Recent Blog Posts by Tag

A Kinesin-14 motor activates neocentromeres to promote meiotic drive in maize

Meiotic drive is essentially a subversion of meiosis such that particular regions or alleles are preferentially favored for transmission to the progeny. Abnormal chromosome 10 (Ab10) is a classic example of meiotic drive in maize that converts heterochromatic chromosomal knobs into motile ‘neocentromeres’.…

Review: Heat and drought tolerance in wheat – now and for the future (J Exp Bot)

Stress due to high heat and drought causes losses in wheat production all over the world. While genetic variation and quantitative trait loci for drought and heat tolerance are known, the genetic loci that underlie tolerance to these combined stress are likely different from those that underlie each…

Initiation of meiotic recombination is regulated by epigenetic marks and chromatin structure (Genome Res.)

Meiotic recombination is an important source of genetic diversity by allowing the reshuffling of parental alleles during meiosis. It requires the generation of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) initiated by the activity of the SPO11 protein complex. In plants, the impact of chromatin structure and DNA…

Underground Functions of GIF Genes

Ercoli et al. investigate how GIF genes control root development https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00856 By María Florencia Ercoli and Javier Palatnik Background: Plants, unlike animals, have the ability to generate new organs throughout their life cycle. This capacity relies on meristems, which…

Maize Tassel Architecture

Zhang et al. show that GIF1 regulates the determinacy of meristems and controls tassel architecture in maize. The Plant Cell (2018). https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00791 Background: Plant architecture results from a balance of indeterminate and determinate cell fates. Cells with indeterminate fates…

Meiotic Crossover Formation

Kurzbauer et al. discover a role for the Fanconi anemia D2 plant homogue in promoting meiotic crossover formation. https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00745 by Marie-Therese Kurzbauer and Peter Schlögelhofer Background: Meiosis is a specialized cell division and generates the basis for genetic diversity…

Role of RecQ helicases in DNA repair and gene targeting in moss (Plant Cell)

DNA repair is of course a crucial process, and many DNA repair enzymes are conserved across all domains of life. In humans, deficiency in the RecQ family of DNA helicase repair enzymes leads to premature aging and a predisposition to cancer. Previous studies have identified the RecQ family in Arabidopsis…

Unleashing meiotic crossovers in hybrid plants ($) (PNAS)

To generate new plant varieties with desirable traits, plant geneticists cross existing varieties that contain the characters they want to combine. The genetic variability is obtained thanks to events called crossovers, in which segments of homologous chromosomes are swapped during meiosis. The frequency…

Saving Algae from Environmental Stresses

Du et al. investigate an important protein that regulates photosynthesis under stress. Plant Cell. https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00446.                                                                               Background:…