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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genomes and transcriptomes of duckweeds.

Duckweeds (Lemnaceae family) are the smallest flowering plants that adapt to the aquatic environment. They are regarded as the promising sustainable feedstock with the characteristics of high starch storage, fast propagation, and global distribution. The duckweed genome size varies 13-fold ranging from 150 Mb in Spirodela polyrhiza to 1,881 Mb in Wolffia arrhiza. With the development of sequencing technology and bioinformatics, five duckweed genomes from Spirodela and Lemna genera are sequenced and assembled. The genome annotations discover that they share similar protein orthologs, whereas the repeat contents could mainly explain the genome size difference. The gene families responsible for cell…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Regulation of neuronal differentiation, function, and plasticity by alternative splicing.

Posttranscriptional mechanisms provide powerful means to expand the coding power of genomes. In nervous systems, alternative splicing has emerged as a fundamental mechanism not only for the diversification of protein isoforms but also for the spatiotemporal control of transcripts. Thus, alternative splicing programs play instructive roles in the development of neuronal cell type-specific properties, neuronal growth, self-recognition, synapse specification, and neuronal network function. Here we discuss the most recent genome-wide efforts on mapping RNA codes and RNA-binding proteins for neuronal alternative splicing regulation. We illustrate how alternative splicing shapes key steps of neuronal development, neuronal maturation, and synaptic properties. Finally,…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Hardwood tree genomics: Unlocking woody plant biology.

Woody perennial angiosperms (i.e., hardwood trees) are polyphyletic in origin and occur in most angiosperm orders. Despite their independent origins, hardwoods have shared physiological, anatomical, and life history traits distinct from their herbaceous relatives. New high-throughput DNA sequencing platforms have provided access to numerous woody plant genomes beyond the early reference genomes of Populus and Eucalyptus, references that now include willow and oak, with pecan and chestnut soon to follow. Genomic studies within these diverse and undomesticated species have successfully linked genes to ecological, physiological, and developmental traits directly. Moreover, comparative genomic approaches are providing insights into speciation events while…

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