Recent Posts

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…

Highly active rubiscos discovered by systematic interrogation of natural sequence diversity (EMBO J)

This is a fascinating and very well-written paper that investigates the diversity of rubisco's kinetic properties. Rubisco’s relationship with its substrate CO2 is complicated by its relationship with O2, and it has often been suggested that for this reason rubisco is locked into a slow rate of catalysis.…

Review Single-cell genomics and epigenomics: Technologies and applications in plants ($) (Trends Plant Sci)

Plants (embryophytes) are by definition multicellular, but we seek to understand them as the sum of the activities of individual cells. Much of this knowledge rests on information obtained through grinding up tissues  made up from several cell types. This review by Luo et al. describes methods for plant…