Recent Posts

Genome sequence and genetic diversity of European ash trees

Ash dieback (a fungal disease) and the beetle Agrilus planipennis (a herbivore) are crushing ash tree populations in the Northern Hemisphere. To shed light on the genetic basis of the trees' susceptibility and to understand the genetic diversity of these trees, Sollars et al. have sequenced one individual…

A PNAS trio: DNA methylation and small RNAs in plant reproduction

Three PNAS papers explore DNA methylation and/or small RNAs in plant reproductive development. In angiosperms, sexual reproduction is accompanied by DNA demethylation in certain tissues, particularly those that have a nutritive or supporting role.  Park et al. (10.1073/pnas.1619047114) show that in…

Review: History of Solanaceae family in genetic research

Plants from the Solanaceae family had, and continue to have, fundamental roles in plant genetic research.  Gebhardt summarizes the historical contributions of the Solanaceous plants tomato, tobacco, petunia, potato, pepper, and eggplant.  The tomato has been a model plant for studying fruit traits…

Evolution of fruit types in the Rosaceae family

The evolution of fruits might have been the most important feature that made angiosperms so successful. Fruits protect seeds and contribute to seed dispersal, as well as comprise a food source for humans and other animals, therefore, studying their evolution would help us shed light on the evolution…

Review: The Plant Microbiota: Systems-Level Insights and Perspectives ($)

Terrestrial plants are hosts to diverse types of microbes, predominantly bacteria, that affect plant health and growth in numerous ways. The major types of plant microbiota include plant pathogens, arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, endophytes (residing within plant tissues), epiphytes (residing on plant…

Best of 2016: Top Topics in The Plant Cell journal

We’ve highlighted some of the Plant Cell papers that were widely shared, liked, blogged, retweeted and otherwise garnered high-levels of attention this year. Perhaps you can use some holiday-season quiet time to catch up on those you missed. Reviews and Perspectives Creating order from chaos: epigenome…

Review: Endosperm and Imprinting

"The endosperm is often viewed as a complicated and rather strange tissue" begins this review by Gehring and Satyaki. They go on to describe that the endosperm is the site of expression of imprinted genes, which are genes that are expressed soley when inherited from the mother or father.  The authors…

GARNet2016 CRISPR/Cas workshop presentation

Slides from the recent CRISPR/Cas workshop held at the GARNet2016 meeting are now available to download. Organized by Vladimir Nekrasov and Amanda Hopes (The Sainsbury Laboratory/University of East Anglia, UK), the workshop title was, "Introduction to CRISPR-Cas, troubleshooting target design…

Two-cell metabolism in multicellular cyanobacteria ($)

Nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria such as Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 have the challenge of supporting nitrogenase, an enzyme that is highly sensitive to oxygen, and simultaneously photosynthesis, an oxygen-producing set of reactions. They accomplish this by segregating these reactions into two cells, heterocysts…