News

Like buses…5 More Publications…

Amid the continuing frustration at being unable to do any bench-work, there has at least been good news in the lab, with a spate of publications in May, June, July. Our publication record continues to be very lumpy!

First of all, Tom wrote a ‘preview article’ for Developmental Cell, looking at a forthcoming publication from Sabrina Sabatini’s lab, and trying to place it in context. “Root development: A go-faster stripe and spoilers

At more or less the same time, Darren was writing a similar ‘News & Views’ article for Nature Plants, looking at an article from Shelley Lumba’s lab on the role of SMAX1 in seed germination. “Two routes to germinate a seed“.

And in the very same issue of Nature Plants, Catriona’s paper on inflorescence arrest in Arabidopsis (previously pre-printed in February 2019) was published. “Auxin export from proximal fruits drives arrest in temporally competent inflorescences“. We got quite a lot of attention for this article, and were asked to write a blog for The Node about the story behind the publication: “Now we need arrest… A long journey into the end of flowering“. It’s a pretty honest view of all the wrong decisions and bad experiments we made along the way to publication! Together with her co-author Al Ware, Catriona was also interviewed by GARNet about the publication for a podcast.

Completing a successful few weeks, Cara’s review on the evolution of root-shoot and shoot-root signalling was published in Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology at the end of June: “There and Back Again: An Evolutionary Perspective on Long-Distance Coordination of Plant Growth and Development“. And shortly afterwards, Pablo and Catriona’s review of the end-of-flowering was published in Current Opinion in Plant Biology: “Bloom and Bust: Understanding the Nature and Regulation of the End of Flowering“.

 

4 publications…a good summer’s work

Very excitingly, the lab has published 4 papers over the last two months, displaying a good range of the research we are currently involved in.

Our work on strigolactone and KAI2-ligand signalling in root development was published in PLoS Genetics: SMAX1/SMXL2 regulate root and root hair development downstream of KAI2-mediated signalling in Arabidopsis

Meanwhile, we also published a Tolkein-centric review of strigolactone signalling in New Phytologist: Fellowship of the rings: a saga of strigolactones and other small signals

Completing the strigolactone theme, our work on the evolution of strigolactone synthesis and signalling was also (finally) published, in BMC Biology: Strigolactone synthesis is ancestral in land plants, but canonical strigolactone signalling is a flowering plant innovation

Finally, show-casing some of our new work on reproductive architecture in flowering plants, our work on the ‘50% rule’ was published in Nature Plants: A distributive ‘50% rule’ determines floral initiation rates in the Brassicaceae

All in all, a pretty good summer’s work!

Three pre-prints!

It’s been a really exciting time for the lab over the last few weeks, as we have pre-printed not one but three new manuscripts! This is is all work that has been started since I moved to Leeds, so it feels like the first true ‘crop’ of research from the Bennett Lab. It’s been a huge effort from everyone involved, so congratulations to all. I think the manuscripts really showcase what we are all about!

Auxin export from proximal fruits drives arrest in competent inflorescence meristems

Root density sensing allows pro-active modulation of shoot growth to avoid future resource limitation

KAI2 regulates root and root hair development by modulating auxin distribution

All of these manuscripts have also been submitted, so hopefully they’ll be appearing in press soon!

New Starters!

We are very happy to welcome two new students to the lab! Although, to be honest…they do look a little familiar…

Catriona Walker is starting her PhD on understanding the molecular basis of carpic dominance (and probably more besides) while Cara Wheeldon is starting an MSc-by-research looking at how crowding and plant-plant interactions in the rhizosphere modulate shoot growth.

We are very happy to welcome them back to the lab, even though they never actually left!