Recent Posts

Mutations PETALOSA cause a dominant double-flower phenotype (J. Exp. Bot.)

Flower development has always been a fascinating field of research in plant biology. While molecular studies in the past focused on regulatory genes involved in the formation of floral organs in model species, current investigations are addressing the genetic determinants underlying the huge variety…

The negative effect of a vertically transmitted fungal endophyte on seed longevity is stronger than that of ozone transgenerational effect ($) (Environ. Exp. Bot.)

Global environmental change brings new challenges to plants at different levels, including seed development and persistence. For example, the increasing ground-levels of ozone (O3) can affect seed viability, as a result of changes in the mother plant antioxidant machinery. These responses might depend…

Evolution of tetraploid meiosis (PNAS)

Genome duplications are common in plants and thought to be an important contributor to evolutionary innovations, but the increase in ploidy that results from a genome duplication also presents challenges for reproduction. Because there are four sets of homologous chromosomes in the derived tetraploid…

Review: The domestication syndrome in vegetatively propagated field crops (Ann. Bot.)

Archeological remains and genetic analyses of ancient DNA have revealed that the loss of seed dispersal marks the onset of domestication for sexually reproduced crops such as cereal, legume and oils seed crops, for which annual cultivation is based on sowing seeds. In contrast, less is known about the…

Sex chromosome evolution in asparagus (Plant Cell)

Separation of male and female flowers on different individuals, called dioecy, has evolved independently many times in flowering plants from hermaphroditic ancestors. A long-standing theory predicts that specialized X and Y sex chromosomes can evolve in dioecious species when mutations occur in two tightly…

FERONIA controls pectin- and nitric oxide-mediated male–female interaction (Nature)

In flowering plants, fertilization occurs when a pollen tube, growing down the transmitting tissue, arrives at the ovule, ruptures, and releases its content of sperm cells. The pollen tube is guided towards the ovule by LUREs, small cysteine-rich secreted peptides. Timely rupturing and sperm release…

Roles for CHROMATIN REMODELING 4 in Arabidopsis floral transition (Plant Cell)

The time at which flowers appear is critical for plant reproductive success. As such, the vegetative to reproductive growth transition is governed by several cues: environmental (photoperiod, temperature) and endogenous (gibberellins, age). Here, Sang et al. used an elegant forward-genetics approach…

Convergent recruitment of TALE homeodomain life cycle regulators to direct sporophyte development in land plants and brown algae (eLIFE)

Life cycles in sexually reproducing plants and algae alternate between diploid (sporophytic) and haploid (gametophytic) generations. The haploid gametophyte produces gametes that mate to generate the diploid sporophyte, which in turn undergoes meiosis to generate haploid spores. Development must be coordinated…

Review: Pathways to sex determination in plants: How many roads lead to Rome? (COPB)

Although most angiosperms produce both male and female gametes, in some species an individual is either male or female, a property known as dioecy (literally, two houses). Dioecy exists in ~6% of angiosperms and is hypothesized to have evolved several times independently. While much research has been…