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Plant biologists dissect genetic mechanism enabling plants to overcome environmental challenge
Date:8/3/2011

s active; but that tb1 can act without gt1," says Jackson. "Taken together, our experiments indicated that the two genes are indeed part of a common pathway, in which gt1 is downstream of tb1 it is not expressed until after tb1 is expressed."

Knowing that ancestral teosinte is a highly branched and tillered plant, the team tested the hypothesis that it was the gt1 gene that was specifically (if unwittingly) selected by ancient agriculturalists in their trial-and-error attempts to domesticate a wild grass to produce a new source of food. By sequencing gt1 from diverse lines of modern maize and wild teosinte, "we obtained significant evidence that gt1 was selected during domestication," according to Jackson.

"Tillering is an important trait in the grass family, and by modifying tiller production agriculturalists have increased yield in grasses such as maize and rice. Understanding the molecular mechanisms behind that modification may now provide us with a means to increase biomass production in switchgrass or other potential biofuel crops," Jackson adds.


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Contact: Peter Tarr
tarr@cshl.edu
516-367-8455
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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