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  1. Abstract

    The molecular machinery for protein synthesis is profoundly similar between plants and other eukaryotes. Mechanisms of translational gene regulation are embedded into the broader network of RNA‐level processes including RNA quality control and RNA turnover. However, over eons of their separate history, plants acquired new components, dropped others, and generally evolved an alternate way of making the parts list of protein synthesis work. Research over the past 5 years has unveiled how plants utilize translational control to defend themselves against viruses, regulate translation in response to metabolites, and reversibly adjust translation to a wide variety of environmental parameters. Moreover, during seed and pollen development plants make use of RNA granules and other translational controls to underpin developmental transitions between quiescent and metabolically active stages. The economics of resource allocation over the daily light–dark cycle also include controls over cellular protein synthesis. Important new insights into translational control on cytosolic ribosomes continue to emerge from studies of translational control mechanisms in viruses. Finally, sketches of coherent signaling pathways that connect external stimuli with a translational response are emerging, anchored in part around TOR and GCN2 kinase signaling networks. These again reveal some mechanisms that are familiar and others that are different from other eukaryotes, motivating deeper studies on translational control in plants.

    This article is categorized under:

    Translation > Translation Regulation

    RNA Structure and Dynamics > Influence of RNA Structure in Biological Systems

    RNA Interactions with Proteins and Other Molecules > Protein‐RNA Interactions: Functional Implications

     
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  2. With growing populations and pressing environmental problems, future economies will be increasingly plant-based. Now is the time to reimagine plant science as a critical component of fundamental science, agriculture, environmental stewardship, energy, technology and healthcare. This effort requires a conceptual and technological framework to identify and map all cell types, and to comprehensively annotate the localization and organization of molecules at cellular and tissue levels. This framework, called the Plant Cell Atlas (PCA), will be critical for understanding and engineering plant development, physiology and environmental responses. A workshop was convened to discuss the purpose and utility of such an initiative, resulting in a roadmap that acknowledges the current knowledge gaps and technical challenges, and underscores how the PCA initiative can help to overcome them. 
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