21st May 2014

We have three new Arabidopsis papers for you this week, all involving plant scientists based in the UK, and all open access! This week’s new published work comes from the John Innes Centre, and the Universities of Nottingham, Edinburgh and Exeter.


  • Wang Z-W, Wu Z, Raitskin O, Sun Q and Dean C. Antisense-mediated FLC transcriptional repression requires the P-TEFB transcription elongation factor. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 05 May 2014. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1406635111. [Open Access]

Led by Caroline Dean, this PNAS offering from the John Innes Centre reveals new information about the regulation of a set of antisense transcripts called COOLAIR, which interact with the floral repressor FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC).  Analysis of suppressor mutagenesis experiments shows a tight interconnection between sense and antisense transcription, and reveals that differential promoter sensitivity to an Arabidopsis positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb) complex is central to quantitative regulation of this flower repressor gene.


  • Kajala K, Ramakrishna P, Fisher A, Bergmann DC, De Smet I, Sozzani R, Weijers D and Brady SM. Omics and modeling approaches for understanding regulation of asymmetric cell divisions in Arabidopsis and other angiosperm plants. Annals of Botany, 13 May 2014. DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcu065. [Open Access]

Priya Ramakrishna and Ive de Smet from the University of Nottingham’s Sutton Bonington campus were involved in this Annals of Botany review, which was led by Siobhan Brady from UC Davis and also included other colleagues from the US, Belgium and the Netherlands. The review describes how asymmetric cell divisions are regulated during plant development and in different cell types, and highlights ways in which ‘omics’ and modeling approaches have been used to understand these regulatory mechanisms.  


  • Dixon LE, Hodge SK, van Ooijen G, Troein C, Akman OE and Millar AJ. Light and circadian regulation of clock components aids flexible responses to environmental signals. New Phytologist, 20 May 2014. DOI: 10.1111/nph.12853. [Open Access]

Former GARNet Coordinator Andrew Millar (University of Edinburgh) was the lead on this New Phytologist paper, working with colleagues from the John Innes Centre, University of Exeter, and Lund University in Sweden. Previous research using mathematical and computational analyses has proposed that the complexity of feedback loops in the circadian clock affects the overall flexibility of the oscillator. This hypothesis was tested, both in the simple algal system Ostreococcus tauri and the more complex Arabidopsis thaliana, at the transition between different photoperiods. Findings indicated that A. thaliana, with its more flexible clock, did indeed show a wider range of responses.