Grains of Truth: Evolution Shapes Cells

Grains of Truth: Evolution Shapes Cells

Collections: Image Award Winners

2023 Award Winner

Junsik Choi (research and material), David Mankus (microscopy and image processing), Margaret Bisher, Abigail Lytton-Jean, Mary Gehring

Koch Institute at MIT, Whitehead Institute

The nuclear lamina is the innermost layer of a cell’s nuclear envelope—a protein meshwork that interacts with the genome and other proteins. Lack of lamina is lethal to plants and animals alike, yet the structure evolved independently in both.

The Gehring Lab studies how the nuclear envelope regulates plant epigenetics and reproduction. The image shows pollen from the Arabidopsis thaliana mutant lacking 3 out of 4 lamina genes called CRWNs. These mutations cause inefficient reproduction and abnormal gene expression, as well as structural irregularities, most visible in the grains on the left.

irregularly oblong porous grains of pollen colored yellow stick up from a grey surface


Junsik Choi presents on his image.