Germany, Oct 23 (Canadian-Media): As a result of the culmination of a nine-year research project, an international consortium of nearly 200 plant scientists have released Gene sequences for more than 1100 plant species, Phys.Org reports said.
These images show green alga Lacunastrum gracillimum, female cones of gymnosperm, Gnetum gnemon, and cherry tree flower, Prunus domestica. Credit: Michael Melkonian and Walter S. Judd
The One Thousand Plant Transcriptomes Initiative (1KP) is a global collaboration to examine the diversification of plant species, genes and genomes across the more than one-billion-year history of green plants dating back to the ancestors of flowering plants and green algae.
"In the tree of life, everything is interrelated," said Gane Ka-Shu Wong, lead investigator and professor in the University of Alberta's Faculty of Science and Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.
"And if we want to understand how the tree of life works, we need to examine the relationships between species. That's where genetic sequencing comes in."
The findings, published today in Nature, reveal the timing of whole genome duplications and the origins, expansions and contractions of gene families contributing to fundamental genetic innovations enabling the evolution of green algae, mosses, ferns, conifer trees, flowering plants and all other green plant lineages. The history of how and when plants secured the ability to grow tall, and make seeds, flowers and fruits provides a framework for understanding plant diversity around the planet including annual crops and long-lived forest tree species.
"Our inferred relationships among living plant species inform us that over the billion years since an ancestral green algal species split into two separate evolutionary lineages, one including flowering plants, land plants and related algal groups and the other comprising a diverse array of green algae, plant evolution has been punctuated with innovations and periods of rapid diversification" said James Leebens-Mack, professor of plant biology in the University of Georgia Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and co-corresponding author on the study. "In order to link what we know about gene and genome evolution to a growing understanding of gene function in flowering plant, moss and algal organisms, we needed to generate new data to better reflect gene diversity among all green plant lineages."
The study inspired a community effort to gather and sequence diverse plant lineages derived from terrestrial and aquatic habitats on a global scale. Over 100 taxonomic specialists contributed material from field and living collections that include the Central Collection of Algal Cultures, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Atlanta Botanical Garden, New York Botanical Garden, Fairylake Botanical Garden, Shenzhen, The Florida Museum of Natural History, Duke University, University of British Columbia Botanical Garden and The University of Alberta. By sequencing and analyzing genes from a broad sampling of plant species, researchers are better able to reconstruct gene content in the ancestors of all crops and model plant species, and gain a more complete picture of the gene and genome duplications that enabled evolutionary innovations.
Nearly a decade ago, Wong organized private funding through the Somekh Family Foundation as well as support from the Government of Alberta and a sequencing commitment from BGI in Shenzhen, China, to launch 1KP. Once the project was operational, additional resources came from other ongoing projects, including iPlant (now CyVerse) funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation.
The massive scope of the project demanded development and refinement of new computational tools for sequence assembly and phylogenetic analysis.
"New algorithms were developed by software engineers at BGI to assemble the massive volume of gene sequence data generated for this project," explained Wong.
Founder professor of computer science Tandy Warnow, of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Siavash Mirarab, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of California San Diego, developed new algorithms for inferring evolutionary relationships from hundreds of gene sequences for over one thousand species, addressing substantial heterogeneity in evolutionary histories across the genomes.
The timing of 244 whole genome duplications across the green plant tree of life was one of the interrelated research foci of the project.
"Perhaps the biggest surprise of our analyses was the near absence of whole genome duplications in the algae," said Mike Barker, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona. "Building on nearly 20 years of research on plant genomes, we found that the average flowering plant genome has nearly 4 rounds of ancestral genome duplication dating as far back as the common ancestor of all seed plants more than 300 million years ago. We also find multiple rounds of genome duplication in fern lineages, but there is little evidence of genome doubling in algal lineages."
In addition to genome duplications, the expansion of key gene families has contributed to the evolution of multicellularity and complexity in green plants.
"Gene family expansions through duplication events catalyzed diversification of plant form and function across the green tree of life," said co-author Marcel Quint, professor of crop physiology, at Halle University, Germany. "Such expansions unleashed during terrestrialization or even before set the stage for evolutionary innovations including the origin of the seed and later the origin of the flower."
#GNIT, #JISGroup, #S4DSInnovativeHackathon
Kolkata: Guru Nanak Institute of Technology (GNIT) of JIS Group, the only nodal centre of Eastern India, hosted for the first time S4DS Innovative Hackathon in association with Society for Data Science on Tuesday with interstate participation.
The 12 hour nonstop Hackathon saw the participation of engineering students from Nasik, Pune, Delhi, Bombay and West Bengal including many student groups of JIS colleges.
“It is now widely known and understood that hackathons can solve real life challenges ranging from daily work flow issues to creating technological solutions. It is great both for students as well as corporate and ultimately benefit society at large, stated Sardar Taranjit Singh, MD, JIS Group.
“Data Science has become key word in modern IT trends. The idea behind this hackathon is that the students will attempt to tackle or solve various real-life industry problems and issues of the society which have not yet been solved digitally, live.
Now a days, many premier industries directly recruit students from their own Hackathon since this is a platform where credentials of a student like, his/her technical skill, team work, patience, speed, accuracy, energy, enthusiasm, tenacity etc get checked automatically through such programs.
Moreover real-life problems from industry, different ministers, problems in government, societal problems are usually given as problem statements in such hackathons and students get a fabulous scope to prove themselves in such real-life problem solving platforms,“ stated Dr. (Prof). Santanu Sen, Principal, GNIT.
Dr. Amol C Goje, President, S4DS (Society for Data Science) stated, “Data is the buzzword. Everything is data. Data is the new currency. By Data analytics all aspects of problem solving becomes easier and is a major focus area and makes one more insightful and it’s a platform that brings likeminded individuals to share innovative ideas to arrive at digital solutions for different areas of society.”
Dr. Neha Sharma, Secretary, S4DS, stated “This is the first of its kind hackathon here in Eastern India. After 12 hours of coding session, 8-10 teams will be selected chosen by a 5 member jury and the final round would be held in Delhi in January where there will be three awards.
If the projects are good it would be converted to product and depending on solution we would suggest its implementation to the Ministry. Also top three project solutions would be compiled into a book. From student’s perspective such hackathons bring in holistic development improving abilities of time management manpower management, project management, good presentation skill that ultimately helps them get picked by industry.”
(First published in India Blooms News Service (https://indiablooms.com))
United States, Oct 17 (Canadian-Media): A new study published in Cell Reports on Tuesday said that just like the mechanism to how a home thermostat controls room temperature, human brains also have the power to amplifying or suppressing the pain signals, ScienceXNewsletter reports said.
A new study honed in on the brain circuitry responsible for upgrading or downgrading pain signals, likening the mechanism to how a home thermostat controls room temperature
This was confirmed by Yarimar Carrasquillo, the paper's senior author and a scientist for the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), told AFP the region responsible was the central amygdala, which according to her work appeared to play a dual role.
By better understanding the brain mechanisms responsible for pain modulation, researchers hope to eventually find better cures. For example whereas stress or anxiety can amplify pain, being focussed on a task that diverts your attention can reduce pain.
"The healthy response is you get pain, it tells you something is wrong, it heals, and the pain goes away," said Carrasquillo.
"In chronic pain, that doesn't happen, the system gets stuck. If we can identify what makes the system gets stuck, then we can reverse it."
#HarwardUniv; #autismResearch; #Genetic; #Environment
Harvard (U.S.), Oct 11 (Canadian-Media): A new for autism research centre being launched by Harvard University would be housed at Harvard Medical School. The centre will bring together experts all around the Harvard community, including the medical school’s affiliate hospitals, to better understand the basic mechanisms underlying autism spectrum disorders, media reports said.
Harvard Medical School. Image credit: Facebook
The centre will focus on two key areas of research such as how genetic and environmental factors come together to produce symptoms associated with autism and related disorders, as well as how the fundamental features of these disorders develop both within and outside the brain.
The new centre will be named after them. Lisa Yang and Hock Tan who donated a $20 million for its establishment. Yang and Tan also helped set up a similar center at MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research in 2017.