Recent Posts

Genomic diversification of LATE EMBRYOGENESIS ABUNDANT (LEA) protein gene families (GBE)

LEA genes were first identified as being highly abundant during seed desiccation (hence their name), but later were also shown to accumulate in other tissues in response to drought stress, and to confer desiccation tolerance in “resurrection plants”. These small proteins are characterized by having…

Finding candidate genes in maize with Camoco (Plant Cell)

Schaefer and colleagues have developed Camoco (Co-analysis of molecular components), which integrates data from GWAS and co-expression networks to identify high confidence candidate genes associated with a phenotype of interest. To evaluate the program they used GWAS and co-expression data from maize.…

Major domestication-related phenotypes in indica rice are due to loss of miRNA-mediated laccase silencing (Plant Cell)

Rice (Oryza sativa) is derived from breeding of perennial wild ancestors with long stalks and few seeds to short plants with enlarged panicles (inflorescences). Many known domestication changes are due to changes in transcription factors or modulation of enzymatic actions. Recent work by Swetha et al.…

Desiccation tolerance evolved through gene duplication and network rewiring in Lindernia (Plant Cell)

Desiccation tolerance is the property of being able to survive and recover from extreme dehydration. Although there are many desiccation-tolerant plant species, efforts to identify the genetic basis of desiccation tolerance have been limited by a lack of closely-related desiccation sensitive species.…

Tea genome expansion linked to TE bursts (Plant Biotechnol. J.)

Expansion of plant genomes is thought to be linked to massive bursts of transposable elements activity. This implies consequences on the distribution of epigenetic modifications required for the silencing of the causative transposons. Consequences of transposon bursts have been extensively described…

Molecular events marking the onset of berry ripening in grapevine (Plant Physiol)

Do you know the difference between a wine made from Pinot noir grapes and one made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes? Most people can taste a difference, but to really understand the wines you might want to go a bit deeper through metabolomic and transcriptomic approaches, as done by Fasoli et al. (in a…

Plant sex regions can “jump” in strawberry (PLOS Biol.)

Sex chromosome restructure has happened frequently during the evolution of eukaryotes, often resulting in highly differentiated sex chromosomes. However, little is known about this process in plants. The wild North American octoploid strawberries (Fragaria) have separate sexes with homomorphic, female…

Viral sequences in the Arabidopsis genome ($) (Mol. Phylogenetics Evol.)

Numerous prokaryotic and eukaryotic genes have been identified as having homology to viral sequences. This phenomenon is the result of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) between viral pathogens and host cells. Chu and collaborators performed a proteome-wide analysis for the identification of viral domains…

The transcriptional landscape of polyploid wheat ($) (Science)

Wheat is a tough nut to crack, as it is hexaploid, comprising three diploid genomes (the A, B and D genomes). The International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium has released a fully-annotated wheat reference genome, and Ramírez-González et al. present a thorough analysis of its transcriptome. Although…