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Science 333 (6042): 532-533

Copyright © 2011 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

A Cellular Roadmap for the Plant Kingdom

Christian R. Landry

One can learn a lot from an urban subway network just by looking at its map. It illustrates crossroads that must be under high surveillance, for example, because a disruption at these central stations can affect the entire system. The map also reflects the city's history, with old lines running through the urban center and recent ones along the periphery. In recent years, researchers have worked to draw analogous maps for cellular networks. These maps link proteins that physically interact and reflect how cells organize biochemical and biophysical processes and convey molecular signals. Attempts to develop entire protein interaction maps (interactomes), however, have been limited to bacteria, unicellular fungi, and a few animals. Now, two studies in this issue, by the Arabidopsis Interactome Mapping Consortium (1) on page 601 and Mukhtar et al. (2) on page 596, add a flowering plant to the list. They report on the interactome of Arabidopsis thaliana and show how pathogens may exploit protein interactions to manipulate a plant's cellular machinery.

Institut de Biologie Intégrative et des Systèmes (IBIS), Département de Biologie and Regroupement stratégique sur la fonction, la structure et l'ingénierie des protéines (PROTEO), Université Laval, Québec, Québec, G1V 0A6, Canada.

E-mail: christian.landry{at}

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