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Sreenivasulu, N.; Radchuk, V.; Alawady, A.; Borisjuk, L.; Weier, D.; Staroske, N.; Fuchs, J.; Miersch, O.; Strickert, M.; Usadel, B.; Wobus, U.; Grimm, B.; Weber, H.; Weschke, W. De-regulation of abscisic acid contents causes abnormal endosperm development in the barley mutant seg8 Plant J 64(4), 589-603, (2010) DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2010.04350.x

Grain development of the maternal effect shrunken endosperm mutant seg8 was analysed by comprehensive molecular, biochemical and histological methods. The most obvious finding was de-regulation of ABA levels, which were lower compared to wild-type during the pre-storage phase but higher during the transition from cell division/differentiation to accumulation of storage products. Ploidy levels and ABA amounts were inversely correlated in the developing endosperms of both mutant and wild-type, suggesting an influence of ABA on cell-cycle regulation. The low ABA levels found in seg8 grains between anthesis and beginning endosperm cellularization may result from a gene dosage effect in the syncytial endosperm that causes impaired transfer of ABA synthesized in vegetative tissues into filial grain parts. Increased ABA levels during the transition phase are accompanied by higher chlorophyll and carotenoid/xanthophyll contents. The data suggest a disturbed ABA-releasing biosynthetic pathway. This is indicated by up-regulation of expression of the geranylgeranyl reductase (GGR) gene, which may be induced by ABA deficiency during the pre-storage phase. Abnormal cellularization/differentiation of the developing seg8 endosperm and reduced accumulation of starch are phenotypic characteristics that reflect these disturbances. The present study did not reveal the primary gene defect causing the seg8 phenotype, but presents new insights into the maternal/filial relationships regulating barley endosperm development.

Abel, S.; Theologis, A. Odyssey of Auxin Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 2, a004572, (2010) DOI: 10.1101/cshperspect.a004572

The history of plant biology is inexorably intertwined with the conception and discovery of auxin, followed by the many decades of research to comprehend its action during growth and development. Growth responses to auxin are complex and require the coordination of auxin production, transport, and perception. In this overview of past auxin research, we limit our discourse to the mechanism of auxin action. We attempt to trace the almost epic voyage from the birth of the hormonal concept in plants to the recent crystallographic studies that resolved the TIR1-auxin receptor complex, the first structural model of a plant hormone receptor. The century-long endeavor is a beautiful illustration of the power of scientific reasoning and human intuition, but it also brings to light the fact that decisive progress is made when new technologies emerge and disciplines unite.
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