Recent Posts

The evolutionary advantage of losing genes after endosymbiosis (Genome Biol)

The emergence of eukaryotes is associated with endosymbiosis of mitochondria and chloroplast. In the course of evolution, most of the genes from these organelles have either migrated to the nucleus or been lost. But why have a small but significant number of genes remained in these organelle genomes?…

A "simple” plant that’s not so basic: 13 receptors perceive SL, KL, and more in moss

Lopez-Obando et al. unravel the complex pathways for the perception of strigolactones and related compounds in the moss Physcomitrium patens.  By Ambre Guillory1, Mauricio Lopez-Obando2, Alexandre de Saint Germain3, and Sandrine Bonhomme3 1Laboratoire des Interactions Plantes Microbes Environnement…

Pollinators contribute to the maintenance of flowering plant diversity (Nature)

How do small populations persist in spite of sharing space with much larger populations? Wei et al. explored this question in the context of plant-pollinator interactions. They observed that rarer species tend to attract more specialized pollinators, whereas more abundant species have more shared pollinators,…

Review: Evolutionary innovations driving abiotic stress tolerance in C4 grasses and cereals (Plant Cell)

Grasses fall into two clades, the more temperate BOP clade of C3 grasses (Bambusoideae, Oryzoideae, and Pooideae subfamilies), and the more tropical PACMAD clade of C3 and C4 grasses (Panicoideae, Arundinoideae, Chloridoideae, Micrairoideae, Aristidoideae, and Danthonioideae subfamilies). This review,…

SHOOT: Phylogenetic gene search and ortholog inference (bioRxiv)

BLAST (basic local alignment search tool) is more than 30 years old, and most readers have probably had the opportunity to BLAST a sequence. BLAST takes an input sequence and searches databases for closely related sequences. However, this tool uses only sequence information to find close matches. Hypothetically,…

Review: Convergent evolution of gene regulatory networks underlying plant adaptations (Plant Cell Environ.)

The transition from aquatic to terrestrial habitats exposed plants to low water availability, high light, radiation, and other environmental challenges. To overcome these challenges, plants developed morpho-physiological adaptations to tolerate dry environments and make photosynthesis more efficient.…

Exploring the evolution of immunity responses in Brassicaceae

Winkelmüller, Entila, Anver et al. uncover the considerable variation in gene expression patterns in closely related Brassicaceae species during pattern triggered immunity. Plant Cell  By Thomas M. Winkelmüller, Frederickson D. Entila, Shajahan Anver, and Kenichi Tsuda  Background: Plants…

Focus Issue: Focus on the Biology of Plant Genomes (Plant Cell)

The Plant Cell has published a Focus Issue on the Biology of Plant Genomes. This Focus Issue includes reviews and research articles that highlight some of the most important recent advances in plant genomics and foreshadow future discoveries. Although Arabidopsis is represented in this article collection…

Give and Take: Lipid exchanges drove the evolution of mutualism during plant terrestrialization (Science)

Plants form symbiotic associations with a variety of microbial partners, among which arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are prominent. AMF are known to enrich plants with a host of vital nutrients including the essential macronutrient phosphorus. While the finer details of plant-AMF association are known…