Mikania micrantha, dubbed “mile-a-minute” weed, is one of the top 100 worst invasive species and one of the most harmful invasive plants, also in south China. WAN Fanghao, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and colleagues have prepared a 1.79 Gb reference chromosome map and have shown that half of the genome is composed of long terminal repeat retrotransposons, including a whole genome duplication event. Mikania micrantha achieves higher photosynthetic capacity by CO2 absorption at night to supplement its carbon fixation during the day, as well as enhanced stem photosynthesis efficiency. Furthermore, the metabolites of the plant can increase the availability of nitrogen by enriching microbes that participate in nitrogen cycling pathways.
Nature Communication https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-13926-4