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BACKGROUND Meiosis is a critical process in the reproduction and life cycle of flowering plants in which homologous chromosomes pair, synapse, recombine and segregate. Understanding meiosis will not only advance our knowledge of the mechanisms of genetic recombination, but also has substantial applications in crop improvement. Despite the tremendous(More)
A major step in the higher plant life cycle is the decision to leave the mitotic cell cycle and begin the progression through the meiotic cell cycle that leads to the formation of gametes. The molecular mechanisms that regulate this transition and early meiosis remain largely unknown. To gain insight into gene expression features during the initiation of(More)
High-throughput sequencing has become the large-scale approach of choice to study global gene expression and the distribution of specific chromatin marks and features. However, the limited availability of large amounts of purified cells made it very challenging to apply sequencing-based techniques in plant meiosis research in the past. In this paper, we(More)
Homologous recombination, together with selection, laid the foundation for traditional plant breeding. The recombination process that takes place during meiotic cell division is crucial for the creation of novel variations of highly desired traits by breeders. Gaining control over this process is important for molecular breeding to achieve more precise,(More)
Small RNAs (sRNA) add additional layers to the regulation of gene expression, with siRNAs directing gene silencing at the DNA level by RdDM (RNA-directed DNA methylation), and micro RNAs (miRNAs) directing post-transcriptional regulation of specific target genes, mostly by mRNA cleavage. We used manually isolated male meiocytes from maize (Zea mays) to(More)
Although a number of genes that play key roles during the meiotic process have been characterized in great detail, the whole process of meiosis is still not completely unraveled. To gain insight into the bigger picture, large-scale approaches like RNA-seq and microarray can help to elucidate the transcriptome landscape during plant meiosis, discover(More)
Recombination occurring during meiosis is critical for creating genetic variation and plays an essential role in plant evolution. In addition to creating novel gene combinations, recombination can affect genome structure through altering GC patterns. In maize (Zea mays) and other grasses, another intriguing GC pattern exists. Maize genes show a bimodal GC(More)
The deposition of silicon into epidermal cells of grass species is thought to be an important mechanism that plants use as a defense against pests and environmental stresses. There are a number of techniques available to study the size, density and distribution pattern of silica bodies in grass leaves. However, none of those techniques can provide a(More)
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