Last but not least … ferns enter the genomic era
Humans have their genomes sequenced, there’s a lycophyte genome, a moss genome, a liverwort genome, shloads of angiosperm genomes… but until this week no fern genome had been sequenced. It was the last frontier! But we need wait no longer — with the publication earlier this week of “Fern genomes elucidate land plant evolution and cyanobacterial symbioses” we have not one, but two fern reference genomes: Azolla filiculoides and Salvinia cucullata. Special congratulations to lead author (and former Rothfels Labmate) Fay-Wei Li, by whose blood, sweat, and tears (mostly tears) this achievement was made possible.
And it got the cover! Who can blame them — look at this beauty (photo credit: Laura Dijkhuizen):
This paper has also received some cool press–Discover Magazine, Cosmos, Earth.com, Cornell Chronicle, BTI press release, and Nature Plants News & Views–it’s great to see people excited about ferns, and fern biology.