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  1. ABSTRACT We have modelled the multicycle evolution of rapidly accreting CO white dwarfs (RAWDs) with stable H burning intermittent with strong He-shell flashes on their surfaces for 0.7 ≤ MRAWD/M⊙ ≤ 0.75 and [Fe/H] ranging from 0 to −2.6. We have also computed the i-process nucleosynthesis yields for these models. The i process occurs when convection driven by the He-shell flash ingests protons from the accreted H-rich surface layer, which results in maximum neutron densities Nn, max ≈ 1013–1015 cm−3. The H-ingestion rate and the convective boundary mixing (CBM) parameter ftop adopted in the one-dimensional nucleosynthesis and stellar evolution models aremore »constrained through three-dimensional (3D) hydrodynamic simulations. The mass ingestion rate and, for the first time, the scaling laws for the CBM parameter ftop have been determined from 3D hydrodynamic simulations. We confirm our previous result that the high-metallicity RAWDs have a low mass retention efficiency ($\eta \lesssim 10{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$). A new result is that RAWDs with [Fe/H] $\lesssim -2$ have $\eta \gtrsim 20{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$; therefore, their masses may reach the Chandrasekhar limit and they may eventually explode as SNeIa. This result and the good fits of the i-process yields from the metal-poor RAWDs to the observed chemical composition of the CEMP-r/s stars suggest that some of the present-day CEMP-r/s stars could be former distant members of triple systems, orbiting close binary systems with RAWDs that may have later exploded as SNeIa.« less
  2. Plastid genomes (plastomes) vary enormously in size and gene content among the many lineages of nonphotosynthetic plants, but key lineages remain unexplored. We therefore investigated plastome sequence and expression in the holoparasitic and morphologically bizarre Balanophoraceae. The twoBalanophoraplastomes examined are remarkable, exhibiting features rarely if ever seen before in plastomes or in any other genomes. At 15.5 kb in size and with only 19 genes, they are among the most reduced plastomes known. They have no tRNA genes for protein synthesis, a trait found in only three other plastid lineages, and thusBalanophoraplastids must import all tRNAs needed for translation.Balanophoraplastomes aremore »exceptionally compact, with numerous overlapping genes, highly reduced spacers, loss of allcis-spliced introns, and shrunken protein genes. With A+T contents of 87.8% and 88.4%, theBalanophoragenomes are the most AT-rich genomes known save for a single mitochondrial genome that is merely bloated with AT-rich spacer DNA. Most plastid protein genes inBalanophoraconsist of ≥90% AT, with several between 95% and 98% AT, resulting in the most biased codon usage in any genome described to date. A potential consequence of its radical compositional evolution is the novel genetic code used byBalanophoraplastids, in which TAG has been reassigned from stop to tryptophan. Despite its many exceptional properties, theBalanophoraplastome must be functional because all examined genes are transcribed, its only intron is correctlytrans-spliced, and its protein genes, although highly divergent, are evolving under various degrees of selective constraint.

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