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Nat Plants. 2017 Dec;3(12):926-929. doi: 10.1038/s41477-017-0066-9. Epub 2017 Dec 4.

Low number of fixed somatic mutations in a long-lived oak tree.

Author information

1
Vital-IT Competence Center, Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Lausanne, Switzerland.
2
Center for Integrative Genomics, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
3
Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
4
Evolutionary Bioinformatics Group, Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Lausanne, Switzerland.
5
Department of Plant Molecular Biology, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
6
Fasteris SA, Plan-les-Ouates, Switzerland.
7
Swiss-Prot group, Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Geneva, Switzerland.
8
Risk Analysis Group, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
9
Department of Plant Molecular Biology, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland. philippe.reymond@unil.ch.

Abstract

Because plants do not possess a defined germline, deleterious somatic mutations can be passed to gametes, and a large number of cell divisions separating zygote from gamete formation may lead to many mutations in long-lived plants. We sequenced the genome of two terminal branches of a 234-year-old oak tree and found several fixed somatic single-nucleotide variants whose sequential appearance in the tree could be traced along nested sectors of younger branches. Our data suggest that stem cells of shoot meristems in trees are robustly protected from the accumulation of mutations.

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PMID:
29209081
DOI:
10.1038/s41477-017-0066-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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