The University of Massachusetts Amherst

In Pictures

Cell Sensor: New Aspects of Plant Wall-to-Cell Communication Revealed

The image above shows Arabdiopsis seedlings that are missing the versatile receptor kinase FERONIA, which was found to be an essential part of plant wall-to-cell communication. These mutant plants show high levels of callose in the cell wall, seen here as bright dots, that normally accumulates only when the plant is under stress. FERONIA acts as a sensor in the plant cell wall to help maintain its integrity and protect the plant from environmental assaults. How cells sense their physical state and compensate for cell wall damage is poorly understood, says UMass Amherst plant biologist Alice Cheung. New research by Cheung and colleagues offers the first experimental evidence and molecular mechanisms showing how FERONIA is essential for the cellular responses that ensure survival under high salinity. Learn more.