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Pollen cells keep memory to control jumping genes
Date:9/20/2012

g hybridization barriers, in which crosses between species result in seed abortion or infertility. Breaking such barriers would increase plant breeder's chances to improve crop species by making use of the phenomenon of hybrid vigor, in which the offspring shows qualities superior to its parents, well exemplified in widely used corn and rice hybrids.'

It was known that flowering plants are an exception to the rule of resetting cellular memory, since modifications may be inherited for hundreds of generations. But the extent to which this happened in the plant sexual cells and how the epigenetic reprogramming of the genome might contribute remained unclear until now. The mechanism now described may also become a strong argument to explain why sexual reproduction evolved and became so prevalent in most higher organisms.


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Contact: Ana Mena
anamena@igc.gulbenkian.pt
351-214-407-959
Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia
Source:Eurekalert  

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