Latest News

Farewell to Verena

Posted on July 27, 2015

After a very successful time in Weigelworld - first as a diploma, then as a PhD student, Verena is moving on to a new adventure. read more

She will continue some of her work on guppy color patterns as a Postdoc in Würzburg. 

We wish her all the best for her future!

Weigelworld Soccer Talent

Posted on July 27, 2015

Team spirit inside and outside the lab - two teams participated in the Campus Soccer Tournament and one of them did not finish in last place! read more

Team S.W.A.T (Scientists with(out) athletic talent)

 

Team 6Flats

In Plant Journal: 20Gbp white spruce genomes

Posted on July 27, 2015

Improved white spruce (Picea glauca) genome assemblies and annotation of large gene families of conifer defense metabolism read more

Warren, R. L., Keeling, C. I., Yuen, M. M. S., Raymond, A., Taylor, G. A., Vandervalk, B. P., Paulino, D., Robertson, G., Yang, C., Hoffmann, M., Weigel, D., Ritland, C., Isabel, N., Jaquish, B., Yanchuk, A., Bousquet, J., Jone, S. J. M., MacKay, J., Birol, I., and Bohlmann, J.

White spruce (Picea glauca), a gymnosperm tree, has been established as one of the models for conifer genomics. We describe the draft genome assemblies of two white spruce genotypes, PG29 and WS77111, innovative tools for the assembly of very large genomes, and the conifer genomics resources developed in this process. The two white spruce genotypes originate from distant geographic regions of western (PG29) and eastern (WS77111) North America, and represent elite trees in two Canadian tree-breeding programs. We present an update (V3 and V4) for a previously reported PG29 V2 draft genome assembly and introduce a second white spruce genome assembly for genotype WS77111. Assemblies of the PG29 and WS77111 genomes confirm the reconstructed white spruce genome size in the 20 Gbp range, and show broad synteny. Using the PG29 V3 assembly and additional white spruce genomics and transcriptomics resources, we performed MAKER-P annotation and meticulous expert annotation of very large gene families of conifer defense metabolism, the terpene synthases and cytochrome P450s. We also comprehensively annotated the white spruce mevalonate, methylerythritol phosphate and phenylpropanoid pathways. These analyses highlighted the large extent of gene and pseudogene duplications in a conifer genome, in particular for genes of secondary (i.e. specialized) metabolism, and the potential for gain and loss of function for defense and adaptation.

New paper on melanophore development in guppies

Posted on June 25, 2015

Adenylate cyclase 5 is required for melanophore and male pattern development in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata) read more

Kottler, V. A., Künstner, A., Koch, I., Flötenmeyer, M., Langenecker, T., Hoffmann, M., Sharma, E., Weigel, D., and Dreyer, C.

Guppies (Poecilia reticulata) are colorful fish that have attracted the attention of pigmentation researchers for almost a century. Here, we report that the blond phenotype of the guppy is caused by a spontaneous mutation in the guppy ortholog of adenylate cyclase 5 (adcy5). Using double digest restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (ddRADseq) and quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping, we linked the blond phenotype to a candidate region of 118 kb, in which we subsequently identified a 2-bp deletion in adcy5 that alters splicing and leads to a premature stop codon. We show that adcy5, which affects lifespan and melanoma growth in mouse, is required for melanophore development and formation of male orange pigmentation traits in the guppy. We find that some components of the male orange pattern are particularly sensitive to loss of Adcy5 function. Our work thus reveals a function for Adcy5 in patterning of fish color ornaments.

In Plant Journal: new microRNA paper on THO2

Posted on June 05, 2015

THO2, core member of the THO/TREX complex, is required for micro RNA production in Arabidopsis read more

Francisco-Mangilet A.G., Karlsson P., Kim M.H., Eo H.J., Oh S.A., Kim J.H., Kulcheski F.R., Park S.K., Manavella P.A.

The THO/TREX complex mediates the transport of nascent mRNAs from the nucleus towards the cytoplasm in animals, and it has a role in small interfering RNA-dependent processes in plants. Here we describe five mutant alleles of Arabidopsis thaliana THO2, a core subunit of the plant THO/TREX complex. tho2 mutants present strong developmental defects resembling those in plants compromised in microRNA (miRNA) activity. In agreement, not only the levels of siRNAs, but also of mature miRNAs were reduced in tho2 mutants. As a consequence a feedback mechanism is triggered, increasing the amount of miRNA precursors, finally causing accumulation of miRNA-targeted mRNAs. Yeast two hybrid experiments and confocal microscopy showed that THO2 does not seem to interact with any of the known miRNA biogenesis components, but rather with the splicing machinery, implying an indirect role of THO2 in small RNA biogenesis. Using a RIP approach we found that THO2 is able to interact with miRNA precursors and that tho2 mutants fail to recruit such precursors into the miRNA-processing complex, explaining the reduction in the miRNA production in this mutant background. We also detected alterations in the splicing pattern of genes encoding Serine/Arginine-Rich (SR) proteins in tho2 mutants, supporting a previously unappreciated role of the THO/TREX complex in alternative splicing.

Upcoming Events

Sep
30

EMBO Conference: Genetic Control of Development and Evolution

September 29 - October 2
in Paris, France

Detlef speaking at EMBO Conference "Genetic Control of Development and Evolution"


Oct
07

MiKo Matin Qaim


Oct
13

AGTA - Australasian Genomic Technologies Association

October 11-14
in Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia

Detlef speaking at AGTA


Oct
21

MiKo Gil McVean

October 21, 3 pm
MPH Lecture Hall

Title: TBA