Model plants

Model plants are extensively studied plant species chosen for the ease of investigating particular biological phenomena or for their value in biotechnology or agronomy. Research on model plants provides biological insights relevant to other organisms in areas such as biochemistry, genetics, physiology, ecology, evolution and development.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News & Views |

    The conserved chromatin remodeller DECREASED IN DNA METHYLATION 1 (DDM1) has long been an enigma given its powerful but likely indirect effect in maintaining plant DNA methylation. In this issue of Nature Cell Biology, Osakabe et al. show that the direct action of DDM1 is deposition of the H2A.W histone variant to silence transposable elements.

    • Paul B. Talbert
    •  & Steven Henikoff
    Nature Cell Biology 23, 297-298
  • News & Views |

    A new model system for C4 plants has been established based on an indoor-cultivated rapid-cycling foxtail millet mutant xiaomi. This mutant, together with its reference genome and an efficient transformation protocol, paves the way for understanding the unique and interesting biology of C4 photosynthesis.

    • Hong Yu
    Nature Plants 6, 1076-1077
  • News & Views |

    Leaf development follows a common principle but is also flexibly tuned in different species in a spatiotemporal manner. A novel regulatory mechanism controlling leaflet formation has been identified in Medicago.

    • Ying Wang
    •  & Yuling Jiao
    Nature Plants 6, 436-437
  • Comments & Opinion |

    Plant biologists have recognized the potential in using small molecules identified from chemical libraries to provide insights into biological questions relevant to plants. However, the classical genetics mindset still predominant among plant scientists should evolve to embrace cross-disciplinary chemical genetics projects that will benefit future plant research.

    • Vivek Halder
    •  & Eugenia Russinova
    Nature Chemical Biology 15, 1025-1028
  • Research Highlights |

    Two studies in Science show that cytosine base editors, but not adenine base editors or CRISPR–Cas9, induce notable off-target single-nucleotide variants in rice and in mouse embryos.

    • Katharine H. Wrighton