Editors' ChoicePlant biology

Removing the Nucleus in Sieve Elements

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Science Signaling  26 Aug 2014:
Vol. 7, Issue 340, pp. ec230
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2005820

Although a cell’s nucleus performs critical command and control functions, some cell types, such as enucleated red blood cells, seem to do without. Sieve element cells in plants similarly carry out their function of transporting nutrients and signals from one end of the plant to the other without the guidance of a nucleus. Furuta et al. watched how the nucleus self-destructs during the development of sieve element cells (see the Perspective by Geldner). The process is regulated under the control of transcription factors, even as the entire nuclear edifice crumbles into nothingness.

K. M. Furuta, S. R. Yadav, S. Lehesranta, I. Belevich, S. Miyashima, J.-o. Heo, A. Vatén, O. Lindgren, B. De Rybel, G. Van Isterdael, P. Somervuo, R. Lichtenberger, R. Rocha, S. Thitamadee, S. Tähtiharju, P. Auvinen, T. Beeckman, E. Jokitalo, Y. Helariutta, Arabidopsis NAC45/86 direct sieve element morphogenesis culminating in enucleation. Science 345, 933–937 (2014). [Abstract] [Full Text]

N. Geldner, Making phloem—a near-death experience. Science 345, 875–876 (2014). [Abstract] [Full Text]