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:3/28/2017)... , March 28, 2017 The ... Hardware (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, ... Region - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, ... 2016 and is projected to reach USD 75.64 Billion ... and 2022. The base year considered for the study ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... 24, 2017 The Controller General of Immigration from ... Abdulla Algeen have received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the ... Continue Reading ... ... Controller Abdulla Algeen (small picture on the right) have received the IAIR ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing Market by Technology (Touch-based ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be worth USD ... 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... and LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. , Oct. ... Cancer Research, London (ICR) and University ... SKY92, SkylineDx,s prognostic tool to risk-stratify patients with multiple myeloma ... MUK nine . The University of Leeds ... partly funded by Myeloma UK, and ICR will perform the ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 2017 , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, has ... The bold new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal to ... period. , It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet cooking ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... 10, 2017 International research firm Parks Associates announced ... at the TMA 2017 Annual Meeting , October 11 in ... residential home security market and how smart safety and security products impact ... Parks Associates: Smart Home ... "The residential security market has ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... DIEGO , Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech ... biological mechanism by which its ProCell stem cell ... critical limb ischemia.  The Company, demonstrated that treatment ... amount of limbs saved as compared to standard ... the molecule HGF resulted in reduction of therapeutic ...
Breaking Biology Technology: