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What 'pine' cones reveal about the evolution of flowers
Date:12/14/2010

floral organ in early angiosperms would have a unique set of genetic instructions as is the case in the evolutionarily derived Arabidopsis. Instead, the finding increased the likelihood that a single male cone was responsible for the world's first flowering plants owing to the elasticity of their genetic structure.

"In early flowers, a stamen is not much different genetically speaking than a tepal," said Doug Soltis. "The clearly distinct floral organs we all know and love today came later in flowering plant evolution--not immediately."

Researchers say better understanding of these genetic switches in early angiosperm flowers could one day help scientists in other disciplines such as medicine or agriculture.


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Contact: Bobbie Mixon
bmixon@nsf.gov
703-292-8070
National Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert  

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