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Auto immune response creates barrier to fertility; could be a step in speciation
Date:9/3/2007

typically be expressed as during immune response following infection, or by autoimmune mutants.

Moreover, further analysis revealed that the parents carried healthy genes; their necrotic offspring were not results of genetic disorders. They were the result of a bad luck pairing of genetic variants for genes that are normally used to recognize pathogen attack, Dangl said.

A normal immune system function can give rise to incompatibility in the next generation, Dangl said. And if studies move beyond plants, I predict it will be the same in animals.

Dangl suggested that the necrotic plant is possibly analogous to a fertilized egg that fails to implant in the uterus. Infertility in couples might be explained by analogous auto-immune genetic profile. How many couples cant produce progeny, but when they separate and find another mate, they do"

The study showed why basic research is so vital, said Dangl, who was elected into the National Academy of Sciences earlier this year. This was non-outcome oriented research. If we had set out to study hybrid reproduction we would not have found this fascinating system.


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Contact: Clinton Colmenares
clinton_colmenares@unc.edu
919-843-1991
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Source:Eurekalert

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