27th Mar 2014

If you’re not joining the GARNet team at the University of Reading for the annual Monogram conference, have a read instead of the newest UK Arabidopsis research papers!


  • Van Norman JM, Zhang J, Cazzonelli CI, Pogson BJ, Harrison PJ, Bugg TDH, Chan KX, Thompson AJ and Benfey PN. Periodic root branching in Arabidopsis requires synthesis of an uncharacterized carotenoid derivative. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 17 March 2014. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1403016111.

Chemists from the University of Warwick, and Andrew Thompson from Cranfield University, worked on this paper alongside American and Australian collaborators. The researchers here increase our understanding of the mechanisms involved in the control of lateral root formation in Arabidopsis. Having found that disruption of the carotenoid synthesis pathway results in seedlings with very few lateral roots, and even fewer sites that are competent to form lateral roots, it is concluded that developmental pre-patterning of lateral roots requires an uncharacterised carotenoid-derived molecule.  


  • Muralidharan S, Box MS, Sedivy EL, Wigge PA, Weigel D and Rowan BA. Different mechanisms for Arabidopsis thaliana hybrid necrosis cases inferred from temperature responses. Plant Biology, 18 March 2014. DOI: ​10.1111/plb.12164.

This research team, which included several members of the Sainsbury Laboratory in Cambridge, investigated the effects of temperature on the trade-off between plant immunity and growth. In necrotic, intraspecific hybrids of A. thaliana, both linear and non-linear responses for expression of immunity markers and morphological defects were found, suggesting that the influence of temperature depends on the specific defence components involved.