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Cloning through seeds has potential revolutionary applications in agriculture, because it would allow vigorous hybrids to be propagated indefinitely. However, asexual seed formation or apomixis, avoiding meiosis and fertilization, is not found in the major food crops. To develop de novo synthesis of apomixis, we crossed Arabidopsis MiMe and dyad mutants(More)
Meiotic recombination is initiated by the formation of numerous DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) catalysed by the widely conserved Spo11 protein. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Spo11 requires nine other proteins for meiotic DSB formation; however, unlike Spo11, few of these are conserved across kingdoms. In order to investigate this recombination step in(More)
BACKGROUND Crossovers are essential for the completion of meiosis. Recently, two pathways of crossover formation have been identified on the basis of distinct genetic controls. In one pathway, crossover inhibits the occurrence of another such event in a distance-dependent manner. This phenomenon is known as interference. The second kind of crossover is(More)
Conventional plant breeding exploits existing genetic variability and introduces new variability by mutagenesis. This has proven highly successful in securing food supplies for an ever-growing human population. The use of genetically modified plants is a complementary approach but all plant breeding techniques have limitations. Here, we discuss how the(More)
MSH2 is a central component of the mismatch repair pathway that targets mismatches arising during DNA replication, homologous recombination (HR) and in response to genotoxic stresses. Here, we describe the function of MSH2 in the moss Physcomitrella patens, as deciphered by the analysis of loss of function mutants. Ppmsh2 mutants display pleiotropic growth(More)
Nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDVs) are eukaryotic viruses with large genomes (100 kb-2.5 Mb), which include giant Mimivirus, Megavirus and Pandoravirus. NCLDVs are known to infect animals, protists and phytoplankton but were never described as pathogens of land plants. Here, we show that the bryophyte Physcomitrella patens and the lycophyte(More)
The moss Physcomitrella patens is unique among plant models for the high frequency with which targeted transgene insertion occurs via homologous recombination. Transgene integration is believed to utilize existing machinery for the detection and repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). We undertook targeted knockout of the Physcomitrella genes encoding(More)
The shoot represents the basic body plan in land plants. It consists of a repeated structure composed of stems and leaves. Whereas vascular plants generate a shoot in their diploid phase, non-vascular plants such as mosses form a shoot (called the gametophore) in their haploid generation. The evolution of regulatory mechanisms or genetic networks used in(More)
The eukaryotic RecA homologue Rad51 is a key factor in homologous recombination and recombinational repair. Rad51-like proteins have been identified in yeast (Rad55, Rad57 and Dmc1), plants and vertebrates (RAD51B, RAD51C, RAD51D, XRCC2, XRCC3 and DMC1). RAD51 and DMC1 are the strand-exchange proteins forming a nucleofilament for strand invasion, however,(More)
New tools for the precise modification of crops genes are now available for the engineering of new ideotypes. A future challenge in this emerging field of genome engineering is to develop efficient methods for allele mining. Genome engineering tools are now available in plants, including major crops, to modify in a predictable manner a given gene. These new(More)