Navigation Links
Plant biologists discover gene that switches on 'essence of male'
Date:3/19/2009

Biologists at the University of Leicester have published results of a new study into plant sex and discovered that a particular gene switches on 'the essence of male'.

The study takes to a new level understanding of the genes needed for successful plant reproduction and seed production.

Professor David Twell and colleagues in the Department of Biology at the University of Leicester reported the discovery of a gene that has a critical role in allowing precursor reproductive cells to divide to form twin sperm cells.

Their study is reported in the journal Public Library of Science Genetics (PLoS Genetics) and was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

Professor Twell said: "Flowering plants, unlike animals require not one, but two sperm cells for successful fertilisation. One sperm cell to join with the egg cell to produce the embryo and the other to join with the central cell to produce the nutrient-rich endosperm tissue inside the seed. A mystery in this 'double fertilisation' process was how each single pollen grain could produce the pair of sperm cells needed for fertility and seed production.

"We now report the discovery of a dual role for DUO1, a regulatory gene required for plant sperm cell production. We show that the DUO1 gene is required to promote the division of sperm precursor cells, while at the same time promoting their specialised function as sperm cells. It effectively switches on the essence of male.

"We show that DUO1 is required for the expression of a key protein that controls cell division and for the expression of genes that are critical for gamete differentiation and fertilisation.

"This work provides the first molecular insight into the mechanisms through which cell cycle progression and gamete differentiation are coordinated in flowering plants.

"This knowledge will be helpful in understanding the mechanisms and evolution of gamete development in flowering plants and may be useful in the control of gene flow and crossing behaviour in crop plants."

The researchers also report on the presence of genes closely related to DUO1 in a wide variety of flowering plants and even in lowly land plants such as moss, which suggests that DUO1 may be part of an ancient sperm cell regulatory network that evolved even before pollen and flowers appeared on the scene.

Interestingly, DUO1 is also related to a super class of Myb regulator proteins also present in animals that have an important role in controlling cell proliferation and that are implicated in certain human cancers such as leukemias. So like animal cell Myb proteins, DUO1 is needed for control of cell proliferation, but DUO1 is distinguished by its specific role in plant reproduction, namely its dual role in sperm cell production and switching on their ability to fertilize.

Professor Twell added that the study could help to unravel the evolutionary origins of plant sperm cells and provide new molecular tools for the manipulation of plant fertility and hybrid seed production as well as to control gene flow in transgenic crops where the male contribution may need to be eliminated.


'/>"/>

Contact: Professor David Twell
twe@le.ac.uk
01-162-522-281
University of Leicester
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Circadian clock controls plant growth hormone
2. Layered approach may yield stronger, more successful bone implants
3. Clearance of hepatitis C viral infection after liver transplantation
4. Device helps patients survive, regain function til transplant
5. How the plant immune system can drive the formation of new species
6. The American Society of Plant Biologists announces 2007 awards
7. UCR plant cell biologist to study how plant stem cells maintain and change their identity
8. A study proposes a new universal rule to explain the equilibrium of plant populations
9. A study proposes a new universal rule to explain the equilibrium of plant populations
10. Study shows vitamin C is essential for plant growth
11. Clever plants chat over their own network
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Plant biologists discover gene that switches on 'essence of male'
(Date:3/21/2016)... , March 22, 2016 ... recognition with passcodes for superior security   ... a leading provider of secure digital communications services, today ... biometric technology and offer enterprise customers, particularly those in ... facial recognition and voice authentication within a mobile app, ...
(Date:3/17/2016)... LONDON , March 17, 2016 ... market intelligence, forecasts the global biometrics market will ... an impressive 118% increase from 2015. Consumer electronics, ... with embedded fingerprint sensors anticipated to reach two ... Dimitrios Pavlakis , Research Analyst ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University ... University, announced today the formation of Neteera Technologies ... biological indicators. Neteera Technologies has completed its first round ... Neteera,s ... from sweat ducts, enables reliable and speedy biometric identification, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... ... Kablooe Design, a leading provider of product design and development services to medical ... “We have worked hard to build long-term relationships,” says President and CEO, Tom KraMer. ... serving their product design and development needs through the years.” , Kablooe has earned ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... , May 19, 2016  AdvancedFlow Systems ... Inc. (AGI), based out of Maple ... Biogas Ltd. to its existing portfolio of contract ... agreement. AFS along with its sister companies Surround ... a vertically integrated industrial group that specializes in ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... MADRID , May 19, 2016 ... di una sessione orale durante il 52 ° ... (abstract n. 8006)    - Le conclusioni ... quanto riguarda i pazienti trattati, di cui il 90% presenta ... di sei mesi o più. Il settantadue per cento dei ...
(Date:5/18/2016)... ... May 18, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software ... report sexual assault kit processing to help them save time and reduce errors. , ... kits to be processed and victims informed of results. Due to a previous lack ...
Breaking Biology Technology: