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Kansas state flower receives scientific attention
Date:4/9/2008

ilities, long terminal repeat retrotransposons, when activated, can result in massive genomic expansion and restructuring," Ungerer said.

"We are trying to understand the circumstances that caused retrotransposons to become active and proliferate in these sunflowers and the evolutionary and ecological consequences of these proliferation events," Ungerer said. He also noted that retrotransposons are not just found in sunflowers but in virtually all plants and animals, even humans. In his grant proposal , Ungerer said knowledge of the causes and consequences of this activation could deeply impact our understanding of the role of these genetic elements in organism evolution.

During the course of his three year study, Ungerer will be testing his theory using the controlled greenhouse environments available at K-State to mimic possible environmental stresses on early generation hybrids from the two parental species. Ungerer also will be collecting samples from wild sunflowers in hybrid zones throughout Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.


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Contact: Mark Ungerer
mcungere@k-state.edu
785-532-5845
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert

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