The genus Microbotryum includes plant pathogenic fungi afflicting a wide variety of hosts with anther smut disease. Microbotryum lychnidis-dioicae infects Silene latifolia and replaces host pollen with fungal spores, exhibiting biotrophy and necrosis associated with altering plant development.
We determined the haploid genome sequence for M. lychnidis-dioicae and analyzed whole transcriptome data from plant infections and other stages of the fungal lifecycle, revealing the inventory and expression level of genes that facilitate pathogenic growth. Compared to related fungi, an expanded number of major facilitator superfamily transporters and secretory lipases were detected; lipase gene expression was found to be altered by exposure to lipid compounds, which signaled a switch to dikaryotic, pathogenic growth. In addition, while enzymes to digest cellulose, xylan, xyloglucan, and highly substituted forms of pectin were absent, along with depletion of peroxidases and superoxide dismutases that protect the fungus from oxidative stress, the repertoire of glycosyltransferases and of enzymes that could manipulate host development has expanded. A total of 14 % of the genome was categorized as repetitive sequences. Transposable elements have accumulated in mating-type chromosomal regions and were also associated across the genome with gene clusters of small secreted proteins, which may mediate host interactions.
The unique absence of enzyme classes for plant cell wall degradation and maintenance of enzymes that break down components of pollen tubes and flowers provides a striking example of biotrophic host adaptation.
The history of sex may have to be rewritten thanks to a group of unsightly, long-extinct fish called placoderms. A careful study of fossils of these armour-plated creatures, which gave rise to all current vertebrates with jaws, suggests that their descendants — our ancient ancestors — switched their sexual practices from internal to external fertilization, an event previously thought to be evolutionarily improbable.
The world's first typical flower may date back to 162 million years ago, more than 37 million years earlier than previously thought, Chinese researchers reported in a new study.
The fossil flower, named Euanthus panii, was found in western Liaoning Province, according to the study, which was published in the recent edition of the UK-based Historical Biology, an international journal of paleobiology.
A newly described dinosaur, whose fossils are some of the first to be unearthed in Venezuela, turns out to be the close, relatively small kin of creatures that later evolved into multiton meat eaters such as Allosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex. The creature, and another dinosaur whose fossils were found nearby and reported just 2 months ago, are filling in gaps in the fossil record and revealing new insights into dinosaur evolution in the wake of a mass extinction that happened about 201 million years ago.
The new species, dubbed Tachiraptor admirabilis, is a predator that gets part of its name from the Venezuelan state of Táchira, where the fossils were found. Only two bones of the ancient species have been unearthed, says Max Langer, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of São Paulo in Brazil. Nevertheless, those bits (each from a different individual, and one of them not even a complete bone) tell scientists a lot, Langer notes.
The asteroid that slammed into the ocean off Mexico 66 million years ago and killed off the dinosaurs probably rang the Earth like a bell, triggering volcanic eruptions around the globe that may have contributed to the devastation, according to a team of University of California, Berkeley, geophysicists.
Specifically, the researchers argue that the impact likely triggered most of the immense eruptions of lava in India known as the Deccan Traps, explaining the "uncomfortably close" coincidence between the Deccan Traps eruptions and the impact, which has always cast doubt on the theory that the asteroid was the sole cause of the end-Cretaceous mass extinction.
"If you try to explain why the largest impact we know of in the last billion years happened within 100,000 years of these massive lava flows at Deccan ... the chances of that occurring at random are minuscule," said team leader Mark Richards, UC Berkeley professor of earth and planetary science. "It's not a very credible coincidence."
Richards and his colleagues marshal evidence for their theory that the impact reignited the Deccan flood lavas in a paper to be published in The Geological Society of America Bulletin, available online today (April 30) in advance of publication.
While the Deccan lava flows, which started before the impact but erupted for several hundred thousand years after re-ignition, probably spewed immense amounts of carbon dioxide and other noxious, climate-modifying gases into the atmosphere, it's still unclear if this contributed to the demise of most of life on Earth at the end of the Age of Dinosaurs, Richards said.
Richards proposed in 1989 that plumes of hot rock, called "plume heads," rise through Earth's mantle every 20-30 million years and generate huge lava flows, called flood basalts, like the Deccan Traps. It struck him as more than coincidence that the last four of the six known mass extinctions of life occurred at the same time as one of these massive eruptions.
"Paul Renne's group at Berkeley showed years ago that the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province is associated with the mass extinction at the Triassic/Jurassic boundary 200 million years ago, and the Siberian Traps are associated with the end Permian extinction 250 million years ago, and now we also know that a big volcanic eruption in China called the Emeishan Traps is associated with the end-Guadalupian extinction 260 million years ago," Richards said. "Then you have the Deccan eruptions -- including the largest mapped lava flows on Earth -- occurring 66 million years ago coincident with the KT mass extinction.
Michael Manga, a professor in the same department, has shown over the past decade that large earthquakes -- equivalent to Japan's 9.0 Tohoku quake in 2011 -- can trigger nearby volcanic eruptions. Richards calculates that the asteroid that created the Chicxulub crater might have generated the equivalent of a magnitude 9 or larger earthquake everywhere on Earth, sufficient to ignite the Deccan flood basalts and perhaps eruptions many places around the globe, including at mid-ocean ridges.
The YouTube description on the video above , filmed by extremely-brave volcano photographer Kawika Singson , kind of says it all. You really can’t get a camera any closer to lava than this, unless you stick the camera into it. Which means that...
Working with Baltic amber from the Eocene epoch, researchers have discovered fossilized carnivorous plant traps for the first time ever. These leaves from insect-eating flowering plants are between 35 and 47 million years old, and they likely belong to the same family as a South African flypaper trap plant. The findings were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week.
We've all seen rivers lazily wind back and forth across a landscape - but, surprisingly, there’s nothing random about their path. MinuteEarth explains the formula that determines when a river bends, and when it goes straight. Don't be deceived -...
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.