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:6/15/2016)... 15, 2016 Transparency Market ... Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis Size ... to the report, the  global gesture recognition market ... and is estimated to grow at a CAGR ... 2024.  Increasing application of gesture recognition ...
(Date:6/7/2016)... -- Syngrafii Inc. and San Antonio Credit Union (SACU) ... Syngrafii,s patented LongPen™ eSignature "Wet" solution into SACU,s ... in greater convenience for SACU members and operational ... document workflow and compliance requirements. Logo ... Highlights: ...
(Date:6/2/2016)...   The Weather Company , an IBM Business (NYSE: ... capability in which consumers will be able to interact with ... via voice or text and receive relevant information about the ... Marketers have long sought an advertising solution that can create ... relevant and valuable; and can scale across millions of interactions ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/6/2016)... Fort Collins, Colorado (PRWEB) , ... December 06, ... ... developer of dynamic aqueous plasma technology platforms, announced today that the company has ... five-year Master Research and Development Agreement (MRDA) with the CSU Office of the ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE and ... terms of its previously-announced cash tender offers (the ... (excluding accrued and unpaid interest to, but not ... and expenses related to the Offers) (the "Maximum ... the table below (collectively, the "Notes"). The terms ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... December 06, 2016 , ... ... management solutions headquartered in Aurora, Ohio, announced the opening of their new office ... the newly constructed facility is home to 200 employees focused on providing sales, ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... ... December 05, 2016 , ... The Real Dirt with Chip ... technology and application experts, Chip Baker. Chip Baker formerly co-founded Royal Gold Soil ... 30 years, Chip Baker other industry veterans have made the evolution of cannabis ...
Breaking Biology Technology: