Navigation Links
Little plant tells big stories
Date:8/29/2011

Understanding which genes control traits, like when a plant will flower, what soil type is best or its ability to persist in drought conditions provides insight into the ability of plants to adapt to new environments. This type of scientific data is important for crop improvement and significant to human well being.

An international collaboration of researchers, including biologists at the University of Utah (the U), compared genetic data from 19 different strains of a humble plant called Arabidopsis thaliana. The genome sequences of these strains, 18 of which are presented in the study, will now make it easier to study plants' surprisingly wide trait variation that underlies their adaptability. The results of the study are published online in the journal Nature.

"Arabidopsis thaliana is widely used by the international community and has provided a wealth of knowledge about plant biology," says Richard Clark, University of Utah biologist and one of the authors of this multi-national project. "However, so far our knowledge has come largely from a single Arabidopsis strain, even though other strains can vary greatly in traits like flowering time. By comparing genetic information from multiple strains, we can now understand how genome differences between strains enable plants to adapt to different climates and situations. This means, we are better equipped to understand the genetic processes that underlie variation in traits of ecological and agricultural relevance," he concludes.

The results become a founding part of the 1001 Genomes Project, launched by members of the international Arabidopsis community to catalog genetic information in hundreds of strains from different regions in the world. However, the study goes beyond simply cataloging DNA sequence differences.

"In every cell, there are 'messages' between the gene and the protein it creates, which in turn affects traits," says Joshua Steffen, University of Utah post-doctoral researcher, and co-author on the paper. "By recording the content of the messages (called mRNA) of all the genes in each of the 19 different strains, we have captured information vital to understand which genes are functional in a given strain." This information is critical in understanding how differences in DNA and gene sequences lead to differences in traits.

Arabidopsis is a small flowering plant native to Europe, Asia and northern Africa, and is to plant research as mice and fruit flies are to understanding the molecular nature of animals. Because of its small size, short life cycle and prolific seed production, it is ideal for research. It has one of the smaller genomes among plants, thus facilitating genome sequencing studies, and was the first plant genome to be fully sequenced in 2001.


'/>"/>

Contact: Valoree Dowell
v.dowell@utah.edu
801-403-3128
University of Utah
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Simple little spud helps scientists crack potatos mighty genome
2. A little off the top helps NIST map cells with submicrometer resolution
3. Pollution tax rebates little help for low-income workers
4. Secret life of bees now a little less secret
5. Little is understood about alcohols effect on fetal development, Georgetown researchers say
6. Little brown balls tie malaria and algae to common ancestor: UBC research
7. To double spud production, just add a little spit
8. Little melamine appears in eggs from chickens on highly contaminated feed
9. Like little golden assassins, smart nanoparticles identify, target and kill cancer cells
10. Multicenter study finds little effect of soy isoflavones on bone loss in postmenopausal women
11. Little-known protein found to be key player
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/26/2016)... LONDON , April 26, 2016 ... a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... to integrate the Onegini mobile security platform with ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ) The integration will ... to access and transact across channels. Using this ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... April 15, 2016 Research ... Gait Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report to their offering.  ... ) , ,The global gait biometrics market is ... during the period 2016-2020. Gait analysis ... can be used to compute factors that are ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... , March 31, 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys ... founding CEO, Barrett Bready , M.D., who returned ... of the original technical leadership team, including Chief Technology ... of Product Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice President of ... to the company. Dr. Bready served as ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Newly ... technologies, services and solutions to the healthcare market. The company's primary focus is ... manufacturing, sales and marketing strategies that are necessary to help companies efficiently bring ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... DIEGO , June 24, 2016 ... more sensitively detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors ... circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The new test has ... HRD-targeted therapeutics in multiple cancer types. ... targeting DNA damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   Boston ... of novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness ... has been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the ... treatment of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) ... inhibitor designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce 24 ... for prostate cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 were selected from a ... Read More About the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: