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:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016 Ampronix facilitates superior patient care by providing unparalleled ... medical LCD display is the latest premium product recently added to the range of ... ... ... Sony 3d Imaging- LCD Medical Display- Ampronix News ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... , May 12, 2016 WearablesResearch.com ... just published the overview results from the Q1 wave ... the recent wave was consumers, receptivity to a program ... data with a health insurance company. "We ... to share," says Michael LaColla , CEO of ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO and BANGALORE, India ... part of EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... service provider, today announced a global partnership that ... convenient way to use mobile banking and payment services. ... Mobility is a key innovation area for financial services, but ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... the launch of the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., ... the future of how hardware projects are designed, built and brought to market. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... BEACH, Calif. , June 23, 2016  Blueprint ... new biological discoveries to the medical community, has closed ... co-founder Matthew Nunez . "We have ... us with the capital we need to meet our ... will essentially provide us the runway to complete validation ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Prairie, WI (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 ... ... consultancy focused on quality, regulatory and technical consulting, provides a free webinar ... is presented on July 13, 2016 at 12pm CT at no charge. , ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... 22, 2016 Cell Applications, Inc. and ... to produce up to one billion human induced ... one week. These high-quality, consistent stem cells enable ... and spend more time doing meaningful, relevant research. ... high-volume manufacturing process that produces affordable, reliable HiPSC ...
Breaking Biology Technology: