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  1. Summary Though substantial effort has gone into predicting how global climate change will impact biodiversity patterns, the scarcity of taxon‐specific information has hampered the efficacy of these endeavors. Further, most studies analyzing spatiotemporal patterns of biodiversity focus narrowly on species richness. We apply machine learning approaches to a comprehensive vascular plant database for the United States and generate predictive models of regional plant taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity in response to a wide range of environmental variables. We demonstrate differences in predicted patterns and potential drivers of native vs nonnative biodiversity. In particular, native phylogenetic diversity is likely to decrease overmore »the next half century despite increases in species richness. We also identify that patterns of taxonomic diversity can be incongruent with those of phylogenetic diversity. The combination of macro‐environmental factors that determine diversity likely varies at continental scales; thus, as climate change alters the combinations of these factors across the landscape, the collective effect on regional diversity will also vary. Our study represents one of the most comprehensive examinations of plant diversity patterns to date and demonstrates that our ability to predict future diversity may benefit tremendously from the application of machine learning.« less
  2. 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.

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