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Evolution of fruit size in tomato
Date:6/27/2008

ded within the protein coding sequence. Although introns are not part of a gene's protein code and are removed from the RNA sequence before translation into proteins, they are nevertheless structurally and functionally important, as demonstrated in this locus. The presence of an insertion in this intron reduces expression of the fas gene. The scientists looked at where and when the gene is expressed and found it dramatically reduced in developing flower buds in plants with high locule numbers.

Further comparisons of this locus across different tomato cultivars, including wild varieties, which turned out not to contain the mutation, suggests the mutation occurred relatively recently in tomato domestication and spread rapidly throughout modern tomatoes as a result of selection for extreme fruit size. Comparative genomics tools are being applied in both well-known and obscure solanaceous species. Conservation of genes and loci across a number of these species suggests that the knowledge gained from these efforts can also be applied in crop and yield improvement for other members of the Solanaceae.


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Contact: Dr. Luz Barrero
lbarrero@corpoica.org.co
571-422-7329
American Society of Plant Biologists
Source:Eurekalert

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