19th Feb 2014

Three Plant Journal papers for you this week, involving researchers from the University of Birmingham, Glasgow University, and Royal Holloway.


  • Zamariola L, De Storme N, Vannerum K, Vandepoele K, Armstrong SJ, Franklin FCH and Geelene D. SHUGOSHINs and PATRONUS protect meiotic centromere cohesion in Arabidopsis thaliana. The Plant Journal, 12 February 2014. DOI: 10.1111/tpj.12432.

Sue Armstrong and Chris Franklin from the University of Birmingham were collaborators on this Plant Journal paper. Led by Danny Geelen from the University of Ghent in Belgium, the group add to current knowledge of the role of SHUGOSHINs in Arabidopsis. They find that Atsgo1 mutants prematurely lose cohesion of sister chromatids during anaphase I, and that ATSGO2 partially rescues this loss of cohesion. Furthermore, the role of PATRONUS is characterised to be specifically required for maintaining the cohesion of sister chromatid centromeres during meiosis II.


  • Eisenach C, Papanatsiou M, Hillert E-K and Blatt MR. Clustering of the K+ channel GORK of Arabidopsis parallels its gating by extracellular K+. The Plant Journal, 12 February 2014. DOI: 10.1111/tpj.12471.

This team from the University of Glasgow has been working on characterization of the outward-rectifying Kv-like K+ channel GORK, found in tobacco epidermis and Arabidopsis guard cells. GORK is known to work in parallel with suppression of the activity of the inward-rectifying K+ channel KAT1, but little else is known about GORK’s distribution and traffic in vivo. Here, the team presents its findings through transformations with fluorescently tagged GORK.


  • Uhlken C, Horvath B, Stadler R, Sauer N and Weingartner M. MAIN-LIKE1 is a crucial factor for correct cell division and differentiation in Arabidopsis thaliana. The Plant Journal, 13 February 2014. DOI: 10.1111/tpj.12455.

The German team behind this paper was aided by Beatrix Horvath from Royal Holloway in exploring the role of MAIN-LIKE1 (MAIL1), one of three homologues of MAINTENANCE OF MERISTEMS (MAIN), which form a plant-specific gene family in Arabidopsis.  MAIL1 was found to encode a ubiquitously expressed nuclear protein that appears to have a role in cell fate establishment and the maintenance of dividing cells.