Thursday, February 25, 2016

Some Papers of Interest

Some Papers of Interest

This is just a short post to catch readers up on some papers that I have found this year that I have found very interesting. For those of you who follow my Facebook page, Sun Dragon Daylilies, you may have already seen these papers there in posts I have previously made. If you are on Facebook but haven't seen my page 'Like' it to follow my posts there.

The first of the papers that I have found over the last few months and that I have very much enjoyed is - A new day dawning: Hemerocallis (daylily) as a future model organism by M. J. Rodriguez-Enriquez and R. T. Grant-Downton. I found this paper very interesting. It looks at a variety of interesting subjects. Here is the abstract.

Abstract - Genetic model organisms have revolutionized science, and today, with the rapid advances in technology, there is significant potential to launch many more plant species towards model status. However, these new model organisms will have to be carefully selected. Here, we argue that Hemerocallis (daylily) satisfies multiple criteria for selection and deserves serious consideration as a subject of intensive biological investigation. Several attributes of the genus are of great biological interest. These include the strict control of flower opening and, within a short period, the precisely regulated floral death by a programmed cell death system. The self-incompatibility system in Hemerocallis is also noteworthy and deserves more attention. Importantly, the genus is widely cultivated for food, medicinal value and ornamental interest. Hemerocallis has considerable potential as a ‘nutraceutical’ food plant and the source of new compounds with biomedical activity. The genus has also been embraced by ornamental plant breeders and the extraordinary morphological diversity of hybrid cultivars, produced within a relatively short time by amateur enthusiasts, is an exceptional resource for botanical and genetic studies. We explore these points in detail, explaining the reasons why this genus has considerable value—both academic and socio-economic—and deserves new resources devoted to its exploration as a model. Its impact as a future model will be enhanced by its amenability to cultivation in laboratory and field conditions. In addition, established methods for various tissue and cell culture systems as well as transformation will permit maximum exploitation of this genus by science.

The next set of papers are a pair of reviews of epigenetic research in plants. These reviews are also authored by R. T. Grant-Downton with H. G. Dickinson. The first is Epigenetics and its implications for plant biology. 1. The epigenetic network in plants., and the second is Epigenetics and its implications for plant biology 2. The 'epigenetic epiphany': epigenetics, evolution and beyond. Both are very interesting, especially if you find epigenetic as interesting as I do. A fourth paper that I have found very interesting is Flower Pigments within Hemerocallisfulva L. fm. fulva, fm. rosea, and fm. disticha by R.J. Griesbach and L. Batdorf. A somewhat older paper, hailing from 1995, it is still very interesting.

I want to leave you with the above image and thought. I use this question and variations of it often in my hybridizing work and in the rest of my life as well. For instance, when I walk through a seedling bed, I ask myself this variation of the question, "If there were no one else to ever see this flower, do I want to see it again?" It was given to me in a simpler form by one of my scientific mentors many years ago as the question, "Why do you do what you do?" I find it very valuable in escaping the social eddy, which is all too easy to get sucked into through trends and fads, a desire to please others or be liked or the desire for attention and acclaim. These things can all too easily pull you away from your own vision. Be true to your own creativity!