The persimmon genome reveals clues to the evolution of a lineage-specific sex determination system in plants We developed a reference genome for Diospyros lotus (diploid persimmon) to further investigate the evolutionary steps that lead to dioecy in this system. Using this new genome assembly, we were able to identify a species-specific whole-genome duplication (WGD) event,Continue reading

Genomic Outcomes of Haploid Induction Crosses in Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) In this collaboration with the International Potato Center (CIP), we investigated potato lines with an unusual property: when used to cross-pollinate another potato, their chromosomes sometimes disappear from the ensuing progeny, resulting in haploid plants. More than just a genetic oddity, this phenomenon canContinue reading

Haploid Induction and Genome Instability Trends in Genetics Volume 35, Issue 11, November 2019 Pages 791-803 Advances in DNA sequencing and genome analysis enable both reinterpretation of historical data as well as discovery of plant genome instability in the field and in experimental systems. Genome instability, which in animals is associated with cancer, can beContinue reading

A comprehensive genomic scan reveals gene dosage balance impacts on quantitative traits in Populus trees In this collaboration with Heloise Bastiaanse and Andrew Groover (USFS), we are following-up on our poplar gamma irradiated mutant population ( to describe the effect of dosage variation on quantitative traits. Hundreds of sibling hybrid trees carrying large-scale deletions andContinue reading

Regeneration of Solanum tuberosum plants from protoplasts induces widespread genome instability M Fossi, K Amundson, S Kuppu, A Britt, L Comai Plant physiology 180 (1), 78-86 Plants have the remarkable ability to regenerate an entire plant from a single cell. Researchers have long known that this regeneration introduces genetic and phenotypic variation, but the underlyingContinue reading

One hundred ways to invent the sexes: theoretical and observed paths to dioecy in plants This review looks at the theoretical paths leading to dioecy, or the presence of separate sexes, and examines recent molecular and genomic evidence from the few plant species where those mechanisms have been uncovered. We discuss whether the evidence fitsContinue reading

Detection of Chromothripsis in Plants Chromothripsis is a relatively newly discovered phenomenon in plants, a situation in which a part of the genome is dramatically reorganized, akin to certain cancerous cells in humans. It has so far gone unrecognized, partially for the lack of methods to detect it. In this protocol, we present a simpleContinue reading

Centromere location in Arabidopsis is unaltered by extreme divergence in CENH3 protein sequence CENH3 from other species can can complement the cenh3-1 mutant of A. thaliana. The complemented plants look normal until crossed to the wild type, when they become haploid inducers. Maheshwari et al. show that a diverged CENH3 recognizes the same sequences as theContinue reading

Epigenetic Regulation of the Sex Determination Gene MeGI in Polyploid Persimmon Takashi Akagi, Isabelle M. Henry, Takashi Kawai, Luca Comai, Ryutaro Tao What happens when a dioecious species with X and Y chromosomes becomes polyploid? Cultivated persimmon does just that, managing to turn males into monoecious plants via epigenetic regulation of the sex determination gene MEGI. Epigenetic regulation providesContinue reading