Recent Posts

Durum wheat genome highlights past domestication signatures and future improvement targets (Nature Genetics)

Durum wheat cultivar Svevo (Triticum turgidum L. ssp. durum) is a cereal crop predominantly grown for pasta production. It is the result of multiple rounds of domestication, originally deriving from wild emmer wheat from the Fertile Crescent approximately 10,000 years ago. Here, Maccaferri et al. report…

Chromatin signature and transcription factor binding provide a predictive basis for understanding plant gene expression (Plant Cell Physiol)

Machine learning is a booming research field, also in Plant Science. Here, Wu et al. use chromatin modifications and transcription factors to predict transcription levels in Arabidopsis and rice. This is not only important for prediction but also to understand the mechanisms underlying epigenetic regulation.…

Molecular digitization of 689 vascular plant species from the Ruili Botanical Garden (Giga Science)

Recent advances in genome sequencing have increased our understanding of plant evolution and provided insights into factors affecting agriculturally important traits (e.g., yield, stress tolerance). There is an impetus to increase the quantity and quality of genomes publically available with around 350…

Dramatic changes in repeat element content and gene family sizes underlie the high-altitude adaptation of rock-cress  (PNAS)

The ability to grow on the ‘roof of the world’ - the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, makes Crucihimalaya himalaica (Rock-cress) an important model for studying adaptive evolution. A draft genome sequence of C. himalaica reported by Zhang et al. now provides clues to its speciation and ecological adaptation.…

Review: Copy Number Variations shaping plant domestication (Trends Plant Sci)

Human-associated plant domestication is a co-evolutionary process that began at least 12,000 years ago. However, the genetic variations underlying many domestication traits are still unknown. In this review, Lye and Purugganan discuss how copy number variations (CNVs) have played an important role in…

Convergent gene loss in aquatic plants predicts new components of plant immunity and drought response (bioRxiv)

Plants transitioned from water to land around 450 Million years ago. Since their emergence onto land, there have been at least a few reversion events to aquatic environments (e.g., duckweed, humped bladderwort). These big evolutionary events imply adaptation to completely different kinds of biotic and…

Rapid evolution of protein diversity by de novo origination in Oryza (Nature Ecol Evol)

The de-novo origin of new protein-coding genes from non-coding regions of plant genomes is a contributor to protein diversity, although it has been difficult to quantify to what extent this process occurs. High quality reference genome maps, deep transcriptome and targeted proteome sequencing are requisite…

A rich evolutionary history of transposable element families in the maize genome (bioRxiv)

Transposable elements (TEs) make up nearly ~85% of the maize genome. Stitzer et al. report a comprehensive analysis of diverse TE families in maize based on the improved annotation of the updated B73 genome assembly. The authors found all of the known plant TE superfamilies in the maize genome, with…

Impact of Biolistic Transformation on the Genome

Liu et al. show that biolistic transformation can cause extensive damage and rearrangements, including deletions, duplications, chromosome fusions, and copy number variations. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00613   By Jianing Liu and R. Kelly Dawe, Department of Genetics, University…