Chromosomal landscapes of Endogenous Retroviruses (ERVs) integrated in the sheep nuclear genome

Sarbast Ihsan Mustafa, Trude Schwarzacher and John S. Heslop-Harrison The Nature and Chromosomal Landscape of Endogenous Retroviruses (ERVs) Integrated in the Sheep Nuclear Genome. DNA 2022, 2(1), 86-103; Free full text: https://doi.org/10.3390/dna2010007 Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) represent genomic components of retroviral origin that are found integrated in the genomes of various species of vertebrates. These genomic…

Domestication, polyploidy and genomics of crops and weeds PAGXXV

Plant and Animal Genome Conference in San Diego #PAGXXV each January is the chance to join 3500 people working in genomics. I presented a talk on the molecular cytogenetics group’s work, starting with consideration of early stages of crop domestication, and then thinking about how we can make agriculture more sustainable. I also considered weeds,…

Saffron crocus, cooking and Iran on the radio

The spice Saffron is valued worldwide for its flavor, aroma and color. I’ve just broadcast an interview with Robin Young produced by Jill Ryan for NPR’s Here and Now program which let me tell you something about my enjoyment of saffron both as a consumer and scientist. Saffron is unusual in that it is equally…

Chromosomal evolution in Brachiaria forage grasses with Fabiola Carvalho Santos

Fabiola Santos from University of Londrina, Brazil, is working on the Chromosomal evolution and the organization of repetitive DNA sequences in diploid and polyploid Brachiaria forage grasses in the molecular cytogenetics group in Leicester. Brachiaria is most important cultivated forage grass genus in Brazil (with billion-dollar production), and the genus includes diploid and polyploid species with similar…

Crocus and the origin of Saffron

305. Alsayied N, Schwarzacher T, Heslop-Harrison P. 2014. Crocus: research into the origin of saffron. Botanic Garden Newsletter 5: 3. Link to scan of Crocus and the origin of saffron article. The genus Crocus has nearly 100 species, each with unique characters of colour, flowering time or geographical distribution. We are aiming to understand the relationships of the different species, the diversity within species,…

Wild banana species: their classification and the sequencing of Musa balbisiana

Crop relatives are important – we learn about the relationships of wild germplasm in comparison to the domesticated forms, and about the genetics and genes in the wild species. Two papers in the last month advance our understanding of wild banana (Musa) from different perspectives. The first presents “A draft Musa balbisiana genome sequence for…

Repetitive DNA in the edible button mushroom

I have a mental picture of the structure of a typical plant genome and typical animal genome, with their  transposons (DNA and RNA), tandemly-repeated satellite sequences, minisatellites, microsatellites and other repeats. From this paper, I have a view of repeats in the second most important edible fungus (after yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae), the button mushroom Agaricus bisporus. Its genome, with n=13 chromosomes,…