Most cooking and several desert bananas are interspecific triploid hybrids between Musa acuminata (A genome) and M. balbisiana (B genome). To investigate the possibility of chromosome exchanges between these two species, Jeridi et al. develop a genomic in situ hybridization protocol suitable for analysing meiosis metaphase I from Musa pollen mother cells. They demonstrate that chromosome [...]
Archive for October, 2011
Diphasiastrum species have been assumed to produce homoploid hybrids whose reproductive competence is still a matter of debate. Using flow cytometry, Bennert et al. demonstrate that the three Central European primary hybrids are consistently homoploid. Their nuclear DNA amounts are invariable and intermediate between the parents; no indications for diploid backcrossing are found. Higher DNA amounts [...]
Spatial patterns of plant disease provide important information about pathogen source, spread and reproduction. Using point pattern analysis, Everhart et al. generate detailed three-dimensional maps of different symptom types of brown rot (Monilinia laxa) in sour cherry tree (Prunus cerasus) canopies to characterize symptom aggregation and association. This mapping and analysis framework, which quantitatively supports [...]
Legume plants enter into symbiotic relationships with soil bacteria in order to obtain nitrogen to sustain plant growth. The nodulation associated with this is regulated in response to both internal developmental signals via the autoregulation of nodulation (AON) and by environmental signals, such as the availability of soil nitrogen. Reid et al. focus on the conservation [...]
At the moment, I am teaching plant hormones in our course on plant cell and developmental biology (BS1003). Fortunately, hormones and development link well with Halloween this year: we have witches, sitting on a broom, with a pumpkin, and for good measure some brightly colored leaves falling around them. Where is the connection? The broom [...]
This article provides an overview of the development and structure of spore and pollen walls in the major plant groups and summarises progress in our understanding of the molecular genetics underpinning spore/pollen evolution and development.
Plants are daily subjected to myriad biotic and abiotic factors and have to respond appropriately to them or suffer the consequences. However, one factor they’ve probably not been subjected to for much of their evolutionary history is… music. Whether music should be considered abiotic or biotic is a moot point, but an investigation into how [...]