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Chance discovery leads to plant breeding breakthrough
Date:3/25/2010

ating half the chromosomes, Chan and Ravi had to stimulate the plants to double their remaining chromosomes so that they would have the correct diploid number. Plants with the haploid number of chromosomes are sterile.

The research also casts some interesting light on how species form in plants. CENH3 plays the same crucial role in cell division in all plants and animals. Usually, such important genes are highly conserved -- their DNA is very similar from yeast to whales. But instead, CENH3 is among the fastest-evolving sequences in the genome.

"It may be that centromere differences create barriers to breeding between species," Chan said. Ravi and Chan plan to test this idea by crossing closely-related species.

Chan, who arrived UC Davis in 2006 in his first academic position, described the result as a "game changer" for his laboratory, opening up new research areas, funding sources and recognition.


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Contact: Andy Fell
ahfell@ucdavis.edu
530-752-4533
University of California - Davis
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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