Navigation Links
A big bunch of tomatoes?
Date:11/17/2008

Why do poppies and sunflowers grow as a single flower per stalk while each stem of a tomato plant has several branches, each carrying flowers? In a new study, published in this week's issue of the open access journal PLoS Biology, Dr. Zachary Lippman and colleagues identify a genetic mechanism that determines the pattern of flower growth in the Solanaceae (nightshade) family of plants that includes tomato, potato, pepper, eggplant, tobacco, petunia, and deadly nightshades. Manipulation of the identified pathway can turn the well known tomato vine into a highly branched structure with hundreds of flower-bearing shoots, and may thereby result in increased crop yields.

While the development of individual flowers is well understood, the molecular mechanisms that determine the architecture of inflorescences - flower-bearing shoots - are not. The way that inflorescences branch determines the number and distribution of flowers; in peppers (capsicum) inflorescences do not branch, so flowers are singular; in tomatoes, inflorescence branching is repetitive and regular, forming a zigzagged vine The tomato mutants anantha (an) and compound inflorescence (s) have long been known to produce large numbers of branches and flowers, and the new work elucidates the underlying genetics.

Dr. Lippman, and a team of researchers drawn from three institutions in Israel, investigated inflorescence branching by studying these mutant tomato plants. They identified the genes responsible: the anantha (AN) and compound inflorescence (S) genes. S is a member of the well known homeobox gene family, which plays a crucial regulatory role in patterning both animals and plants. Lippman et al. have shown that manipulation of these genes in tomato plants can dramatically alter the architecture and number of inflorescences, and that altered activity of AN in pepper plants can stimulate branching. Variation in S also explains the branching variation seen in domestically grown tomato strains.

The two genes work in sequence to regulate the timing of development of a branch and a flower so, for example, slowing down the pathway that makes a flower allows for additional branches to grow. While this study by Lippman et al. focuses on variations in particular nightshades, the insight leads to a new understanding of how many plants, such as trees, control their potential to branch.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sally Hubbard
press@plos.org
Public Library of Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Grapes may aid a bunch of heart risk factors, animal study finds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/24/2016)... 23, 2016 Cercacor today introduced Ember TM ... trainers non-invasively measure hemoglobin, Oxygen Content, Oxygen ... Respiration Rate in approximately 30 seconds. Smaller than a ... immediate access to key data about their bodies to ... regimen. Hemoglobin carries oxygen to muscles. ...
(Date:11/17/2016)... Global Market Watch: Primarily supported by ... Banks and Academics) market is to witness a value of ... the highest Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.75% is ... analysis period 2014-2020. North America is ... Europe at 9.56% respectively. Report ...
(Date:11/14/2016)... Technology, Inc. ("xG" or the "Company") (Nasdaq: XGTI, XGTIW), ... in challenging operating environments, announced its results for the ... a conference call to discuss these results on November ... Key Recent Accomplishments ... acquire Vislink Communication Systems. The purchase is expected to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... PUNE, India , December 2, 2016 ... Billion by 2021, growing at a CAGR of 7.3% during the ... segment while hospitals and diagnostic laboratories segment accounted for the largest ... ... Complete report on global immunohistochemistry (IHC) market spread across 225 ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... , Nov. 30, 2016  GenomOncology today announced the appointment ... of Medical Affairs.  Dr. Coleman will oversee ... company,s proprietary knowledge-enabled platform. The GenomOncology software suite empowers molecular ... sequencing data and clinical decision support, from quality control through ... , , ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... RATON, Fla. , Nov. 30, 2016 ... biotherapeutic products, is pleased to announce the addition of ... Avenue Kearney, Nebraska . The 15,200 ... business on November 29th, 2016 and brings the total ... Ileana Carlisle , BPC,s Chief Executive ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... 30, 2016  Tempus, a technology company focused ... Penn,s Abramson Cancer Center have partnered to better ... to immunotherapy treatment based on next generation genomic ... of a research collaboration, Tempus will provide sequencing ... patient data to Penn. Utilizing next-generation sequencing, machine ...
Breaking Biology Technology: