Recent Posts

Gene duplication accelerates the pace of protein gain and loss from plant organelles (Mol. Biol. Evol.)

Organelles, such as the chloroplast and nucleus, are structures with specific functions within a plant cell. It has been reported that many related, or homologous, proteins function in different organelles. However, how and why organellar proteins have diverged over evolutionary time remains unclear.…

Mitochondrial fostering: the mitochondrial genome may play a role in plant orphan gene evolution (bioRxiv)

Orphan genes are those that are found in only a single species. In trying to understand the origin of orphan genes, O’Conner and Li have found that many of these orphan genes are likely to have originated as mitochondrial genes, as many are nuclear genes whose encoded proteins are targeted to the mitochondria…

The origin of land plants is rooted in two bursts of genomic novelty (Curr. Biol)

The transition of plants from water to land is one of the most momentous shifts in the history of life on Earth. 500 million years ago, the first land plants dramatically changed the environments on the planet, creating soils, rivers and the oxygen-rich atmosphere. However, the factors that enabled early…

Review. Diatom molecular research comes of age:  Model species for studying phytoplankton biology and diversity (Plant Cell)

Diatoms are photosynthetic eukaryotes and contribute substantially to global carbon fixation. They are distantly related to green plants, having shared the same primary endosymbiotic event, although they subsequently underwent additional secondary endosymbioses. There are over 100,000 species of diatoms,…

Unraveling cis and trans regulatory evolution during cotton domestication (Nature Comms)

Polyploidization leads to a myriad of changes in gene expression and organization of genomes and can supply the material for speciation, adaptation, and morphological innovation. The most cultivated cotton species, Gossypium hirsutum, is an allotetraploid species (AD genome) containing two subgenomes…

Widespread long-range cis-regulatory elements in the maize genome ($) (Nature Plants)

The chromatin landscape is key in the regulation of gene expression. Many studies have been made in Arabidopsis, but its genomic architecture is different to other plants. Here Ricci et al. present a very comprehensive study of chromatin analysis in maize. This work includes a huge amount of sequencing…

The prevalence, evolution and chromatin signatures of plant regulatory elements ($) (Nature Plants)

With a wide range of genome sizes and varying architectures, understanding the evolution and function of non-coding regions is not straightforward in plants. Nevertheless, many advances are coming out that will shed light on this complex scientific problem. Lu et al. performed ATAC-seq to study chromatin…

Genetic contribution of paleopolyploidy to adaptive evolution in angiosperms (Mol Plant)

Genetic contribution of paleopolyploidy to adaptive evolution in angiosperms Comparative genomics has revealed that the angiosperms have experienced numerous whole-genome duplications (WGD), which have been proposed to have contributed to their global dominance. Following WGD, many of the…

Genomes of subaerial Zygnematophyceae provide insights into land plant evolution ($) (Cell)

The availability of charophyte algae genomic information is helping to understand how the plant transition to a terrestrial environment occurred at the molecular level. Here, Cheng et al. are releasing two genomes from the Zygnematophyceae clade (Spirogloea muscicola and Mesotaenium endlicherianum),…