Sandrine Toupin presents her Master’s project

A young and very talented québécoise student interested in symbiosis joined the lab in 2017 . After finishing her undergraduate studies, she started her M.Sc on cycad transcriptomics. Sandrine Toupin presented her work today, and starts a new chapter in her life. Sandrine did an excellent job putting together a de novo cycad transcriptome, and taking  a closer look at all plant lineages with endophytic cyanobacteria (Gunnera, hornworts, Blasia, Azolla) with new and published data. We wi...
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Reindeer lichens in the news!!

Our research on reindeer lichens has attracted quite a bit of attention from the press. In a recent paper led by our postdoctoral researcher, Dr. Marta Alonso García, she's brought new light on the biology of the reindeer lichens, especially Cladonia stellaris. The species has been proposed as our national lichen due to its ecological importance. We shared Marta's article and some press releases. Enjoy! Laval University PhysOrg EurekAlert!  
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Québec BL2021 – Joint Virtual Meeting- 6-9 July 2021

We are happy to confirm that we will host the Québec 2021 (July 6-9) joint meeting: "Bryophytes, lichens, and northern  ecosystems in a changing world". The Québec B(ryophytes) and L(ichens) will bring together prestigious bryological, botanical and lichenological societies. The event is organized by members of the four societies:  International Association of Bryology (IAB), the American Bryological and Lichenological Society (ABLS),  la Société Québécoise de Bryologie (SQB) and The Canadian Bo...
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Life without sex, the sad story of an emigrant

Sexual reproduction plays an essential role in species’ survival and maintenance and hence is, not surprisingly widespread across the Tree of Life. However, clonality and other forms of asexual reproduction do also exist, especially in plants. The hornwort Nothoceros aenigmaticus is a good example of a plant reproducing asexually and clonally as its male plants seem to produce non-functional sperm cells. This hornwort is distributed in the Southern Appalachians (SA) (United States), Mexico a...
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Coralloid roots on the cover of the journal Environmental DNA

One of the photos in the paper by Philip Bell-Doyon and colleagues made the cover of the journal Environmental DNA. The photo was taken by Jorge Ceballos and Maycol Madrid (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama). A summary of the paper: Using a combination of Sanger-sequencing, 16S metagenomics and whole-genome sequencing, we have elucidated the bacteriome of  the corralled roots of the only epiphytic gymnosperm. One hundred and sixty‐five amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) were f...
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News from the Villarreal lab group

Despite the global and local uncertainty and distress, we have an exciting beginning of the fall session. We have some very good news to share: We have a new graduate student in our lab: Laura Hjartarson. Laura will be starting her master's degree under the supervision of Dr. Line Rochefort  and co-supervised by J.C. Villarreal. She'll be working under our newly funded grant on Restauration of northern mines, with emphasis on the metagenomics of damaged and recovered soils. Laura is intereste...
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A review on hornwort biology

Extant land plants consist of two deeply divergent groups, tracheophytes and bryophytes, which shared a common ancestor some 500 million years ago. While information about vascular plants and the two of the three lineages of bryophytes, the mosses and liverworts, is steadily accumulating, the biology of hornworts is poorly explored. Yet, as the sister group to liverworts and mosses, hornworts are critical in understanding the evolution of key land plant traits. Until recently, there was no h...
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