Other Plant-related news
- The soybean genome has been sequenced by a shotgun approach. Apparently it’s a polyploid, which I didn’t know, although it’s not a recent polyploid like wheat or peanuts: “Genome duplications occurred at approximately 59 and 13 million years ago, resulting in a highly duplicated genome with nearly 75% of the genes present in multiple copies”
- Everyone’s favourite enzyme (RubisCO) has been assembled in vitro using chaperonins (more readable News & Views story). They used a cyanobacterial form, not a plant one, but it’s still the same basic structure (L8S8: Eight large subunits and eight small). The News & Views piece suggests that this might be a step towards engineering a ‘better’ RubisCO, but I’m not sure that it can be much improved; one of our lecturers described a plausible trade-off between its speed and accuracy, which would mean there’s little room for it to improve. Here he is.
With a bit of luck I’ll get round to doing a longer post in the next couple of days.