Navigation Links
Study provides insights into plant evolution
Date:3/1/2013

New research has uncovered a mechanism that regulates the reproduction of plants, providing a possible tool for engineering higher yielding crops.

In a study published today in Science, researchers from Monash University and collaborators in Japan and the US, identified for the first time a particular gene that regulates the transition between stages of the life cycle in land plants.

Professor John Bowman, of the Monash School of Biological Sciences said plants, in contrast to animals, take different forms in alternating generations - one with one set of genes and one with two sets.

"In animals, the bodies we think of are our diploid bodies - where each cell has two sets of DNA. The haploid phase of our life cycle consists of only eggs if we are female and sperm if we are male. In contrast, plants have large complex bodies in both haploid and diploid generations," Professor Bowman said.

These two plant bodies often have such different characteristics that until the mid-1800s, when better microscopes allowed further research, they were sometimes thought to be separate species.

Professor Bowman and Dr Keiko Sakakibara, formerly of the Monash School of Biological Sciences and now at Hiroshima University, removed a gene, known as KNOX2 from moss. They found that this caused the diploid generation to develop as if it was a haploid, a phenomenon termed apospory. The equivalent mutations in humans would be if our entire bodies were transformed into either eggs or sperm.

"Our study provides insights into how land plants evolved two complex generations, strongly supporting one theory put forward at the beginning of last century proposing that the complex diploid body was a novel evolutionary invention", Professor Bowman said.

While Professor Bowman's laboratory in the School of Biological Sciences is focused on basic research exploring the evolution and development of land plants, he said there were possible applications for the results as mutations in the gene cause the plant to skip a generation.

One goal in agriculture is apomixis, where a plant produces seeds clonally by skipping the haploid generation and thereby maintaining the characteristics, such as a high yielding hybrid, of the mother plant. Apomixis would mean crops with desirable qualities could be produced more easily and cheaply.

"Gaining a better understanding of the molecular basis of plant reproduction and the regulations of the alternation of generations could provide tools to engineer apomixis - a breakthrough that would be highly beneficial, especially in developing countries," Professor Bowman said.


'/>"/>
Contact: Emily Walker
emily.walker@monash.edu
61-399-034-844
Monash University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New study reveals how sensitive US East Coast regions may be to ocean acidification
2. CETS offers new method to help simplify the study of brain pathologies
3. New study could explain why some people get zits and others dont
4. Global tipping point not backed by science: Study
5. Study led by NUS researchers proves the existence of 3 overstretched DNA structures
6. Wayne State study shows airborne dust in urban areas impacts lead levels in children
7. Georgia Physicians Study Published in The Journal of Urology
8. New study shows continued decline in the last remaining stronghold for leatherback sea turtles
9. Study finds maize in diets of people in coastal Peru dates to 5,000 years ago
10. WCS Adirondack Park study shows exurban residences impact bird communities up to 200 meters away
11. Influenza study: Meet virus new enemy
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/23/2017)... ITHACA, N.Y. , June 23, 2017 ... a leader in dairy research, today announced a new ... help reduce the chances that the global milk supply ... this dairy project, Cornell University has become the newest ... Food Supply Chain, a food safety initiative that includes ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... 16, 2017   Bridge Patient Portal , ... MD EMR Systems , an electronic medical ... GE, have established a partnership to build an ... the GE Centricity™ products, including Centricity Practice Solution ... These new integrations will allow healthcare delivery ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global expert in SoC-based imaging ... server, the M820, which features the company,s hybrid codec technology. A ... Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan ... at the Las Vegas Convention Center April ... Click here for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... August 16, 2017 , ... Today, 3Bar Biologics Inc ... $2M in funding from an impressive group of investors, including Rev1 Ventures, Maumee ... With this investment, 3Bar is broadening availability of its groundbreaking offering that uses ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... ... Kapstone Medical is proud to announce that it has reached a ... develop and safeguard their latest innovations. The company has grown from a boutique ... in the United States and around the world. , Company Founder and President, ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... The Conference Forum ... 360° (IO360°) programming through a series of upcoming panels and events. The partnership culminates ... at The Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. , “With our experience in producing ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... ... , ... The Conference Forum has confirmed the one-day agenda for ... 6, 2017 at the Marriott Copley Place in Boston, MA. , Returning as program ... Strategy, Pfizer Innovative Research Lab, Pfizer, who leads 19 industry speakers in discussing how ...
Breaking Biology Technology: