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  • Growing tomatoes

    Relative fructose content and tomato susceptibility to Botrytis cinerea

    Plant defence against Botrytis cinerea, a ubiquitous pathogenic fungus, is known to depend upon the mobilisation of sugars which provide energy and carbon skeletons for the production of antifungal compounds. Lecompte et al. hypothesise that glucose and fructose could play distinct roles in plant defence, showing that disease severity is highly correlated to the relative […] More

  • Necrotic symptoms triggered by BABA application to tomato leaves.

    Tomato responses to resistance inducers and a biotrophic pathogen

    Strategies for protecting tomato plants against pathogens include treatment with synthetic chemicals or pathogen-derived compounds and transfer of resistance genes from wild species. Satkova et al. analysed expression of 45 genes involved in defence mechanisms in wild and cultivated tomatoes contrasting in resistance to the biotrophic pathogen Oidium neolycopersici. Differences in gene basal expression were […] More

  • Photosynthetic induction and stomatal conductance in dark-adapted tomato leaves.

    Effects of environmental factors on dark-adapted photosynthetic induction

    Plants grow in a variable environment. While the effects of various environmental factors such as CO2 concentration, temperature, air humidity, and blue light on steady-state photosynthesis have been well documented, there has been less focus on the effects of these factors on photosynthesis in fluctuating light. Kaiser et al. reveal that these factors influence photosynthetic […] More

  • Phylogeny of OVATE family proteins in land plants

    Phylogeny of OVATE family proteins in land plants

    The OVATE gene encodes a nuclear-localized regulatory protein belonging to a distinct family of plant-specific proteins known as the OVATE family proteins (OFPs). Liu et al. identify 13 sequenced plant genomes in public databases that represent the major evolutionary lineages of land plants and conduct a phylogenetic analysis based on the alignment of the conserved […] More

  • Auxin and H2O2 interaction in control of root growth

    Auxin and H2O2 interaction in control of root growth

    One of the best-known effects of the plant hormone auxin on plant development is the inhibition of root elongation, yet the underlying mechanism remains poorly understood. Using tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) as a model, Ivanchenko et al. demonstrate that auxin acts by increasing the level of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in the root tip. Increasing the auxin […] More

  • A tiny wild tomato next to a massive cultivated tomato.

    Are tomatoes naturally unnatural?

    The news GM Tomatoes are being grown in Canada broke on the BBC late last week. They also opened a comment section which, like comments sections on any news site, is a mix of the thoughtful and bizarre. One common reaction is that the GM tomatoes aren’t natural, and that this matters because there’s an assumption […] More

  • Modelling root pressure using stem diameter variations

    Modelling root pressure using stem diameter variations

    Root pressure can contribute to upward xylem water flow but it is difficult to measure directly. De Swaef et al. make continuous measurements of sap flow and stem diameter variations and combine them with a mechanistic flow and storage model in tomato, Solanum lycopersicum. They find that transpiration-driven sap flow rates are typically inversely related to […] More

  • Carbon status and stem diameter changes in tomato

    Carbon status and stem diameter changes in tomato

    Carbon assimilation and leaf-to-fruit sugar transport are, along with plant water status, the driving mechanisms for fruit growth. De Swaef et al. develop a mechanistic water-flow and storage model to relate variations in stem diameter to phloem sugar-loading and sugar concentration dynamics in tomato, Solanum lycopersicum. The model allows instantaneous dynamics in plant water relations and […] More

  • PHAN and compound leaf morphology

    PHAN and compound leaf morphology

    For both simple and compound leaves, a MYB domain transcription factor PHANTASTICA (PHAN) plays an important role in establishing the adaxial domain in the leaf. Zoulias et al. generate and analyse transgenic tomato plants expressing tomato PHAN (SlPHAN) and tobacco plants that over-express tomato SlPHAN. Modulations in SlPHAN resulted in a variety of leaf morphologies, and […] More

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