Recent Posts

Review: Orphan crops and their wild relatives in the genomic era (Mol. Plant)

More than half of human calories come from rice, wheat, and corn, although many other cereals have been domesticated as food crops. Several of these “orphan” cereal crops and their wild relatives are being studied with the goal of diversifying our food supply, which is particularly important due…

Systematic characterization of gene function in a photosynthetic organism (bioRxiv)

Vilarrasa-Blasi and coworkers described their impressive work on a huge barcoded Chlamydomonas collection, in which they screened almost 60,000 insertion mutants grown under a wide range of environmental and chemical stress conditions. The authors assessed genotype-phenotype specificity for almost…

Allelic variation of MYB10 controls natural variation in skin and flesh color in strawberry (Plant Cell)

Few fruits have a more distinctive color than strawberry (Fragaria spp). Anthocyanins are responsible for strawberry’s characteristic red pigmentation with variations in receptacle color caused by altered anthocyanin levels. While the flavonoid synthesis pathway accountable for anthocyanin accumulation…

Leaf angle control across the sorghum canopy (Plant Physiol.)

In a rosette-forming plant like Arabidopsis, leaf radial angle is optimized to prevent self-shielding. By contrast, in a plant such as sorghum, leaf vertical angle affects self-shading. A “smart canopy” model has been proposed in which upper leaves have a more upright orientation to allow more light…

Review: Homoeologous exchanges, segmental allopolyploidy, and polyploid genome evolution (Front. Genetics)

Polyploidy or whole-genome duplication (WGD) is an important process in plant evolution and speciation. Additional sets of chromosomes can be derived from intraspecific genome duplication (autopolyploidy) or hybridization of divergent genomes and chromosome doubling (allopolyploidy). In early stages…

Multi-omics analyses of wild tomato introgression lines reveal a set of gene expression-metabolite-pathogen sensitivity interactions (Nat. Genet.)

Domesticated tomato has been subjected to human selection to satisfy marketing and economic desires, leading to a loss of genetic diversity and elimination of fruits traits such as flavor, aroma and pathogen resistance. Introgression lines (ILs) that capture the genome of wild desert-adapted tomato Solanum…

Highly efficient DNA-free plant genome editing using virally delivered CRISPR–Cas9 (Nature Plants)

CRISPR-Cas is a revolutionary technology that has taken the science of genetic manipulation to higher levels by leaps and bounds. In spite of the ease with which it is used for genome editing, the present delivery methods are not without shortcomings; undesirable effects on non-target regions and…

Review: Applications of CRISPR–Cas in agriculture and plant biotechnology (Nature Rev. Mol. Cell Biol.)

This week’s announcement of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry being awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna “for the development of a method for genome editing” comes as no surprise to many. CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)– Cas (CRISPR-associated…

Haplotype-resolved genome analyses of a heterozygous diploid potato (Nature Genetics)

Potato (Solanum tuberosum) is the third most important food crop worldwide. It is also a clonally propagated tetraploid, making progress in breeding genetically improved cultivars extremely difficult. Therefore, there are ongoing efforts to redomesticate potato from a tetraploid, tuber-propagated crop…