Soba (buckwheat, Fagopyrum esculentum) is a pseudocereal with rich aroma and flavor, which is mainly eaten as noodles after Edo era in Japan. Yet there still remain many problems to overcome: its lower yield than the wheat or rice mainly caused by heteromorphic self-incompatibility (SI), its allergenic property that sometimes causes severe allergic reactions, and so on. Also, SI has been preventing us from producing good cultivars using genetic approaches. Finally, the buckwheat's whole genome has just been sequenced with next-generation sequencing (NGS), and it shows us a solution for those problems. We may have low-allergenic soba noodles in the foreseeable future.
An infant and his mother are playing with a small fish in a tub. The tub has a knothole from which water is pouring out, so the infant is carefully holding the small fish not to let it out from the hole. In the plasma membrane in various species, from bacteria to higher eukaryotes, there are such water channels called aquaporins that selectively allow water molecules to traverse the membrane. The schematized secondary and tertiary structures of the aquaporin's monomer are drawn on his mother's kimono and sash, respectively. And, aquaporins form tetramers to function in the plasma membrane just like the pattern drawn on the infant's kimono.