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Bird brood parasitism.
For many animals, the effort to rear their young is considerable. In birds, this often includes building nests, incubating eggs, feeding the chicks, and protecting them from predators. Perhaps for this reason, about 1% of birds (around 100 species) save themselves the effort and cheat instead. They...
Halotropism: turning down the salty date.
Plants have a deep-rooted trust in gravity, but it is not unconditional. A new study shows that, if plant roots sense high doses of salt coming up from below, they dump gravity responses and grow away from the salt contamination. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Horizontally transmitted symbionts and host colonization of ecological niches.
We do not know whether the distributions of symbionts across host populations reflect random acquisitions followed by vertical inheritance or whether the associations have occurred repeatedly in a manner consistent with a dynamic horizontal gene pool. Here we explore these questions using the phylog...
Microtubule polarity predicts direction of egg chamber rotation in Drosophila.
We show that at the basal side of follicle cells, microtubules are preferentially aligned perpendicular to the anterior-posterior axis of the egg chamber. Microtubule depolymerization stalls egg chamber rotation and egg chamber elongation. The preferential alignment of microtubules and egg chamber r...
Fishery management: is europe turning the corner?
Fishery management is widely perceived to be failing, and proposals for new approaches abound. However, evidence is accumulating that traditional approaches, where properly applied, do work. European management of fish stocks in the north-east Atlantic may be the latest case in point. Copyright © 2...
The hippo pathway member nf2 is required for inner cell mass specification.
We demonstrate that the upstream Hippo pathway member Nf2/Merlin is required for Lats1/2-dependent Yap phosphorylation in the preimplantation embryo. Injection of dominant-negative Nf2 mRNA causes Yap mislocalization and ectopic Cdx2 expression, effects that can be rescued by overexpression of Lats2...
Three MYB transcription factors control pollen tube differentiation required for sperm release.
We show that the expression of three closely related MYB transcription factors is induced in pollen tubes by growth in the pistil. Pollen tubes lacking these three transcriptional regulators fail to stop growing in synergids, specialized cells flanking the egg cell that attract pollen tubes and dege...
Polygenic sex determination.
Scaffolding proteins: not such innocent bystanders.
Sequential transfer of information from one enzyme to the next within the confines of a protein kinase scaffold enhances signal transduction. Though frequently considered to be inert organizational elements, two recent reports implicate kinase-scaffolding proteins as active participants in signal re...