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Molecular Plant
This journal offers authors two options (open access or subscription) to publish research

Jan 04, 2021

Volume 14Issue 1p1-186
Open Archive
On The Cover Orphan crops, which represent a broad gene pool, play important roles in ensuring global food and nutrition security. Great efforts in sequencing and analyzing orphan crop genomes have been made in recent years, which have accelerated diverse aspects of orphan crop research. Interestingly, many wild relatives in the genus of orphan crops are important weeds of major crops. Barnyard millet, mainly cultivated in Asia, has at least two cultivated species (Echinochloa esculenta and E. frumentacea), which were domesticated from the important agricultural weeds E. crus-galli and E. colona, respectively. The cover image shows the diverse panicles of E. crus-galli. Image by: Dongya Wu....
On The Cover Orphan crops, which represent a broad gene pool, play important roles in ensuring global food and nutrition security. Great efforts in sequencing and analyzing orphan crop genomes have been made in recent years, which have accelerated diverse aspects of orphan crop research. Interestingly, many wild relatives in the genus of orphan crops are important weeds of major crops. Barnyard millet, mainly cultivated in Asia, has at least two cultivated species (Echinochloa esculenta and E. frumentacea), which were domesticated from the important agricultural weeds E. crus-galli and E. colona, respectively. The cover image shows the diverse panicles of E. crus-galli. Image by: Dongya Wu.

Comments

  • The Inequity of Biotechnological Impact

    • Sylvia He,
    • Kate M. Creasey Krainer
    Less than 1% of the total population of the developing world is positively affected by biotechnological innovation. The global impact of biotechnology on agriculture is impeded by the disproportionate development and growth of economically important crops in the developed world. In over 2 decades, 526 genetically engineered events, or bioengineered (BE) traits, in 32 crops have been approved in 44 countries (ISAAA database, 2020). Of these 44 countries, 38 are high income, representing 73% of the developed world.
  • A Clearinghouse for Genome-Edited Crops and Field Testing

    • Angela Fernando,
    • Michael Selvaraj,
    • Paul Chavarriaga,
    • Sandra Valdes,
    • Joe Tohme
    Latin America was commonly called “sleeping giant” for its humid tropics and land base relative to its population size. The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT, by its Spanish acronym) was initiated in 1967 to serve three important zones—coastal plains, savannahs, and “hot, humid jungles.” In line, the research areas were organized to be fitted as appropriate into these important ecological zones. Over the 50 years, CIAT has been a forerunner in developing and disseminating improved crop varieties and agricultural technologies, including its pioneering approaches in the tropics.

Editor's Highlights

  • CAMEL–CANAR Regulates PIN Trafficking and Polarity

    • M. Arif Ashraf,
    • Dior R. Kelley
    Multicellular organisms maintain their growth and development in a dynamic and coordinated fashion. Cell polarity plays a key role in regulating cellular differentiation and proliferation during growth and development. In plants, several developmental processes such as embryogenesis, leaf venation, stomatal patterning, and phyllotaxy depend on establishment of cellular polarity. One of the best understood plant polarity proteins is the family of PIN-FORMED (PIN) auxin efflux carriers. PIN-mediated auxin transport has been central to a canalization hypothesis whereby auxin transport actively promotes vasculature formation and influences leaf venation patterns, but its exclusive role in the latter has been recently challenged (Verna et al., 2019).
  • bHLH Root Hair Booster in Low-Phosphate Conditions

    • Maida Romera-Branchat
    Phosphorus is a macronutrient essential for many crucial plant biological processes including photosynthesis. To cope with the limited availability of phosphate (Pi) in the soil, plants have developed multiple strategies including increased hair root density to acquire this immobile nutrient. However, the precise molecular mechanisms underlying such strategies have not been fully elucidated.
  • Repressors for Auxin Responsive Transcriptional Activators

    • Shutang Tan
    The phytohormone auxin plays a pivotal role in shaping plant growth and development. It acts through a family of transcription factors called AUXIN RESPONSE FACTORs (ARFs) that regulate expression of target genes specifically. Five out of 23 ARF transcription factors (TFs), also known as the class A, are transcription activators and key regulators in auxin-mediated plant development (Lavy and Estelle, 2016; Weijers and Wagner, 2016). Specific spatiotemporal expression patterns of ARF genes enable asymmetric response in different tissues.

Perspectives

  • Harnessing Knowledge from Maize and Rice Domestication for New Crop Breeding

    • Qiuyue Chen,
    • Weiya Li,
    • Lubin Tan,
    • Feng Tian
    Maize and rice might have evolved distinct genetic solutions toward domestication. Rice domestication tended to select de novo, loss of function, coding variation, while maize domestication more frequently favored standing, gain of function, regulatory variation. At gene network level, distinct genetic paths were used to acquire convergent phenotypes in maize and rice domestication, during which different central genes were utilized, orthologous genes played different evolutionary roles, and new genes or regulatory modules were acquired for establishing new traits.
  • Orphan Crops and their Wild Relatives in the Genomic Era

    • Chu-Yu Ye,
    • Longjiang Fan
    Orphan crops play important roles in global food and nutrition security and represent a broad gene pool. This article provides an overview of genomic studies on orphan crops and their wild relatives (including weeds) and discusses the potential ways for mutual utilization of genomic data from major crops, orphan crops, and their wild relatives.
  • Regulation of Plant Vitamin Metabolism: Backbone of Biofortification for the Alleviation of Hidden Hunger

    • Ling Jiang,
    • Simon Strobbe,
    • Dominique Van Der Straeten,
    • Chunyi Zhang
    This article overviewed the major progress about vitamin biosynthesis, its response to the changing environment, interactions among vitamins, and possible strategies for vitamin biofortification are reviewed. It was proposed that the integration of new breeding technologies with metabolic pathway modification would facilitate crop biofortification, thereby alleviating the hidden hunger of target populations.
  • Control of Plant Growth and Defense by Photoreceptors: From Mechanisms to Opportunities in Agriculture

    • Ronald Pierik,
    • Carlos L. Ballaré
    Plants can detect and respond to nearby competitors though light signals that they perceive with photoreceptor proteins. We review the signaling networks that allow plants to modify the strength of their shade-avoidance responses and modulate their defense systems against herbivores and pathogens.
  • Using Interactome Big Data to Crack Genetic Mysteries and Enhance Future Crop Breeding

    • Leiming Wu,
    • Linqian Han,
    • Qing Li,
    • Guoying Wang,
    • Hongwei Zhang,
    • Lin Li
    The genes responsible for phenotypic variation and their interactions represent “genetic mysteries”. In this article, the authors summarize and compare strategies to explore such mysteries in plants in the era of big data. They propose a state-of-the-art strategy that integrates Interactome Big Data and machine learning to identify the genes and networks that control various traits. They discuss how Interactome Big Data will help future crop breeding.

Review Articles

  • Protein Quality Control in Plant Organelles: Current Progress and Future Perspectives

    • Jing-Liang Sun,
    • Jin-Yu Li,
    • Mei-Jing Wang,
    • Ze-Ting Song,
    • Jian-Xiang Liu
    Accumulation of misfolded proteins in plant organelles can cause dysfunctions that lead to developmental defects and impaired environmental stress tolerance. This review summarizes recent advances in the understanding of the mechanisms that safeguard protein quality in the ER, chloroplasts, and mitochondria, and highlights common mechanisms shared by these organelles that ensure protein homeostasis in plant cells.
  • Single-Cell Transcriptome Analysis in Plants: Advances and Challenges

    • Rahul Shaw,
    • Xin Tian,
    • Jian Xu
    Single-cell RNA sequencing has ushered in a new era of transcriptome analysis on a cell-by-cell basis. Application of this technology to plant biology has provided important insights into cell-to-cell transcriptional heterogeneity but also posed some unique challenges for plant single-cell researchers. Further development of both wet-lab techniques and in silico methods is necessary to unleash its full potential in plant research and breeding.
  • CRISPR-Mediated Engineering across the Central Dogma in Plant Biology for Basic Research and Crop Improvement

    • Dibyajyoti Pramanik,
    • Rahul Mahadev Shelake,
    • Mi Jung Kim,
    • Jae-Yean Kim
    CRISPR technology enables programmable editing of central dogma processes to alter DNA, RNA, or protein, which would have been impossible in the past. This review presents a comprehensive summary about recent advancements in CRISPR tool development and CRISPR-based modulation of central dogma processes that expedite basic and applied plant research. In addition, global regulatory policies, challenges and prospects for the use of CRISPR-based technologies in designer crop development are discussed.
  • Pho-view of Auxin: Reversible Protein Phosphorylation in Auxin Biosynthesis, Transport and Signaling

    • Shutang Tan,
    • Christian Luschnig,
    • Jiří Friml
    Post-translational modifications determine the stability, activity, or subcellular localization of proteins, thus playing critical roles in various life activities. Notably, reversible protein phosphorylation, catalyzed by protein kinases and phosphatases, participates in multiple biochemical events throughout auxin biosynthesis, transport, and signaling in plants. In this review, Tan et al. discuss these advances and present their perspectives on protein phosphorylation in auxin biology.
  • Receptor-like Kinases in Root Development: Current Progress and Future Directions

    • Yang Ou,
    • Hong Kui,
    • Jia Li
    Receptor-like kinases (RLKs) play key roles in many aspects during normal root growth and development. This review article focuses on current understanding of RLKs in regulating the development of root apical meristems, vascular tissues, casparian strips, root hairs, and lateral roots. A number of possible future directions are discussed.
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