Friday, September 27, 2013

Journal Club: Homologous recombination reporter lines

This week's journal club paper: UV-C-irradiated Arabidopsis and Tobacco emit volatiles that trigger genomic instability in neighboring plants from Yao et al. (2011).

I was pretty surprised that this one got through peer review. Everything in this paper hinges on the ability of the reporter line to faithfully report homologous recombination events, but I was unable find any evidence that suggested this was the case. I was also unable to find this evidence in any of the citations.

 Fortunately, I wasn't the only one. A strong rebuttal regarding publications using these somatic homologous recombination reporter lines was published a year later in the same journal: Reevaluation of the reliability and usefulness of the somatic homologous recombination reporter lines from Ulker et al. (2012).

I suspect everyone's comment in journal club will be the same, and something along the lines of:

"This paper presents an interesting idea, but I think it fails to demonstrate that their reporter line actually reports only homologous recombination. I think that a 2012 rebuttal paper from Ulker et al. about these somatic homologous recombination report lines successfully defends the idea that there are many other interpretations of reporter activity in these lines, including stress induced read-through transcription."

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