Plant Biology

A new slider turtle (Testudines: Emydidae: Deirochelyinae: Trachemys) from the late Hemphillian (late Miocene/early Pliocene) of eastern Tennessee and the evolution of the deirochelyines
Andrew Farke –– Describes a new fossil species from a group of turtles that are ecologically important in North America today.
A bibliometric analysis in gene research of myocardial infarction from 2001 to 2015
Maria Cristina Albertini –– Important information has been disclosed in the paper.
A simple molecular technique for distinguishing species reveals frequent misidentification of Hawaiian corals in the genus Pocillopora
Xavier Pochon –– This study developed a simple and cost-effective assay that quickly allows for discrimination amongst coral species in the genus Pocillopora using simple PCR amplification followed by digestion with widely available restriction enzymes. Pocilloporid corals exhibit extreme phenotypic plasticity, making morphological identification of species very challenging. The assay was tested on 691 coral samples collected from across the Hawaiian Archipelago and successfully characterised all six Pocillopora species occurring in Hawaii. Compared to sequence-based identification, this method is simple, rapid and represents a cost saving of nearly 95%. This work will benefit future studies of population structure, ecology, biodiversity, evolution and conservation in this challenging coral genus.
Forecasting biodiversity in breeding birds using best practices
James Roper –– Over time, too many models have been applied under the assumption that they are effective without adequately testing whether they indeed do predict anything. This paper illustrates the issues with that approach and lays down a framework under which future models may be developed and tested.
Differential gene expression during early development in recently evolved and sympatric Arctic charr morphs
Marc Robinson-Rechavi –– This study allows to link natural variation in morphology with genetic divergence in expression patterns, thus helping link ecology to molecular genomics.
An Indo-Pacific damselfish (Neopomacentrus cyanomos) in the Gulf of Mexico: origin and mode of introduction
Donald Kramer –– Although only dealing with a single invasive species, it is a very thorough and interesting analysis of the potential for oil rigs to move fish (and potentially other marine species) around the world.
Moving to 3D: relationships between coral planar area, surface area and volume
Ronaldo Francini-Filho –– Tech tools for coral reef research are emerging fast and boosting science
Complex versus simple models: ion-channel cardiac toxicity prediction
Heiko Enderling –– This article discusses the contributions of quantitative models in predicting biology, and makes an important point about the balance of simplicity/complexity/accuracy/usefulness of biophysical models. If simple models capture biological complexity, the use of more detailed models must be properly justified.
Evaluating the adaptive evolutionary convergence of carnivorous plant taxa through functional genomics
Todd Vision –– This is a novel and innovative approach to studying the genomic correlates of convergent evolution. It is likely to inspire similar studies in other systems and for other kinds of genomic changes, as well as bioinformatic work to refine and extend the methods.
Development of an RNA interference (RNAi) gene knockdown protocol in the anaerobic gut fungus Pecoramyces ruminantium strain C1A
Alexandra Lusser –– The article describes the development of a new method in this field that should facilitate future research in this area.
Plant Biology

Section discussions

Non-linear responses of net ecosystem productivity to gradient warming in a paddy field in Northeast China #climatechange

New paper! In collaboration with @UofUBiology @hawkwatchint @kocuniversity we studied microbial community changes over the "life-cycle" of carrion decomposition, and relative to vertebrate scavenger foraging intensity in the #GreatBasinDesert of #Utah.

Genome-wide identification and expression analysis of the Dof gene family under drought stress in tea (Camellia sinensis) @thePeerJ

DiscoSnp-RAD, the de novo variant discovery tool addapted for RAD data is published in peerj and available here With @GenscaleTeam @tomaszsuchan @nadiralvarez and Nils Arigo.