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Annals of Botany
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Annals of Botany: Plant Science Research
Annals of Botany: Plant Science Research

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Host specificity in parasitic plants – perspectives from mistletoes
http://buff.ly/2mvTrFX

Mistletoes are very fascinating parasitic plants. Unlike most common plants, mistletoes grow on the branches of other plants and rely on these “host” plants for water and nutrients. Scientists have been trying to understand why parasitic plants differ in the number of host species parasitised.

Like many parasitic plants, mistletoes can parasitise from one to several plant species. A recent review published in AoB PLANTS by Okubamichael et al. contributes to the current broad understanding of parasite–host interactions using mistletoe as a case study. Future research needs are also highlighted.

"Host specificity in parasitic plants—perspectives from mistletoes" is an Open Access paper in AoB PLANTS. You can pick it up FREE from http://buff.ly/2mvTrFX

blogpost: http://buff.ly/2mvT7XU

Image: Number of mistletoe species that parasitize the most common Acacia host species in southern Africa. Acacia karroo is the most abundant host tree in South Africa and many types of mistletoe species utilize this abundant species. However, in Namibia, A. erioloba and A. mellifera are quite common and were the most common hosts for mistletoes. In Zimbabwe, A. nigrescens is common and is also highly utilized by mistletoe species in the area.
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Density-dependent pre-dispersal seed predation
http://buff.ly/2ldikFv

The Janzen–Connell model predicts that common species suffer high seed predation from specialized natural enemies as a function of distance from parent trees, and consequently as a function of conspecific density, whereas the predator satiation hypothesis predicts that seed attack is reduced due to predator satiation at high seed densities. Pre-dispersal predation by insects was studied while seeds are still on parent trees, which represents a frequently overlooked stage in which seed predation occurs.

By quantifying pre-dispersal seed predation from ten Quercus serrata populations over two years according to three insect groups, Xiao et al. found that the overall population trend of negative density-dependent, pre-dispersal seed predation due to predator satiation limited the occurrence of Janzen-Connell effects on individual trees.

"Seed–predator satiation and Janzen–Connell effects vary with spatial scales for seed-feeding insects." is available from Annals of Botany at http://buff.ly/2ldikFv If you don't have access to a library with a subscription, it will be free access from January 2018.

blogpost: http://buff.ly/2ldulup

Image: Hypotheses and predictions about the probability of seed survival or predation as a function of the density of seeds, seedlings or adult trees. (A) Positive density-dependent mortality (modified, the Janzen–Connell model), which predicts that individual plant performance (e.g. survival, growth and recruitment) decreased with increasing conspecific density (Wright, 2002). (B) Negative density-dependent seed predation (the predator satiation hypothesis), which predicts reduced seed predation but increased seed survival when seed density is high enough to satiate seed predators at the tree or population scale (Silvertown, 1980; Kelly, 1994). See Xiao et al. for details.
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Proposals to “sequence the DNA of all life on Earth” suffer from the same issues as “naming all the species”

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Siberia's 'doorway to the Underworld' Is Getting So Big It's Uncovering Ancient Forests

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Atom in the Garden of Eden - 99% Invisible

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Are carnivorous plants in competition with fish for the same resources? Bladderwort versus the Bluegill http://buff.ly/2lAYzs5
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Contrasting evolutionary patterns and historical hybridization of Anthosachne
http://buff.ly/2lzVlW5

Polyploidization and apomixis contribute to taxonomic complexity in Anthosachne, a perennial genus native to Australia in the wheat tribe. Sha et al. performed a phylogenetic analysis to explore differentiation patterns of polyploidy amongst Australasian wheat relatives.

Chloroplast rbcL and trnH-psbA and nuclear Acc1 gene sequences of 60 Anthosachne taxa and 9 Roegneria species were analyzed with those of 33 diploid taxa representing 20 basic genomes in Triticeae. Anthosachne is shown to have originated as a result of historical hybridization between Australopyrum and Roegneria species. Greater diversity in island Anthosachne compared to continental Roegneria might correlate with genetic mutation, polyploidization, apomixes and expansion.

"Genome origin, historical hybridization and genetic differentiation in Anthosachne australasica (Triticeae; Poaceae), inferred from chloroplast rbc L, trn H- psb A and nuclear Acc1 gene sequences." is available from Annals of Botany at http://buff.ly/2lzVlW5 . If you don't have access to a library with a subscription then it will be free access from January 2018.

blogpost: http://buff.ly/2lzDyhJ

Image: Scheme de monstrating the process of the colonization of Roegneria entity during the late Miocene, the speciation of Anthosachne polyploids during the Pliocene and subsequent range expansions within the A. australasica complex.
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Gene editing in legal limbo in Europe

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Amazing, super-sweet natural proteins

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Toxin-tainted submarine snow - AoBBlog
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