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    Lianas, climbing woody plants, influence the structure and function of tropical forests. Climbing traits have evolved multiple times, including ancestral groups such as gymnosperms and pteridophytes, but the genetic basis of the liana strategy is largely unknown. Here, we use a comparative transcriptomic approach for 47 tropical plant species, including ten lianas of diverse taxonomic origins, to identify genes that are consistently expressed or downregulated only in lianas. Our comparative analysis of full-length transcripts enabled the identification of a core interactomic network common to lianas. Sets of transcripts identified from our analysis reveal features related to functional traits pertinent to leaf economics spectrum in lianas, include upregulation of genes controlling epidermal cuticular properties, cell wall remodeling, carbon concentrating mechanism, cell cycle progression, DNA repair and a large suit of downregulated transcription factors and enzymes involved in ABA-mediated stress response as well as lignin and suberin synthesis. All together, these genes are known to be significant in shaping plant morphologies through responses such as gravitropism, phyllotaxy and shade avoidance.

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    Maples (the genusAcer) represent important and beloved forest, urban, and ornamental trees distributed throughout the Northern hemisphere. They exist in a diverse array of native ranges and distributions, across spectrums of tolerance or decline, and have varying levels of susceptibility to biotic and abiotic stress. AmongAcerspecies, several stand out in their importance to economic interest. Here we report the first two chromosome‐scale genomes for North American species,Acer negundoandAcer saccharum. Both assembled genomes contain scaffolds corresponding to 13 chromosomes, withA. negundoat a length of 442 Mb, an N50 of 32 Mb, and 30 491 genes, andA. saccharumat a length of 626 Mb, an N50 of 46 Mb, and 40 074 genes. No recent whole genome duplications were detected, thoughA. saccharumhas local gene duplication and more recent bursts of transposable elements, as well as a large‐scale translocation between two chromosomes. Genomic comparison revealed thatA. negundohas a smaller genome with recent gene family evolution that is predominantly contracted and expansions that are potentially related to invasive tendencies and tolerance to abiotic stress. Examination of RNA sequencing data obtained fromA. saccharumgiven long‐term aluminum and calcium soil treatments at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest provided insights into genes involved in the aluminum stress response at the systemic level, as well as signs of compromised processes upon calcium deficiency, a condition contributing to maple decline.

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