ResearchPad - plant-evolution https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Codon Pairs are Phylogenetically Conserved: A comprehensive analysis of codon pairing conservation across the Tree of Life]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14487 Identical codon pairing and co-tRNA codon pairing increase translational efficiency within genes when two codons that encode the same amino acid are translated by the same tRNA before it diffuses from the ribosome. We examine the phylogenetic signal in both identical and co-tRNA codon pairing across 23 428 species using alignment-free and parsimony methods. We determined that conserved codon pairing typically has a smaller window size than the length of a ribosome, and codon pairing tracks phylogenies across various taxonomic groups. We report a comprehensive analysis of codon pairing, including the extent to which each codon pairs. Our parsimony method generally recovers phylogenies that are more congruent with the established phylogenies than our alignment-free method. However, four of the ten taxonomic groups did not have sufficient orthologous codon pairings and were therefore analyzed using only the alignment-free methods. Since the recovered phylogenies using only codon pairing largely match phylogenies from the Open Tree of Life and the NCBI taxonomy, and are comparable to trees recovered by other algorithms, we propose that codon pairing biases are phylogenetically conserved and should be considered in conjunction with other phylogenomic techniques.

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<![CDATA[A conserved regulatory mechanism mediates the convergent evolution of plant shoot lateral organs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N38f7a2a5-9838-4ae0-b206-f959ee03524f

Land plant shoot structures evolved a diversity of lateral organs as morphological adaptations to the terrestrial environment, with lateral organs arising independently in different lineages. Vascular plants and bryophytes (basally diverging land plants) develop lateral organs from meristems of sporophytes and gametophytes, respectively. Understanding the mechanisms of lateral organ development among divergent plant lineages is crucial for understanding the evolutionary process of morphological diversification of land plants. However, our current knowledge of lateral organ differentiation mechanisms comes almost entirely from studies of seed plants, and thus, it remains unclear how these lateral structures evolved and whether common regulatory mechanisms control the development of analogous lateral organs. Here, we performed a mutant screen in the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha, a bryophyte, which produces gametophyte axes with nonphotosynthetic scalelike lateral organs. We found that an Arabidopsis LIGHT-DEPENDENT SHORT HYPOCOTYLS 1 and Oryza G1 (ALOG) family protein, named M. polymorpha LATERAL ORGAN SUPRESSOR 1 (MpLOS1), regulates meristem maintenance and lateral organ development in Marchantia. A mutation in MpLOS1, preferentially expressed in lateral organs, induces lateral organs with misspecified identity and increased cell number and, furthermore, causes defects in apical meristem maintenance. Remarkably, MpLOS1 expression rescued the elongated spikelet phenotype of a MpLOS1 homolog in rice. This suggests that ALOG genes regulate the development of lateral organs in both gametophyte and sporophyte shoots by repressing cell divisions. We propose that the recruitment of ALOG-mediated growth repression was in part responsible for the convergent evolution of independently evolved lateral organs among highly divergent plant lineages, contributing to the morphological diversification of land plants.

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<![CDATA[Regional and global shifts in crop diversity through the Anthropocene]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648ceed5eed0c484c81b0f

The Anthropocene epoch is partly defined by anthropogenic spread of crops beyond their centres of origin. At global scales, evidence indicates that species-level taxonomic diversity of crops being cultivated on large-scale agricultural lands has increased linearly over the past 50 years. Yet environmental and socio-economic differences support expectations that temporal changes in crop diversity vary across regions. Ecological theory also suggests that changes in crop taxonomic diversity may not necessarily reflect changes in the evolutionary diversity of crops. We used data from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to assess changes in crop taxonomic- and phylogenetic diversity across 22 subcontinental-scale regions from 1961–2014. We document certain broad consistencies across nearly all regions: i) little change in crop diversity from 1961 through to the late 1970s; followed by ii) a 10-year period of sharp diversification through the early 1980s; followed by iii) a “levelling-off” of crop diversification beginning in the early 1990s. However, the specific onset and duration of these distinct periods differs significantly across regions and are unrelated to agricultural expansion, indicating that unique policy or environmental conditions influence the crops being grown within a given region. Additionally, while the 1970s and 1980s are defined by region-scale increases in crop diversity this period marks the increasing dominance of a small number of crop species and lineages; a trend resulting in detectable increases in the similarity of crops being grown across regions. Broad similarities in the species-level taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity of crops being grown across regions, primarily at large industrial scales captured by FAO data, represent a unique feature of the Anthropocene epoch. Yet nuanced asymmetries in regional-scale trends suggest that environmental and socio-economic factors play a key role in shaping observed macro-ecological changes in the plant diversity on agricultural lands.

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<![CDATA[Comparative Phylogenomics Uncovers the Impact of Symbiotic Associations on Host Genome Evolution]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db49ab0ee8fa60bd981e

Mutualistic symbioses between eukaryotes and beneficial microorganisms of their microbiome play an essential role in nutrition, protection against disease, and development of the host. However, the impact of beneficial symbionts on the evolution of host genomes remains poorly characterized. Here we used the independent loss of the most widespread plant–microbe symbiosis, arbuscular mycorrhization (AM), as a model to address this question. Using a large phenotypic approach and phylogenetic analyses, we present evidence that loss of AM symbiosis correlates with the loss of many symbiotic genes in the Arabidopsis lineage (Brassicales). Then, by analyzing the genome and/or transcriptomes of nine other phylogenetically divergent non-host plants, we show that this correlation occurred in a convergent manner in four additional plant lineages, demonstrating the existence of an evolutionary pattern specific to symbiotic genes. Finally, we use a global comparative phylogenomic approach to track this evolutionary pattern among land plants. Based on this approach, we identify a set of 174 highly conserved genes and demonstrate enrichment in symbiosis-related genes. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that beneficial symbionts maintain purifying selection on host gene networks during the evolution of entire lineages.

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<![CDATA[Population Expanding with the Phalanx Model and Lineages Split by Environmental Heterogeneity: A Case Study of Primula obconica in Subtropical China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab5ab0ee8fa60bac6de

Background

Current and historical events have both affected the current distribution patterns and intraspecific divergence of plants. While numerous studies have focused on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP), the impacts of such events on the flora of subtropical China remain poorly understood. Subtropical China is famous for its highly complex topography and the limited impact from glaciation during the Pleistocene; this may have resulted in a different genetic legacy for species in this region compared to fully glaciated areas.

Methodology/Principal Findings

We used plastid and nuclear DNA sequence data and distribution modeling to analyze the divergence patterns and demographic history of Primula obconica Hance, a widespread herbaceous montane species in subtropical China. The phylogenetic analysis revealed two major lineages (lineage A and lineage B), representing a west-east split into the Yunnan and Eastern groups, and the Sichuan and Central groups, respectively. The Eastern and Central groups comprised relatively new derived haplotypes. Nested Clade Analysis and Bayesian Skyline Plot analyses both indicated that P. obconica mainly experienced a gradual expansion of populations. In addition, the simulated distribution of P. obconica during the Last Glacial Maximum was slightly larger than its present-day distribution.

Conclusion/Significance

Our results are the first to identify a west-east migration of P. obconica. The gradual expansion pattern and a larger potential distribution range in cold periods detected for P. obconica indicate that the population expansion of this species is consistent with the phalanx model. In addition, the current patterns of genetic differentiation have persisted as a result of the extensive environmental heterogeneity that exists in subtropical China.

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<![CDATA[Internal Transcribed Spacer 2 (nu ITS2 rRNA) Sequence-Structure Phylogenetics: Towards an Automated Reconstruction of the Green Algal Tree of Life]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da73ab0ee8fa60b95bfe

Background

Chloroplast-encoded genes (matK and rbcL) have been formally proposed for use in DNA barcoding efforts targeting embryophytes. Extending such a protocol to chlorophytan green algae, though, is fraught with problems including non homology (matK) and heterogeneity that prevents the creation of a universal PCR toolkit (rbcL). Some have advocated the use of the nuclear-encoded, internal transcribed spacer two (ITS2) as an alternative to the traditional chloroplast markers. However, the ITS2 is broadly perceived to be insufficiently conserved or to be confounded by introgression or biparental inheritance patterns, precluding its broad use in phylogenetic reconstruction or as a DNA barcode. A growing body of evidence has shown that simultaneous analysis of nucleotide data with secondary structure information can overcome at least some of the limitations of ITS2. The goal of this investigation was to assess the feasibility of an automated, sequence-structure approach for analysis of IT2 data from a large sampling of phylum Chlorophyta.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Sequences and secondary structures from 591 chlorophycean, 741 trebouxiophycean and 938 ulvophycean algae, all obtained from the ITS2 Database, were aligned using a sequence structure-specific scoring matrix. Phylogenetic relationships were reconstructed by Profile Neighbor-Joining coupled with a sequence structure-specific, general time reversible substitution model. Results from analyses of the ITS2 data were robust at multiple nodes and showed considerable congruence with results from published phylogenetic analyses.

Conclusions/Significance

Our observations on the power of automated, sequence-structure analyses of ITS2 to reconstruct phylum-level phylogenies of the green algae validate this approach to assessing diversity for large sets of chlorophytan taxa. Moreover, our results indicate that objections to the use of ITS2 for DNA barcoding should be weighed against the utility of an automated, data analysis approach with demonstrated power to reconstruct evolutionary patterns for highly divergent lineages.

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<![CDATA[Symbiotic Effectiveness of Rhizobial Mutualists Varies in Interactions with Native Australian Legume Genera]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daefab0ee8fa60bc0b5a

Background and Objectives

Interactions between plants and beneficial soil organisms (e.g. rhizobial bacteria, mycorrhizal fungi) are models for investigating the ecological impacts of such associations in plant communities, and the evolution and maintenance of variation in mutualisms (e.g. host specificity and the level of benefits provided). With relatively few exceptions, variation in symbiotic effectiveness across wild host species is largely unexplored.

Methods

We evaluated these associations using representatives of several legume genera which commonly co-occur in natural ecosystems in south-eastern Australia and an extensive set of rhizobial strains isolated from these hosts. These strains had been previously assigned to specific phylotypes on the basis of molecular analyses. In the first of two inoculation experiments, the growth responses of each host species was evaluated with rhizobial strains isolated from that species. The second experiment assessed performance across genera and the extent of host specificity using a subset of these strains.

Results

While host growth responses to their own (sympatric) isolates varied considerably, rhizobial phylotype was a significant predictor of symbiotic performance, indicating that bacterial species designations on the basis of molecular markers have ecological importance. Hosts responded in qualitatively different ways to sympatric and allopatric strains of rhizobia, ranging from species with a clear preference for their own strains, to those that were broad generalists, through to species that grew significantly better with allopatric strains.

Conclusion

Theory has focused on trade-offs between the provision of benefits and symbiont competitive ability that might explain the persistence of less beneficial strains. However, differences in performance among co-occurring host species could also drive such patterns. Our results thus highlight the likely importance of plant community structure in maintaining variation in symbiotic effectiveness.

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<![CDATA[Culture and Hybridization Experiments on an Ulva Clade Including the Qingdao Strain Blooming in the Yellow Sea]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa1ab0ee8fa60ba5d45

In the summer of 2008, immediately prior to the Beijing Olympics, a massive green tide of the genus Ulva covered the Qingdao coast of the Yellow Sea in China. Based on molecular analyses using the nuclear encoded rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region, the Qingdao strains dominating the green tide were reported to be included in a single phylogenetic clade, currently regarded as a single species. On the other hand, our detailed phylogenetic analyses of the clade, using a higher resolution DNA marker, suggested that two genetically separate entities could be included within the clade. However, speciation within the Ulva clade has not yet been examined. We examined the occurrence of an intricate speciation within the clade, including the Qingdao strains, via combined studies of culture, hybridization and phylogenetic analysis. The two entities separated by our phylogenetic analyses of the clade were simply distinguished as U. linza and U. prolifera morphologically by the absence or presence of branches in cultured thalli. The inclusion of sexual strains and several asexual strains were found in each taxon. Hybridizations among the sexual strains also supported the separation by a partial gamete incompatibility. The sexually reproducing Qingdao strains crossed with U. prolifera without any reproductive boundary, but a complete reproductive isolation to U. linza occurred by gamete incompatibility. The results demonstrate that the U. prolifera group includes two types of sexual strains distinguishable by crossing affinity to U. linza. Species identification within the Ulva clade requires high resolution DNA markers and/or hybridization experiments and is not possible by reliance on the ITS markers alone.

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<![CDATA[An Evaluation of Putative Sympatric Speciation within Limnanthes (Limnanthaceae)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db03ab0ee8fa60bc7594

Limnanthes floccosa ssp. floccosa and L. floccosa ssp. grandiflora are two of five subspecies within Limnanthes floccosa endemic to vernal pools in southern Oregon and northern California. Three seasons of monitoring natural populations have quantified that L. floccosa ssp. grandiflora is always found growing sympatrically with L. floccosa ssp. floccosa and that their flowering times overlap considerably. Despite their subspecific rank within the same species crossing experiments have confirmed that their F1 hybrids are sterile. An analysis of twelve microsatellite markers, with unique alleles in each taxon, also shows exceedingly low levels of gene flow between populations of the two subspecies. Due to the lack of previous phylogenetic resolution among L. floccosa subspecies, we used Illumina next generation sequencing to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms from genomic DNA libraries of L. floccosa ssp. floccosa and L. floccosa ssp. grandiflora. These data were used to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms in the chloroplast, mitochondrial, and nuclear genomes. From these variable loci, a total of 2772 bp was obtained using Sanger sequencing of ten individuals representing all subspecies of L. floccosa and an outgroup. The resulting phylogenetic reconstruction was fully resolved. Our results indicate that although L. floccosa ssp. floccosa and L. floccosa ssp. grandiflora are closely related, they are not sister taxa and therefore likely did not diverge as a result of a sympatric speciation event.

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<![CDATA[A Continental-Wide Perspective: The Genepool of Nuclear Encoded Ribosomal DNA and Single-Copy Gene Sequences in North American Boechera (Brassicaceae)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da93ab0ee8fa60ba1076

74 of the currently accepted 111 taxa of the North American genus Boechera (Brassicaceae) were subject to pyhlogenetic reconstruction and network analysis. The dataset comprised 911 accessions for which ITS sequences were analyzed. Phylogenetic analyses yielded largely unresolved trees. Together with the network analysis confirming this result this can be interpreted as an indication for multiple, independent, and rapid diversification events. Network analyses were superimposed with datasets describing i) geographical distribution, ii) taxonomy, iii) reproductive mode, and iv) distribution history based on phylogeographic evidence. Our results provide first direct evidence for enormous reticulate evolution in the entire genus and give further insights into the evolutionary history of this complex genus on a continental scale. In addition two novel single-copy gene markers, orthologues of the Arabidopsis thaliana genes At2g25920 and At3g18900, were analyzed for subsets of taxa and confirmed the findings obtained through the ITS data.

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<![CDATA[Sinocurculigo, a New Genus of Hypoxidaceae from China Based on Molecular and Morphological Evidence]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da71ab0ee8fa60b94d45

Background

The monocot family Hypoxidaceae consists of nine genera with nearly 200 species. They occur mostly in the Southern Hemisphere with only a few species in the Northern Hemisphere, of which three genera, Hypoxis, Molineria, and Curculigo, with eight species are distributed in China. Recently, we have found a hypoxid-like plant in China that is quite different in floral structure from any of the three genera and even of the known taxa in Hypoxidaceae.

Methodology/Principal Findings

In addition to morphological analysis, we performed maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian inference analyses based on fragments of the chloroplast matK and rbcL genes of 60 taxa in 12 families representing all major clades of the Hypoxidaceae alliance. Results showed that Hypoxidaceae is monophyletic and and that the new plant belongs to it, forming a distinct clade within the family Hypoxidaceae as a sister of Molineria. Phylogeny of the Hypoxidaceae family was constructed based on a combined matrix of the chloroplast rbcL, trnS-G, and trnL-F regions of 59 taxa in Hypoxidaceae and its alliance. Findings of the molecular investigation is consistent with those of the morphological analysis.

Conclusions/Significance

Based on the results of our molecular and morphological analyses in the present study, we propose a new genus, Sinocurculigo.

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<![CDATA[Next Generation Sequencing-Based Analysis of Repetitive DNA in the Model Dioceous Plant Silene latifolia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da3bab0ee8fa60b87e85

Background

Silene latifolia is a dioceous plant with well distinguished X and Y chromosomes that is used as a model to study sex determination and sex chromosome evolution in plants. However, efficient utilization of this species has been hampered by the lack of large-scale sequencing resources and detailed analysis of its genome composition, especially with respect to repetitive DNA, which makes up the majority of the genome.

Methodology/Principal Findings

We performed low-pass 454 sequencing followed by similarity-based clustering of 454 reads in order to identify and characterize sequences of all major groups of S. latifolia repeats. Illumina sequencing data from male and female genomes were also generated and employed to quantify the genomic proportions of individual repeat families. The majority of identified repeats belonged to LTR-retrotransposons, constituting about 50% of genomic DNA, with Ty3/gypsy elements being more frequent than Ty1/copia. While there were differences between the male and female genome in the abundance of several repeat families, their overall repeat composition was highly similar. Specific localization patterns on sex chromosomes were found for several satellite repeats using in situ hybridization with probes based on k-mer frequency analysis of Illumina sequencing data.

Conclusions/Significance

This study provides comprehensive information about the sequence composition and abundance of repeats representing over 60% of the S. latifolia genome. The results revealed generally low divergence in repeat composition between the sex chromosomes, which is consistent with their relatively recent origin. In addition, the study generated various data resources that are available for future exploration of the S. latifolia genome.

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<![CDATA[Analysis of Complete Nucleotide Sequences of 12 Gossypium Chloroplast Genomes: Origin and Evolution of Allotetraploids]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db3bab0ee8fa60bd4e3d

Background

Cotton (Gossypium spp.) is a model system for the analysis of polyploidization. Although ascertaining the donor species of allotetraploid cotton has been intensively studied, sequence comparison of Gossypium chloroplast genomes is still of interest to understand the mechanisms underlining the evolution of Gossypium allotetraploids, while it is generally accepted that the parents were A- and D-genome containing species. Here we performed a comparative analysis of 13 Gossypium chloroplast genomes, twelve of which are presented here for the first time.

Methodology/Principal Findings

The size of 12 chloroplast genomes under study varied from 159,959 bp to 160,433 bp. The chromosomes were highly similar having >98% sequence identity. They encoded the same set of 112 unique genes which occurred in a uniform order with only slightly different boundary junctions. Divergence due to indels as well as substitutions was examined separately for genome, coding and noncoding sequences. The genome divergence was estimated as 0.374% to 0.583% between allotetraploid species and A-genome, and 0.159% to 0.454% within allotetraploids. Forty protein-coding genes were completely identical at the protein level, and 20 intergenic sequences were completely conserved. The 9 allotetraploids shared 5 insertions and 9 deletions in whole genome, and 7-bp substitutions in protein-coding genes. The phylogenetic tree confirmed a close relationship between allotetraploids and the ancestor of A-genome, and the allotetraploids were divided into four separate groups. Progenitor allotetraploid cotton originated 0.43–0.68 million years ago (MYA).

Conclusion

Despite high degree of conservation between the Gossypium chloroplast genomes, sequence variations among species could still be detected. Gossypium chloroplast genomes preferred for 5-bp indels and 1–3-bp indels are mainly attributed to the SSR polymorphisms. This study supports that the common ancestor of diploid A-genome species in Gossypium is the maternal source of extant allotetraploid species and allotetraploids have a monophyletic origin. G. hirsutum AD1 lineages have experienced more sequence variations than other allotetraploids in intergenic regions. The available complete nucleotide sequences of 12 Gossypium chloroplast genomes should facilitate studies to uncover the molecular mechanisms of compartmental co-evolution and speciation of Gossypium allotetraploids.

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<![CDATA[Temporal-Spatial Variation and Controls of Soil Respiration in Different Primary Succession Stages on Glacier Forehead in Gongga Mountain, China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da06ab0ee8fa60b75e72

Soil respiration (SR) is an important process in the global carbon cycle. It is difficult to estimate SR emission accurately because of its temporal and spatial variability. Primary forest succession on Glacier forehead provides the ideal environment for examining the temporal-spatial variation and controlling factors of SR. However, relevant studies on SR are relatively scarce, and variations, as well as controlling factors, remain uncertain in this kind of region. In this study, we used a static chamber system to measure SR in six sites which represent different stages of forest succession on forehead of a temperate glacier in Gongga Mountain, China. Our results showed that there was substantial temporal (coefficient of variation (CV) ranged from 39.3% to 73.9%) and spatial (CV ranged from 12.3% to 88.6%) variation in SR. Soil temperature (ST) at 5 cm depth was the major controlling factor of temporal variation in all six sites. Spatial variation in SR was mainly caused by differences in plant biomass and Total N among the six sites. Moreover, soil moisture (SM), microbial biomass carbon (MBC), soil organic carbon (SOC), pH and bulk density could influence SR by directly or indirectly affecting plant biomass and Total N. Q10 values (ranged from 2.1 to 4.7) increased along the forest succession, and the mean value (3.3) was larger than that of temperate ecosystems, which indicated a general tendency towards higher-Q10 in colder ecosystems than in warmer ecosystems. Our findings provided valuable information for understanding temporal-spatial variation and controlling factors of SR.

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<![CDATA[Evolution of Growth Habit, Inflorescence Architecture, Flower Size, and Fruit Type in Rubiaceae: Its Ecological and Evolutionary Implications]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e0ab0ee8fa60b69701

During angiosperm evolution, innovations in vegetative and reproductive organs have resulted in tremendous morphological diversity, which has played a crucial role in the ecological success of flowering plants. Morindeae (Rubiaceae) display considerable diversity in growth form, inflorescence architecture, flower size, and fruit type. Lianescent habit, head inflorescence, small flower, and multiple fruit are the predominant states, but arborescent habit, non-headed inflorescence, large flower, and simple fruit states occur in various genera. This makes Morindeae an ideal model for exploring the evolutionary appearances and transitions between the states of these characters. We reconstructed ancestral states for these four traits using a Bayesian approach and combined nuclear/chloroplast data for 61 Morindeae species. The aim was to test three hypotheses: 1) self-supporting habit is generally ancestral in clades comprising both lianescent and arborescent species; 2) changes from lianescent to arborescent habit are uncommon due to “a high degree of specialization and developmental burden”; 3) head inflorescences and multiple fruits in Morindeae evolved from non-headed inflorescences and simple fruits, respectively. Lianescent habit, head inflorescence, large flower, and multiple fruit are inferred for Morindeae, making arborescent habit, non-headed inflorescence, small flower, and simple fruit derived within the tribe. The rate of change from lianescent to arborescent habit is much higher than the reverse change. Therefore, evolutionary changes between lianescent and arborescent forms can be reversible, and their frequency and trends vary between groups. Moreover, these changes are partly attributed to a scarcity of host trees for climbing plants in more open habitats. Changes from large to small flowers might have been driven by shifts to pollinators with progressively shorter proboscis, which are associated with shifts in breeding systems towards dioecy. A single origin of dioecy from hermaphroditism is supported. Finally, we report evolutionary changes from headed to non-headed inflorescences and multiple to simple fruits.

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<![CDATA[Dryland Wheat Domestication Changed the Development of Aboveground Architecture for a Well-Structured Canopy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da72ab0ee8fa60b9536b

We examined three different-ploidy wheat species to elucidate the development of aboveground architecture and its domesticated mechanism under environment-controlled field conditions. Architecture parameters including leaf, stem, spike and canopy morphology were measured together with biomass allocation, leaf net photosynthetic rate and instantaneous water use efficiency (WUEi). Canopy biomass density was decreased from diploid to tetraploid wheat, but increased to maximum in hexaploid wheat. Population yield in hexaploid wheat was higher than in diploid wheat, but the population fitness and individual competition ability was higher in diploid wheats. Plant architecture was modified from a compact type in diploid wheats to an incompact type in tetraploid wheats, and then to a more compact type of hexaploid wheats. Biomass accumulation, population yield, harvest index and the seed to leaf ratio increased from diploid to tetraploid and hexaploid, associated with heavier specific internode weight and greater canopy biomass density in hexaploid and tetraploid than in diploid wheat. Leaf photosynthetic rate and WUEi were decreased from diploid to tetraploid and increased from tetraploid to hexaploid due to more compact leaf type in hexaploid and diploid than in tetraploid. Grain yield formation and WUEi were closely associated with spatial stance of leaves and stems. We conclude that the ideotype of dryland wheats could be based on spatial reconstruction of leaf type and further exertion of leaf photosynthetic rate.

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<![CDATA[Determining the Contribution of Epidermal Cell Shape to Petal Wettability Using Isogenic Antirrhinum Lines]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9dfab0ee8fa60b68f4a

The petal epidermis acts not only as a barrier to the outside world but also as a point of interaction between the flower and potential pollinators. The presence of conical petal epidermal cells has previously been shown to influence the attractiveness of the flower to pollinating insects. Using Antirrhinum isogenic lines differing only in the presence of a single epidermal structure, conical cells, we were able to investigate how the structure of the epidermis influences petal wettability by measuring the surface contact angle of water drops. Conical cells have a significant impact on how water is retained on the flower surface, which may have indirect consequences for pollinator behaviour. We discuss how the petal epidermis is a highly multifunctional one and how a battery of methods, including the use of isogenic lines, is required to untangle the impacts of specific epidermal properties in an ecological context.

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<![CDATA[A Complex Recombination Pattern in the Genome of Allotetraploid Brassica napus as Revealed by a High-Density Genetic Map]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9cab0ee8fa60ba3e6d

Polyploidy plays a crucial role in plant evolution. Brassica napus (2n = 38, AACC), the most important oil crop in the Brassica genus, is an allotetraploid that originated through natural doubling of chromosomes after the hybridization of its progenitor species, B. rapa (2n = 20, AA) and B. oleracea (2n = 18, CC). A better understanding of the evolutionary relationship between B. napus and B. rapa, B. oleracea, as well as Arabidopsis, which has a common ancestor with these three species, will provide valuable information about the generation and evolution of allopolyploidy. Based on a high-density genetic map with single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers, we performed a comparative genomic analysis of B. napus with Arabidopsis and its progenitor species B. rapa and B. oleracea. Based on the collinear relationship of B. rapa and B. oleracea in the B. napus genetic map, the B. napus genome was found to consist of 70.1% of the skeleton components of the chromosomes of B. rapa and B. oleracea, with 17.7% of sequences derived from reciprocal translocation between homoeologous chromosomes between the A- and C-genome and 3.6% of sequences derived from reciprocal translocation between non-homologous chromosomes at both intra- and inter-genomic levels. The current study thus provides insights into the formation and evolution of the allotetraploid B. napus genome, which will allow for more accurate transfer of genomic information from B. rapa, B. oleracea and Arabidopsis to B. napus.

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<![CDATA[Widespread Endogenization of Genome Sequences of Non-Retroviral RNA Viruses into Plant Genomes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9dab0ee8fa60ba4560

Non-retroviral RNA virus sequences (NRVSs) have been found in the chromosomes of vertebrates and fungi, but not plants. Here we report similarly endogenized NRVSs derived from plus-, negative-, and double-stranded RNA viruses in plant chromosomes. These sequences were found by searching public genomic sequence databases, and, importantly, most NRVSs were subsequently detected by direct molecular analyses of plant DNAs. The most widespread NRVSs were related to the coat protein (CP) genes of the family Partitiviridae which have bisegmented dsRNA genomes, and included plant- and fungus-infecting members. The CP of a novel fungal virus (Rosellinia necatrix partitivirus 2, RnPV2) had the greatest sequence similarity to Arabidopsis thaliana ILR2, which is thought to regulate the activities of the phytohormone auxin, indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). Furthermore, partitivirus CP-like sequences much more closely related to plant partitiviruses than to RnPV2 were identified in a wide range of plant species. In addition, the nucleocapsid protein genes of cytorhabdoviruses and varicosaviruses were found in species of over 9 plant families, including Brassicaceae and Solanaceae. A replicase-like sequence of a betaflexivirus was identified in the cucumber genome. The pattern of occurrence of NRVSs and the phylogenetic analyses of NRVSs and related viruses indicate that multiple independent integrations into many plant lineages may have occurred. For example, one of the NRVSs was retained in Ar. thaliana but not in Ar. lyrata or other related Camelina species, whereas another NRVS displayed the reverse pattern. Our study has shown that single- and double-stranded RNA viral sequences are widespread in plant genomes, and shows the potential of genome integrated NRVSs to contribute to resolve unclear phylogenetic relationships of plant species.

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<![CDATA[Ixeridium calcicola (Compositae), a New Limestone Endemic from Taiwan, with Notes on Its Atypical Basic Chromosome Number, Phylogenetic Affinities, and a Limestone Refugium Hypothesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db29ab0ee8fa60bd0d1e

A new species Ixeridium calcicola (Compositae) endemic to middle altitude (ca 1,000–2,000 m asl) limestone mountains of eastcentral Taiwan is described based on morphological and chromosome cytological observations and molecular phylogenetic analyses. Ixeridium calcicola resembles Ixeridium transnokoense, endemic to upper montane and alpine ranges (2,600–3,500 m asl) of Taiwan, in the dwarf habit, but differs in the oblong to lanceolate leaf blades (vs. linear to linear-lanceolate), the presence of mucronulate teeth on the leaf margin and petiole (vs. smooth to very sparse), the dark purple lower leaf surface (vs. greenish), the capitulum with 10 to 12 florets (vs. 5 to 7) and 8 to 10 inner phyllaries (vs. 5, rarely to 7). The basic chromosome number in Ixeridium was known as X = 7. However, the new species has a basic chromosome number of X = 8, as recorded also in the closely related Ixeris. Molecular phylogenetic analyses with the expanded sampling of Ixeridium and Ixeris including both type species supported the monophyly of each of the genera and the placement of the new species in Ixeridium. The result of the phylogenetic analyses and detailed observation of the chromosome morphology revealed that X = 8 in Ixeridium calcicola is derived from centric fission in an ancestral karyomorphotype with X = 7 in Ixeridium. Ixeridium calcicola and Ixeridium transnokoense formed a Taiwan endemic lineage and their estimated divergence time was in the middle Pleistocene. Their common ancestral lineage may have experienced altitudinal distribution shifts in response to glacial-interglacial temperature fluctuation, and a lineage which had not retreated to alpine ranges in an interglacial period likely survived in a limestone refugium, where ordinary plant species did not grow, leading to allopatric speciation.

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