9th Sep 2013

In this week’s Arabidopsis Research Round-up we have a selection of papers published by scientists from Cambridge, Nottingham, Coventry and Norwich. Learn more about vernalisation in Arabidopsis, novel PI(3)P and PI(3,5)P2 binding proteins, and how to simulate the growth of Arabidopsis in space!


  • Rosa S, De Lucia F, Mylne JS, Zhu D, Ohmido N, Pendle A, Kato N, Shaw P and Dean C. Physical clustering of FLC alleles during Polycomb-mediated epigenetic silencing in vernalization. Genes & Development, September 2013. DOI: 10.1101/gad.221713.113. [Open Access]

In an effort to understand more about the promotion of flowering in response to cold, a team of scientists from the John Innes Centre, along with colleagues from Australia, Japan and the United States, have used live-cell imaging to study the changes in nuclear organization during vernalisation. It was discovered that FLOWERING LOCUS C-lacO alleles physically cluster during the cold, and stay clustered when temperature is increased. This supports the view that physical clustering may be a common feature of Polycomb-mediated epigenetic switching mechanisms.


  • Oxley D, Ktistakis N and Farmaki T. Differential isolation and identification of PI93)P and PI(3,5)P2 binding proteins from Arabidopsis thaliana using an agarose-phosphatidylinositol-phosphate affinity chromatography. Journal of Proteomics, 2 September 2013. DOI: 10.1016/j.jprot.2013.08.020.

Using a combination of phosphatidylinositol-phosphate affinity chromatography and mass spectrometry, David Oxley and Nicholas Ktistakis from the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, along with a Greek colleague, have identified novel PI(3)P and PI(3,5)P2 binding proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana cell extracts. Furthermore, co-purification of these interacting proteins has allowed development of a suggested interactome, and prediction of the roles of PI(3)P and PI(3,5)P2 in important physiological pathways.


  • Manzano AI, Larkin OJ, Dijkstra CE, Anthony P, Davey MR, Eaves L, Hill RJA, Herranz R and Medina FJ. Meristematic cell proliferation and ribosome biogenesis are decoupled in diamagnetically levitated Arabidopsis seedlings. BMC Plant Biology, 5 September 2013. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2229-13-124. [Open Access]

In this open access paper, the research team – including scientists from the University of Nottingham and Coventry University – describe and validate a method for simulating the effects of microgravity conditions on Arabidopsis seedlings. By growing seedlings within the bore of a superconducting solenoid magnet and exposing them to diamagnetic levitation, the researchers were able to closely replicate the cell growth and proliferation effects that are caused by real microgravity, such as that on the International Space Station.