Phosphorus is an essential building block for nucleic acids and membranes, forms an important energy currency of the cell and can act as a signaling molecule. Soil-living organisms take up phosphorus in the form of inorganic phosphate. How cells ‘measure’ phosphate concentrations to maintain sufficient phosphate levels in their cells and tissues is poorly understood. The group of Michael Hothorn has now elucidated that phosphate homeostasis in plants is regulated by an inositol pyrophosphate signaling molecule, which is generated by a bifunctional kinase/phosphatase enzyme in response to changing ATP and phosphate levels. The signaling molecule then binds to a cellular receptor, which in turn inactivates a transcription factor regulating phosphate starvation responses. Thus, a signaling molecule relays the nutrient status of the plant to a signaling cascade, allowing for nutrient uptake, storage and redistribution. The groups of Dorothea Fiedler (Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology, Berlin, Germany), Alisdair Fernie (Max Planck Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology, Golm, Germany) and Gabriel Schaaf (University of Bonn, Germany) contributed to this study that was published in eLife on August 22.
After receiving an ERC Starting Grant in 2008 and an ERC Consolidator Grant in 2014, Robbie Loewith has been awarded an ERC Advanced Grant for his research project entitled “Tension of ENDOmembranes maintained by TORC1 (TENDO)”. The aim is to understand how TORC1 regulates, and is regulated by, vacuolar membrane tension.
The grant is endowed with 2.25 million Euros over 5 years.
An ERC Advanced Grant has been awarded to Michel Milinkovitch for his research project entitled “Identifying how Evolution exploits physical properties of tissues to generate the complexity and diversity of Life (EVOMORPHYS)”. The aim is to identify the drivers of Life’s morphological complexity and diversity.
The grant is endowed with 2.5 million Euros over 5 years.
The team of Luis Lopez-Molina demonstrates that maternal and environmental control of seed dormancy is carried out through novel epigenetic mechanisms of RNA interference. This study, published on March 26, 2019 in eLife, reveals that similar processes enable to transmit both the maternal imprint and that of temperatures present during the development of the seed.
Une étude à laquelle ont collaboré Athanasia Tzika et Michel Milinkovitch démontre comment des signaux génétiques et mécaniques se combinent pour permettre la formation d’un réseau organisé de plumes chez les oiseaux, leur permettant de voler. Les résultats ont été publiés le 21 février 2019 dans PLOS Biology.
Vidéo : formation des plumes chez un embryon de poulet
Operons were thought to be absent in plants. The group of Michael Hothorn now reports the identification of an operon-like transcript in plants that allows for the concerted expression of a previously unknown cell-cycle regulator and a metabolic enzyme. This highly unusual transcript is conserved across the entire plant kingdom and is required for plant embryo development and growth. This study was published on February 8, 2019 in Nature Plants.
The Lelio Orci Price has been attributed to Jean-Claude Martinou for his work on the control of mitochondrial organisation and physiology. His research group has made fundamental discoveries on the molecular mechanisms controlling the shape of mitochondria, their ability to import and to process metabolites, and to adapt to various metabolic situations.
The official award ceremony will take place on 15 February 2019 at the LS2 Annual Meeting 2019
The ability of Hydra to regenerate or maintain a single head results from a subtle balance between activating and inhibiting activities. The team of Brigitte Galliot has discovered the identity of the inhibitor and deciphered the dialogue between these two antagonistic activities. This study has been published on January 18, 2019 in Nature Communications.
The team of Paul Guichard and Virginie Hamel has succeeded in reconstructing the frame of a cell’s cilium in vitro. This study, published on January 17, 2019 in Science, reveals the mechanism and dynamics of ciliary structures’ assembly, as well as the crucial role of tubulin in preventing their uncontrolled formation.
Clip: Microtubules doublets formed in vitro