Recent Posts

Nanoscale movements of cellulose microfibrils in primary cell walls ($)

/
Cell walls are complex mixtures of cellulose microfibrils, proteins and other materials. Their mechanical properties can be measured and modeled, but it is not always simple to translate these measurements to changes at the molecular level. Zhang et al. used atomic force microscopy to provide an unprecedented…

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…

Review: Less is more, natural loss-of-function mutation is a strategy for adaptation (Plant Communications)

Gene gain through duplication and gene loss through loss-of-function (LoF) mutations determine genetic variation underlying diversification and adaptive evolution. In this review, Xu and Guo highlight the importance of LoF mutations in the evolutionary success of several organisms as revealed by advancements…

Pan-genome of wild and cultivated soybeans (Cell)

Widespread genome sequencing of individuals has revealed the high level of intraspecific variability in plant species. As such, constructing high-quality pan-genomes is a growing necessity to study dynamic plant genomes. Here, Liu et al. release the soybean pan-genome formed from sequencing 2,898 accessions,…

The genome of Prasinoderma coloniale unveils the existence of a third phylum within green plants (Nature Ecol. Evol.)

The green plant lineage (Viridiplantae) has long been described as having a single origin (starting with the engulfment of a cyanobacteria-like endosymbiont) that has led to two phyla: the Streptophyta, including embryophytes (land plants) and some algae such as chara and nitella, and the Chlorophyta,…

Mutation bias shapes gene evolution in Arabidopsis thaliana (bioRxiv)

Classical evolutionary theory states that the probability of a mutation occurring is independent of fitness consequences. However, reassessment of traditional assumptions is warranted with recent discoveries showing that cytogenetic (DNA sequences and epigenetic) features can affect local mutation probabilities.…

Review. The plant microbiome: From ecology to reductionism and beyond (Annu. Rev. Microbiol.)

The last two decades have witnessed tremendous progress in our understanding of plant microbiota. Fitzpatrick, Salas-González et al. highlight recent discoveries from culture-dependent and culture-independent approaches and discuss the future path towards integrating these approaches. Culture-independent…

Convergent loss of plant immune receptors and signaling pathways (Plant Cell)

Nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat receptors (NLRs) are important components of the plant immune system. They are intracellular receptors that act downstream of the cell-surface receptors, and initiate the so-called effector-triggered immunity (ETI). In most plants, the NLR gene family is large and…

Major impacts of widespread structural variation on gene expression and crop improvement in tomato (Cell)

Structural Variants (SVs) are large genomic deletions, insertions, and duplications with underexplored roles in determining plant phenotypes. Recognizing the extent to which SVs define quantitative trait variation was previously constrained by the fact that popular short-read sequencing technologies…

Genome-wide analysis of the U-box E3 ubiquitin ligase enzyme gene family in tomato (Sci. Reports)

Ubiquitination is a process of adding ubiquitin (a small regulatory protein) to a substrate protein, leading to its degradation. A wide variety of cellular processes necessary for plant growth and development are regulated by ubiquitination. E3 ubiquitin ligases are the largest family of proteins involved…