Mustering a milder mustard

Mustering a milder mustard

Biologists in Arts & Sciences have mapped the crystal structure of a key protein that makes the metabolites responsible for the bitter taste in cruciferous plants like mustard and broccoli. The results could be used along with ongoing breeding strategies to manipulate crop plants for nutritional and taste benefits.
Keeping plant-cell motors on track

Keeping plant-cell motors on track

In a growing plant cell, motor proteins called kinesins work as transporters that haul materials built in one part of the cell to the place where they are needed. Now, biologists at Washington University in St. Louis have discovered the molecular brakeman that holds kinesins in check until their cargo is needed.

Heme Channel Found

Heme, a crucial component of the biomachinery that squeezes energy out of food, must be transported across membranes but without exposing its central iron atom to oxidation. Work at Washington University shows how it is done.