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Friday, July 19, 2019

Long read sequencing technology to solve complex genomic regions assembly in plants

Background: Numerous completed or on-going whole genome sequencing projects have highlighted the fact that obtaining a high quality genome sequence is necessary to address comparative genomics questions such as structural variations among genotypes and gain or loss of specific function. Despite the spectacular progress that has been made in sequencing technologies, obtaining accurate and reliable data is still a challenge, both at the whole genome scale and when targeting specific genomic regions. These problems are even more noticeable for complex plant genomes. Most plant genomes are known to be particularly challenging due to their size, high density of repetitive elements…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Deletion-bias in DNA double-strand break repair differentially contributes to plant genome shrinkage.

In order to prevent genome instability, cells need to be protected by a number of repair mechanisms, including DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair. The extent to which DSB repair, biased towards deletions or insertions, contributes to evolutionary diversification of genome size is still under debate. We analyzed mutation spectra in Arabidopsis thaliana and in barley (Hordeum vulgare) by PacBio sequencing of three DSB-targeted loci each, uncovering repair via gene conversion, single strand annealing (SSA) or nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ). Furthermore, phylogenomic comparisons between A. thaliana and two related species were used to detect naturally occurring deletions during Arabidopsis evolution. Arabidopsis thaliana revealed…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Map-based cloning of the fertility restoration locus Rfm1 in cultivated barley (Hordeum vulgare)

Hybridization technology has proven valuable in enhancing yields in many crops, but was only recently adopted in the small grain cereals. Hybrid varieties in barley (Hordeum vulgare) rely on the cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) system msm1 derived from Hordeum vulgare ssp. spontaneum. The major restorer gene described for the msm1 system is known as Rfm1 and maps to the top of chromosome 6H. To gain further insight into mechanisms underlying male fertility restoration in barley, we used a map-based cloning approach to identify the nuclear gene involved in the restoration mechanism of this hybridization system. Taking advantage of the available…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

The Cer-cqu gene cluster determines three key players in a ß-diketone synthase polyketide pathway synthesizing aliphatics in epicuticular waxes.

Aliphatic compounds on plant surfaces, called epicuticular waxes, are the first line of defense against pathogens and pests, contribute to reducing water loss and determine other important phenotypes. Aliphatics can form crystals affecting light refraction, resulting in a color change and allowing identification of mutants in their synthesis or transport. The present study discloses three such Eceriferum (cer) genes in barley – Cer-c, Cer-q and Cer-u – known to be tightly linked and functioning in a biochemical pathway forming dominating amounts of ß-diketone and hydroxy-ß-diketones plus some esterified alkan-2-ols. These aliphatics are present in many Triticeae as well as dicotyledons…

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