BMC Biology Table of Contents - September 2018
New insights into the transcriptomics of the sea anemone, the discovery of an all-female termite population, and more
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  This month's content from BMC Biology covers a broad spectrum of Research and Commissioned pieces, from the burning questions in CRISPR biology, to termite societies that live without males.

Our Highlights below include the latest additions to our thematic series, "In the Light of Evolution" and "New Tools for Neurobiology", on evolution of clownfish stripe patterns, and array tomography (with must see videos!) respectively. Both series - along with "Protein Quality Control at Membranes" - are continuing to accept submissions.

Epigenetic programming and inheritance feature heavily, with research on how piRNAs mediate stress responses and intergenerational fitness, roles for histone variants in controlling gene expression in embryonic stem cells, and Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 in paternal inheritance. Other articles include transcriptomes of stinging cells in anemones, and how Parkinson's disease-linked mutations impair neuronal signaling.

The deadline for our upcoming special issue on Cancer Metabolism is 31st October! Information about the issue, including how to submit your research, can be found here.

Our website's Focus collection this month is on the Microbiome. Don't miss reviews across BMC's flagship journals on aspects from evolution to HIV infection.

Visit our new Goings On page to find out what's new at BMC Biology. The page features news, updates and announcements from the journal, and is regularly updated, so come back often!

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Featured articles
Moran et al
The transcriptomics of stinging cell development

In new research, Yehu Moran and colleagues profile the cnidocyte-specific transcriptome of the sea anemone Nematostella, and unravel the developmental expression of protein-coding genes involved in nematogenesis.

All female termite societies

The discovery of asexual all-female termite populations by Yashiro and colleagues shows that these can evolve from mixed sex colonies where males have active social roles. Duur Aanen comments on the disposable male in an accompanying commentary.
Observing the Neuronal Architecture

In his Q&A, Stephen J Smith discusses light and electron Array Tomography, and how they might be combined to achieve a closer look - part of our New Tools for Neurobiology series.
Fabre et al
Hox gene hierarchies in limb development

Pierre Fabre, Denis Duboule and co use single-cell transcriptomics to show that Hoxd gene expression is heterogeneous and in specific combinations during limb development.
Featured Collection - Reviews
Featured reviews

This collection houses our commissioned Reviews, including the evolution of aging, mechanotransduction in plants, how to conduct a meta-analysis, and targeting protein quality control pathways in cancer.

Featured Blog - Evolution of Clownfish Stripe Patterns
Evolution of clownfish stripe patterns
Pauline Salis, Bruno Frédérich and Vincent Laudet discuss their new paper on how the white stripe patterns of charismatic tropical clownfish evolved and developed: part of our "In the Light of Evolution" series.
Table of contents

Review and Comment


Brevican "nets" voltage-gated calcium channels at the hair cell ribbon synapse
Thomas M. Coate and Katherine Conant

The disposable male - the ultimate emancipation of females?
Duur K. Aanen

Open questions: CRISPR biology
Eugene V. Koonin

Q&A: Array tomography

Stephen J Smith




Cell type-specific expression profiling unravels the development and evolution of stinging cells in sea anemone
Kartik Sunagar, Yaara Y Columbus-Shenkar, Arie Fridrich, Nadya Gutkovich, Reuven Aharoni and Yehu Moran


Synaptic coupling of inner ear sensory cells is controlled by brevican-based extracellular matrix baskets resembling perineuronal nets
Mandy Sonntag, Maren Blosa, Sophie Schmidt, Katja Reimann, Kerstin Blum, Tobias Eckrich, Gudrun Seeger, Dietmar Hecker, Bernhard Schick, Thomas Arendt, Jutta Engel and Markus Morawski


Loss of males from mixed-sex societies in termites
Toshihisa Yashiro, Nathan Lo, Kazuya Kobayashi, Tomonari Nozaki, Taro Fuchikawa, Nobuaki Mizumoto, Yusuke Namba and Kenji Matsuura


Histone variants H2A.Z and H3.3 coordinately regulate PRC2-dependent H3K27me3 deposition and gene expression regulation in mES cells

Yan Wang et al. 


Reduced PRC2 function alters male germline epigenetic programming and paternal inheritance

Jessica M. Stringer, Samuel C. Forster, Zhipeng Qu, Lexie Prokopuk, Moira K. O’Bryan, David K. Gardner, Stefan J. White, David Adelson and Patrick S. Western


The piRNA pathway responds to environmental signals to establish intergenerational adaptation to stress

Tony Belicard, Pree Jareosettasin and Peter Sarkies


Heterogeneous combinatorial expression of Hoxd genes in single cells during limb development

P. J. Fabre, M. Leleu, B. Mascrez, Q. Lo Giudice, J. Cobb and D. Duboule

Genome sequencing of rice subspecies and genetic analysis of recombinant lines reveals regional yield- and quality-associated loci

Xiukun Li, Lian Wu, Jiahong Wang, Jian Sun, Xiuhong Xia, Xin Geng, Xuhong Wang, Zhengjin Xu and Quan Xu


Parkinson's disease-linked Parkin mutations impair glutamatergic signaling in hippocampal neurons
Mei Zhu, Giuseppe P. Cortese and Clarissa L. Waites


Ontogenetic and phylogenetic simplification during white stripe evolution in clownfishes
Pauline Salis, Natacha Roux, Olivier Soulat, David Lecchini, Vincent Laudet and Bruno Frédérich


Microdomain formation is a general property of bacterial membrane proteins and induces heterogeneity of diffusion patterns
Daniella Lucena, Marco Mauri, Felix Schmidt, Bruno Eckhardt and Peter L. Graumann

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