skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Grassa, Christopher"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Invasive species represent excellent opportunities to study the evolutionary potential of traits important to success in novel environments. Although some ecologically important traits have been identified in invasive species, little is typically known about the genetic mechanisms that underlie invasion success in non-model species. Here, we use a genome-wide association (GWAS) approach to identify the genetic basis of trait variation in the non-model, invasive, diffuse knapweed [ Centaurea diffusa Lam. (Asteraceae)]. To assist with this analysis, we have assembled the first draft genome reference and fully annotated plastome assembly for this species, and one of the first from this large,more »weedy, genus, which is of major ecological and economic importance. We collected phenotype data from 372 individuals from four native and four invasive populations of C. diffusa grown in a common environment. Using these individuals, we produced reduced-representation genotype-by-sequencing (GBS) libraries and identified 7,058 SNPs. We identify two SNPs associated with leaf width in these populations, a trait which significantly varies between native and invasive populations. In this rosette forming species, increased leaf width is a major component of increased biomass, a common trait in invasive plants correlated with increased fitness. Finally, we use annotations from Arabidopsis thaliana to identify 98 candidate genes that are near the associated SNPs and highlight several good candidates for leaf width variation.« less
  2. Abstract Natural history collections (NHCs) are the foundation of historical baselines for assessing anthropogenic impacts on biodiversity. Along these lines, the online mobilization of specimens via digitization—the conversion of specimen data into accessible digital content—has greatly expanded the use of NHC collections across a diversity of disciplines. We broaden the current vision of digitization (Digitization 1.0)—whereby specimens are digitized within NHCs—to include new approaches that rely on digitized products rather than the physical specimen (Digitization 2.0). Digitization 2.0 builds on the data, workflows, and infrastructure produced by Digitization 1.0 to create digital-only workflows that facilitate digitization, curation, and data links,more »thus returning value to physical specimens by creating new layers of annotation, empowering a global community, and developing automated approaches to advance biodiversity discovery and conservation. These efforts will transform large-scale biodiversity assessments to address fundamental questions including those pertaining to critical issues of global change.« less
  3. For more than 225 million y, all seed plants were woody trees, shrubs, or vines. Shortly after the origin of angiosperms ∼140 million y ago (MYA), the Nymphaeales (water lilies) became one of the first lineages to deviate from their ancestral, woody habit by losing the vascular cambium, the meristematic population of cells that produces secondary xylem (wood) and phloem. Many of the genes and gene families that regulate differentiation of secondary tissues also regulate the differentiation of primary xylem and phloem, which are produced by apical meristems and retained in nearly all seed plants. Here, we sequenced and assembledmore »a draft genome of the water lilyNymphaea thermarum, an emerging system for the study of early flowering plant evolution, and compared it to genomes from other cambium-bearing and cambium-less lineages (e.g., monocots andNelumbo). This revealed lineage-specific patterns of gene loss and divergence.Nymphaeais characterized by a significant contraction of the HD-ZIP III transcription factors, specifically loss ofREVOLUTA, which influences cambial activity in other angiosperms. We also found theNymphaeaand monocot copies of cambium-associated CLE signaling peptides display unique substitutions at otherwise highly conserved amino acids.Nelumbodisplays no obvious divergence in cambium-associated genes. The divergent genomic signatures of convergent loss of vascular cambium reveals that even pleiotropic genes can exhibit unique divergence patterns in association with independent events of trait loss. Our results shed light on the evolution of herbaceousness—one of the key biological innovations associated with the earliest phases of angiosperm evolution.

    « less