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  • Collection locations, temperature data and population structure of Miscanthus in eastern Russia.
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    A genome-wide association study of wild Miscanthus in the Russian Far East

    Miscanthus is a genus of C4 perennial East Asian grasses that is emerging as a leading bioenergy crop. Clark et al. collected germplasm of M. sacchariflorus and M. sinensis in the Russian Far East, at the northern extent of the range of these two species. Geographic distributions suggest greater winter hardiness in M. sacchariflorus than […] More

  • Erodium crinitum
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    Do sequence repeats undermine plastid genome stability?

    Although a few plant lineages have lost one copy of the plastid genome (plastome) inverted repeat (IR), its near ubiquity among streptophytes has fostered speculation about its functional role and consequent evolutionary significance. To evaluate hypotheses of its persistence, Blazier et al. sequenced plastomes of Erodium (Geraniaceae), where several species have lost the IR structure […] More

  • Chloroplast
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    Chloroplasts: what are they for?

    Taken at face value that is a pretty daft question. After all, it is well known that chloroplasts are for photosynthesis. True, but what about the chloroplasts in the guard cells (GCCs) of stomata? Chloroplasts in those highly specialised epidermal cells are quite far removed from those of mesophyll cells and presumably not involved in […] More

  • The tannosome: a new chloroplast-derived organelle
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    The tannosome: a new chloroplast-derived organelle

    Condensed tannins (proanthocyanidins) are widely distributed amongst the vascular plants (Tracheophyta). Brillouet et al. use a variety of techniques to examine tannin-rich samples from various organs across a wide range of vascular plants and find that tannins are polymerized in a new thylakoid-derived chlorophyllous organelle, which they name the tannosome. These are formed by pearling […] More

  • Image: Mariana Ruiz Villarreal/Wikimedia Commons.
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    Chloroplasts are how old???

    It is widely acknowledged that eukaryotic cells (you know, the ones with a membrane-bound nucleus and a variety of other membrane-bound organelles (cf. prokaryotes)) came to be so complex by a series of ‘mergers and acquisitions’ that saw a prokaryote-like cell internalise other, smaller ‘cells’ to gain organelles such as mitochondria and chloroplasts. That is […] More

  • Marchantia polymorph
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    When the going gets tough….. the organelles get going

    Chloroplasts, the tiny photosynthetic energy factories of plant cells, were observed to move in response to light and temperature as long as a century ago. Within a cell, these organelles can migrate towards the cell wall closest to a light source, thereby optimising photosynthesis. They do, however, move away from very strong light, presumably to […] More

  • Chloroplast to chromoplast transition in tomato fruit
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    Chloroplast to chromoplast transition in tomato fruit

    Chloroplast to chromoplast transition in tomato fruit There are several studies suggesting that tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) chromoplasts arise from chloroplasts, but are no reports showing the actual transition. Egea et al. use in situ real-time recording of pigment fluorescence to produce a video showing all chromoplasts arising from chloroplasts in mesocarp tissue. The accumulation of […] More

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