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Defying the laws of Mendelian inheritance
Date:2/4/2013

In 2005, Susan Lolle and colleagues from Purdue University published a paper in Nature, concluding that Arabidopsis thaliana plants do not obey the laws of Mendelian inheritance (the idea that all genes are inherited from their parents). Instead, Lolle found that these plants were demonstrating genetic traits from older generations, which shouldn't be possible according to our current understanding of how genes are passed on.

At the time of publishing, the paper was recommended by 20 F1000Prime Faculty Members, and it is still one of the all-time top 10 papers on the site despite also being dissented. In the wider scientific community the paper was met with some criticism, alternative theories to explain the findings were offered, and there were calls for more evidence. Many believed the findings to be the result of contamination from other seeds, the introduction of unrelated genetic material into the breeding line (out-crossing), or another novel DNA-based genetic phenomenon.

Lolle and new colleagues from the University of Waterloo have now published a follow-up paper on F1000Research, having spent several years conducting numerous experiments that they believe provide further evidence to support the original findings and disprove some of the other suggested theories. In Lolle et al.'s paper, "De novo genetic variation revealed in somatic sectors of single Arabidopsis plants", they have used DNA markers to demonstrate the presence of multiple genetic traits in single Arabidopsis plants. The article has now been approved by three independent leading names in the field, Andy Pereira (University of Arkansas), Igor Kovalchuk (University of Lethbridge), and David Oppenheimer (University of Florida), who provided formal referee reports and it will now be indexed in PubMed, Scopus and other major indexers. All peer review for F1000Research is conducted post-publication; referees' comm
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Contact: Eleanor Howell
press@f1000.com
44-020-763-19129
Faculty of 1000: Biology and Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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