[Wolfgang Schmidt] IRON MAN, a jack of all trades

A small family of non-secreted peptides, originally identified at IPMB as critical communicators of the plant’s iron status, was recently associated with a suite of novel and unexpected functions. In a ‘News and Views’ paper published in Nature Plants, Isabel Vélez-Bermúdez and Wolfgang Schmidt summarize the promiscuous involvement of this group of effectors in disparate signalling cascades in pathogen defence and nodulation, studies that were recently published in Nature and Nature Communications. The novel research underlines the pivotal role peptides playing in the response of plants to the environment.