Volume 8

  • No. 11 November 2022

    Digging for weevil resistance in sweet potato variety

    Sweet potato weevils are a major crop pest, causing substantial economic and environmental harm in the tropics and subtropics. Identifying genes conveying resistance to weevils, such as SPWR1 and SPWR2, is a route to eco-friendly pest management.

    See Liu, et al.

  • No. 10 October 2022

    Surveying the future of mangroves

    Mangroves form important but fragile coastline ecosystems in many tropical and warm temperate areas. Research programs must be shaped by their contribution to ecosystem services, their responses to extreme climatic events and their social-ecological significance.

    See Dahdouh-Guebas et al.

  • No. 9 September 2022

    Euphyllophyte evolution and defense

    Ferns are close relatives of seed plants, and together they form the euphyllophyte clade, which contains almost all vascular plants. The genome of the maidenhair fern (Adiantum capillus-veneris L.) provides a window on the evolution of both groups and on their pathogen resistance mechanisms.

    See Fang et al.

  • No. 8 August 2022

    REDD+ attempts to save the green

    At the COP26 climate summit the world’s leaders pledged to end deforestation by 2030 to limit global warming. Achieving that aim is harder than proposing it, but the REDD+ scheme is striving to provide the solution.

    See Pauly, M. & Tosteson, J.

  • No. 7 July 2022

    Doubling down on flower evolution

    Flowers are the defining invention of the angiosperm lineage. Their diversity arises from the control of development of the shoot apical meristem, whose systems appear to have arisen from an ancient gene duplication.

    See Hirakawa, Y.

  • No. 6 June 2022

    Dividing up the mesophyll

    Leaf mesophyll consists of a mesh of interconnected cells and air spaces. This forms by precise spatial and temporal variations in the plane of successive cell divisions. The pattern of development of spongy tissue is reliant on the microtubule-associated protein CLASP.

    See Zhang, L. & Ambrose, C.

  • No. 5 May 2022

    The rise and fall of a tree fern

    The genome of the flying spider-monkey tree fern, Alsophila spinulosa, is over 6 gigabases distributed across 69 pseudo-chromosomes. Tree ferns were most abundant during the Jurassic period, and genomic analysis identifies genetic bottlenecks causing demographic declines of A. spinulosa.

    See Xiong Huang et al.

  • No. 4 April 2022

    Seed plant origins

    Cycads, such as Cycas panzhihuaensis, are one of the most ancient lineages of living seed plants. The genome of C. panzhihuaensis illuminates both the evolution of seeds and a mechanism of sex determination shared with Ginkgo.

    See Yang Liu et al.

  • No. 3 March 2022

    Preventing aerial potatoes

    Potato tubers are specialized structures for storing carbon underground, helping the plant survive the winter. A single gene, BRANCHED1b, blocks the accumulation of sugars in above-ground plant organs. Its loss results in tubers growing on shoots.

    See Nicolas, M. et al.

  • No. 2 February 2022

    From the ashes of ancient disaster

    Fossil flowers preserved in amber show that members of the genus Phylica have been blooming for over 99 million years. Closely related flowers of Eophylica priscastellata exhibit fire-adaption traits identical to those of modern taxa in fire-prone ecosystems.

    See Chao Shi et al.

  • No. 1 January 2022

    Fragile beauties

    2022 is the United Nations International Year of Glass. Exquisite models such as those pictured on our cover can be created in this medium. Also, the exotic properties of glasses and related materials can be exploited in many situations, including within living plants.

    See Editorial