Virulence

Highlights

The transcriptional regulator TCP14 represses JA response to promote disease resistance

The Pseudomonas syringae type III effector HopBB1 interacts with TCP14

HopBB1 activates TCP14-repressed JA response genes and promotes bacterial virulence

HopBB1 targets TCP14 for SCFCOI1-dependent degradation by connecting it to JAZ3

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Inyecciones de Veneno y Miles de Reinas: Qué Hay en los Jardines del Diablo del Amazonas

En la tupida selva amazónica hay unos misteriosos claros que contrastan con la exorbitante diversidad, pues en ellos crece prácticamente una sola especie de árbol. Son "los jardines del Diablo", el hogar de un espíritu malvado.

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Seeds Offer Clue to Domesticated Plants Larger Size

The seeds of domesticated plants could offer clues as to why cultivated crops are larger than their wild cousins, researchers have suggested.

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How Insects Like Bumblebees Do So Much With Tiny Brains

It is tempting to assume that animals need large brains to perform complicated tasks, but the immense skills of some insects and worms suggest small brains are surprisingly powerful.

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Redundancy and Specificity in Jasmonate Signalling

Jasmonates (JAs) are essential phytohormones regulating plant development and environmental adaptation. Many components of the JA-signalling pathway have been identified. However, our insight into the mechanisms by which a single bioactive JA hormone can regulate a myriad of physiological processes and provide specificity in the response remains limited. 

Andrea Chini, Selena Gimenez-Ibanez, Alain Goossens, and Roberto Solano

Current Opinion in Plant Biology. Vol. 33, October 2016, Pages 147–156

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Role and Functioning of bHLH Transcription Factors in Jasmonate Signalling

In the signalling cascades triggered by the phytohormone jasmonate (JA), which modulates a diverse, but specific, range of aspects of plant growth, development and defence, the TFs of the basic helix–loop–helix (bHLH) family play an essential and often conserved role in the plant kingdom. Here, we first discuss the bHLH TFs involved in all kinds of JA-modulated processes in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Secondly, we elaborate on the identity and role of bHLH TFs in the conserved JA-mediated elicitation of specialized metabolism of medicinal and crop species.

Jonas Goossens, Jan Mertens, and Alain Goossens

J Exp Bot (2016) erw440. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erw440

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Evolution of Jasmonate Biosynthesis and Signaling Mechanisms

The molecular mechanisms of jasmonate biosynthesis and signaling have been well characterized in model plants. In this review, they provide an in-depth analysis and overview of the origin and evolution of the jasmonate biosynthesis and signaling pathways.

Guan-Zhu Han

J Exp Bot (2016) erw470. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erw470

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Jasmonate Signaling and Manipulation by Pathogens and Insects

In this review, they focus on recent advances in understanding the mechanism underlying the enigmatic switch between transcriptional repression and hormone-dependent transcriptional activation of JA signaling. They also discuss various strategies used by pathogens and insects to manipulate.

Li Zhang, Feng Zhang, Maeli Melotto, Jian Yao, and Sheng Yang He
J Exp Bot (2017) erw478. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erw478

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Light-Sensing Phytochromes Feel the Heat

Two reports in Science, by Legris et al. and Jung et al., now implicate phytochrome B (phyB) in the thermal regulation of the light-sensing pathways.

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Shoot-to-Root Mobile Transcription Factor HY5 Coordinates Plant Carbon and Nitrogen Acquisition

A new report shows that the HY5 transcription factor moves from shoots to roots in plants, mediating light regulation of root growth and nitrate uptake. This finding offers not only a mechanistic insight into shoot-root communication, but also scope for increasing crop yields.

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Underground Immunity

Arabidopsis thaliana defense hormones shape the plant’s root microbiome. 

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Mechanism Behind Extreme Longevity in Some Plants

Certain plant stem cells rarely divide, a study shows, possibly fending off an accumulation of potentially harmful genetic mutations in some species.

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Evidence of Risk Assessment in Plants Reported

Pea plants seem to assess risks related to nutrient access and direct their roots accordingly.

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How Plant-Soil Feedback Affects Ecological Diversity

Researchers examine how underground microbes and nutrients affect plant populations.

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Lots of Corpse Fowers Bloomed in 2016 and Nobody Knows Why

The corpse flower takes ten years to build up enough energy to bloom, but mysteriously, dozens of them bloomed within weeks of each other in 2016.

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Exposure to Sound Vibrations Lead to Transcriptomic, Proteomic and Hormonal Changes in Arabidopsis

Sound vibration (SV) is considered as an external mechanical force that modulates plant growth and development like other mechanical stimuli (e.g., wind, rain, touch and vibration). A number of previous and recent studies reported developmental responses in plants tailored against SV of varied frequencies. This strongly suggests the existence of sophisticated molecular mechanisms for SV perception and signal transduction.

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1. Vision in Plants via Plant-Specific Ocelli?

2. Eyes in the Chameleon Vine?

3. Plant Ocelli for Visually Guided Plant Behavior

1. & 3. Stefano Mancuso and Frantisek Baluska, University of Firenze, University of Bonn

2. Ernesto Gianoli. Departamento de Biología, Universidad de La Serena

Trends in Plant Science. 

Volume 21, 2016, Pages 727-730.

Volume 22, 2017, Pages 4–5.

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Congreso Futuro 2017: Conozca la increíble Estrategia de las Plantas de Tomate para Defenderse

Las plantas no pueden evitar los problemas, tienen que solucionarlos...
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Las Plantas Tienen Sentidos Como los Nuestros y Capacidad de Resolver Problemas

Stefano Mancuso, Experto en Neurobiología Vegetal, participo en el Congreso Futuro 2017
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Ernesto Gianoli, Profesor de Ecología en la Universidad de la Serena Busca Desentrañar el Misterio de la Planta que se Mimetiza con el Árbol que la Hospeda.

La enredadera pilpilvoqui (Boquila trifoliolata) del Parque Nacional Puyehue cambia la forma de sus hojas para protegerse de los herbívoros. Las hipótesis que explican este fenómeno son tan sorprendentes como la propia especie vegetal.

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Plants Can See, Hear and Smell - and Respond

Plants perceive the world without eyes, ears or brains. Understanding how can teach us a lot about them, and potentially a lot about us as well
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Ginkgo Living Fossil Genome Decoded

The tree is famed for being a “living fossil” - a term used to describe those organisms that have experienced very little change over millions of years. In the case of the Ginkgo, there are specimens preserved in the rock record from 270 million years ago, in the Permian Period. ...

La Planta Que Guarda Un Secreto Contra El Cambio Climático

En uno de los desiertos más secos del planeta y luego de años de búsquedas sin resultados, una expedición de científicos de Chile y Reino Unido realizó un hallazgo extraordinario. ...

Nobody Can Rally Tell You What a Flower Is

Flower is one of the earliest words we learn, and a fundamental part of our every day lives. Flowers may be the most common form of nature we encounter on a day-to-day basis, and yet when we try, they are surprisingly hard to define ...

How Insect-Eating Plants Persuade Insects to Pollinate Them

Grubs gnaw roots, maggots munch fruits and caterpillars chew leaves. In textbook food chains, animals eat plants, not the other way round. ...

Why Does Fall Foliage Turn So Red and Fiery? It Depends

Leaves scream their final cries in color before dropping to the ground. Their shouts — in golden, crimson or scarlet — eventually fade to brown bellows, and their lifeless bodies dry up on the forest floor. ...

Biotechnology

Semillas que viven miles de años, plantas que ayudan a combatir el ébola y el cáncer

El catedrático de biología español José Ramón Alonso reunió hazañas más llamativas de seres extraordinarios en un nuevo libro que tituló "Botánica insólita".

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Why a german lab is growing tomatoes in urine

A strange experiment at the German space agency, DLR, may just feed future Mars expeditions.

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Científicos Descifran con Éxito el Genoma de uno de los Cultivos Más Nutritivos y Menos Aprovechados del Mundo, Según un Estudio Publicado en la Revista Nature

La quinua, el "superalimento" originario de la cordillera de los Andes, podría finalmente volverse asequible para todo público.

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¿Por Qué los Tomates de Ahora No Tienen Gusto a Nada?

Puede que tengan un color rojo brillante y una forma casi perfecta, pero la mayoría de las veces, los tomates no tienen gusto a nada.

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El Tomate Morado, un Nuevo "Superalimento" Modificado

Los tomates morados transgénicos están más cerca de llegar a los mercados.

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In Refrigerators, Tomatoes Lose Flavor at the Genetic Level

The tomato hitching a ride home in your grocery bag today is not the tomato it used to be. No matter if you bought plum, cherry or heirloom, if you wanted the tastiest tomato, you should have picked it yourself and eaten it immediately.

That’s because a tomato’s flavor — made up of sugars, acids and chemicals called volatiles — degrades as soon as it’s picked from the vine. There’s only one thing you can do now: Keep it out of the fridge.

Researchers at The University of Florida have found in a study published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that when tomatoes are stored at the temperature kept in most refrigerators, irreversible genetic changes take place that erase some of their flavors forever.

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A Genetic Fix to Put the Taste Back in Tomatoes

Over the decades, taste has drained out of supermarket tomatoes.

Harry J. Klee, a professor of horticultural sciences at the University of Florida, thinks he can put it back in within a couple of years.

In this week’s issue of the journal Science, Dr. Klee and his colleagues describe flavor chemicals that are deficient in most modern varieties of tomatoes. In addition, they have located genes that produce these chemicals, and identified heirloom and wild varieties of tomatoes that possess better versions of these genes.

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A Deep Dig On GMO And Crop Yields

GMO crops were supposed to accelerate increases in crop yields and decrease pesticide use. A new investigation says neither is true.

NPR’s show On Point in response to Danny Hakim’s article in the NY times (Doubts about the Promised Bounty of Genetically Modified Crops).

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Enhancing C3 Photosynthesis: an Outlook on Feasible Interventions for Crop Improvement

Briefly, this review intends to shed light on the recent advances in enhancing C3 photosynthesis for crop improvement.

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Understanding and Engineering Beneficial Plant–Microbe Interactions: Plant Growth Promotion in Energy Crops

Longer term aims involve the design of synthetic genetic circuits within and between the host and microbes to optimize plant production. A highly exciting prospect is that endosymbionts comprise a unique resource of reduced complexity microbial genomes with adaptive traits of great interest for a wide variety of applications.

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The Future Role of Biotechnology to Enable Next-Generation Biofuel Production

In this Focus Issue on Biofuels, five articles explore the use of plant biotechnology for the production of next-generation biofuels. The extreme difficulty of digesting plant cell walls for biofuel production, the recalcitrance problem, is chief amongst known impediments to lignocellulosic feedstock utilization.

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Bypassing GMO Regulations with CRISPR Gene Editing

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that regulation of a CRISPR-Cas9 gene-edited mushroom, in which a polyphenol oxidase (PPO) gene had been mutated to avoid (or delay) browning, fell outside of genetically modified organism (GMO) legislation1. However, we remain concerned that the approved mushroom may still…

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Efficient DNA-Free Genome Editing of Bread Wheat Using CRISPR/Cas9 Ribonucleoprotein Complexes

This method may be widely applicable for producing genome edited crop plants and has a good prospect of being commercialized.

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Manipulation of Auxin Response Factor 19 Affects Seed Size in the Wody Perennial Jatropha curcas

Data suggest the potential of improving seed traits by precisely engineering auxin signaling in woody perennial plants.

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Secondary Metabolism: High Cholesterol in Tomato

A straightforward approach reveals the full cholesterol biosynthetic pathway in tomato, which is composed of ten enzymatic steps, opening the door for bioengineering of high-value molecules in crops. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that cholesterogenesis evolved from the more ancient phytosterol pathway.

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Scientists Make Plastic from Pine Trees

Most current plastics are made from oil, which is unsustainable. However, scientists have now developed a renewable plastic from a chemical called pinene found in pine needles.

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Widely Used Antibiotics Affect Mitochondria

From plants to mice and human cells, tetracyclines lead to mitochondrial dysfunction in model organisms.

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Local Microbes Give Wine Character

Yeast strains from different regions of New Zealand generate wines with varying chemistries.

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Engineering Virus-Resistant Plants

Researchers use CRISPR to create plants that resist infection by DNA viruses.

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How Plants Evolved Different Ways to Make Caffeine

Caffeine-producing plants use three different biochemical pathways and two different enzyme families to make the same molecule.

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Genetic Modification Improves Photosynthetic Efficiency

Researchers enhance the photosynthetic yield of tobacco plants with genetic engineering.

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Doubts About the Promised Bounty of Genetically Modified Crops

The controversy over genetically modified crops has long focused on largely unsubstantiated fears that they are unsafe to eat.

But an extensive examination by The New York Times indicates that the debate has missed a more basic problem — genetic modification in the United States and Canada has not accelerated increases in crop yields or led to an overall reduction in the use of chemical pesticides.

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How Hot Peppers Can Ease Pain

Researchers uncover one way capsaicin—the spicy compound found in chili peppers—provides pain relief.  

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New Zealand Imports Insects to Fight Plant Invader

New Zealand appears to be taking a calculated risk with its otherwise strict environmental policy by using foreign species to fight an invasive and destructive plant.

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Las Plantas Biónicas que Detectan Explosivos y Pueden Revolucionar el Mundo de la Defensa

Científicos del Instituto de Tecnología de Massachusetts (MIT, por sus siglas en inglés), en EE.UU., acaban de encontrar la manera de transformar la hortaliza en un detector de bombas. ...

Academic

Quinto Congreso Nacional de Flora Nativa de Chile, 7-9 de septiembre de 2017, La Serena

“Valorando la conservación, uso y gestión de la flora nativa con miras a su desarrollo sustentable”
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Manifiesto por la Ciencia por Pablo Astudillo

«Este libro de Pablo Astudillo debería ser tomado muy en serio por todos quienes se interesen en el futuro de Chile. En las democracias se suelen tomar decisiones motivadas por ciclos electorales de corto plazo y se precisa de un liderazgo sabio y visionario para comprometer las inversiones de largo plazo necesarias para el éxito futuro de una nación.» Bruce Alberts, Presidente Emérito US National Academy of Sciences; ex editor jefe revista Science.

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Fisiología del Estrés en Portainjertos de Prunus: Efecto de la Hipoxia Radical

La investigadora Dra. Paula Pimentel del Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Fruticultura (CEAF) en Rengo, presentó el día miércoles 14 de diciembre en el Instituto de Ciencias Biológicas el seminario que llevó por título: “Fisiología del estrés en portainjertos de Prunus: efecto de la hipoxia radical”. ...