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The secret of short stems
Date:11/12/2013

uency fluctuates in this way depending on the part of the world, there cannot be just one factor leading to the formation of this phenotype", says Koornneef. "One of these factors is the local environment.

Koornneef's investigations also prove that semi-dwarfism has arisen independently in every location. "The semi-dwarf Arabidopsis plants always had different genetic backgrounds", explains the geneticist, "and were actually related to their fellow Arabidopsis plants at the same sites. This means that a mutation occurring at one location did not propagate." The trait also did not spread over a larger region, except in The Netherlands. The DNA sequence shows that a few plants attempted to rid themselves of the semi-dwarfism again. However other plants at some sites have selected for this dwarf phenotype because it apparently brought them advantages. The GA20ox1 gene is therefore one of these "hot spots" in the plants' genome becoming repeatedly mutated if a certain phenotype is beneficial at least under some specific conditions.


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Contact: Dr. Maarten Koornneef
koornneef@mpipz.mpg.de
49-221-506-2410
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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