Navigation Links
$6.5 Million Grant for Microarray Center at Yale School of Medicine

In 1909, while harvesting a typical corn crop (Zea mays) in Illinois, a field worker noticed a plant so unusual that it was initially believed to be a new species. Its "peculiarly shaped ear" was "laid aside as a curiosity" and the specimen was designated Zea ramosa (from the Latin ramosus, "having many branches"). Due to the alteration of a single gene, later named ramosa1, both the ear and the tassel of the plant were more highly branched than usual, leading to loose, crooked kernel rows and to a tassel that was far bushier than the tops of normal corn plants.

Now, researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York have isolated the ramosa1 gene and shown how it controls the arrangement and length of flower-bearing branches in corn, related cereal crops, and ornamental grasses. The study indicates that during the domestication of corn from its wild ancestor (teosinte), early farmers selected plants with special versions of the ramosa1 gene that suppressed branching in the ear, leading to the straight rows of kernels and the compact ears of modern-day corn on the cob. The findings are described in the July 24 advance online edition of the journal Nature.

"We've shown that corn and related grasses have either none, some, or a lot of ramosa1 gene activity, and that these different levels of activity have a big impact on the architecture of the plants," says Dr. Robert Martienssen of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, who led the study. "The ramosa1 gene appears to be a key player in the domestication of corn, and we've shown that it acts by signaling cells to form short rather than long branches," says Martienssen, who was joined in the study by lead author Dr. Erik Vollbrecht, now at Iowa State University.

Says Vollbrecht, "We solved this enduring puzzle by combining classical and modern molecular genetics. The former included our use of transposable elements or 'jumping genes'--discovered at Cold Spring Harbor by [Nobel laureate] Barbara Mc Clintock--to 'tag' the ramosa1 gene. That enabled us to isolate the gene and determine its DNA sequence for a variety of other experiments."

"As corn was being domesticated, farmers selected a larger and larger ear with more and more rows of kernels, based on the activity of genes other than ramosa1. But we suspect that as the ear got larger, it needed special alleles of ramosa1 to prevent the extra rows from forming branches instead of kernels," says Martienssen. "There may have been other reasons for selecting an unbranched ear, including the interaction with other genes that were subsequently lost during domestication, but we don't yet know if this is the case."

The study reveals that plants with more ramosa1 activity (e.g. typical corn) tend to have fewer branches, shorter branches, and fewer flowers whereas plants with less ramosa1 activity (e.g. sorghum, rice, and the ramosa corn variety described above) tend to have more branches, longer branches, and more flowers.

"We also looked at a popular ornamental grass that grows outside my office and found the same result. It has a spiky top like corn, so we were delighted to find that they have similar profiles of ramosa1 activity," says Martienssen.


'"/>

Source:


Related biology news :

1. Number Of Babies Born Prematurely Nears Historic Half Million Mark In U.S.
2. First Quantum Grant to fund stem cell repair of damage from stroke
3. Affymetrix Unveils Plans to Double Plant and Animal Genome Microarray Offering
4. Study Demonstrates Gene Expression Microarrays are Comparable and Reproducible
5. Breakthrough Microarray-based Technology for the Study of Cancer
6. Nanogen Issued Patent for Electronic Microarray With Memory
7. Characterizing Skin Cancer by Microarrays
8. Microarrays as phenotype
9. Agilent Technologies Introduces First Commercial Mouse Microarray for Comparative Genomic Hybridization Research
10. Genomatix Microarray Analysis Pipeline achieves Affymetrix GeneChip compatible?status
11. Microarray technology for tailoring breast cancer therapy
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:9/22/2018)... ... September 20, 2018 , ... Global molecular diagnostics company Omixon, ... collaboration to deliver the first integrated epitope determination and matching service that leverages ... the first time, fully characterized HLA sequences and their corresponding 4-field HLA typings ...
(Date:9/12/2018)... MENLO PARK, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... September 10, ... ... announced that a paper detailing the performance of its new Multiplexed Ion Beam ... in the September 6 issue. This study will also be shared during a ...
(Date:9/7/2018)... ... 2018 , ... Sensors Midwest (#SensorsMW18), the event ... Expo & Conference , announces their partnership with Fraunhofer USA Center for Experimental ... Industrial IoT Certification Program. Taking place on October 17, 2018 at the Donald ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/22/2018)... (PRWEB) , ... September 20, 2018 , ... ... technologies and development solutions for drugs, biologics and consumer health products, today announced ... Relevant Today: Lipid-Based Drug Delivery in Modern Pharmaceutical Development,”. The one-day event is ...
(Date:9/15/2018)... ... ... Nationally recognized public accounting and consulting firm Cherry Bekaert LLP (“the Firm”) ... on her appointment to Launch Tennessee’s Board of Directors. , Patrick has ... Firm’s Nashville practice in December 2017 . In this role, she oversees the execution ...
(Date:9/12/2018)... ... September 11, 2018 , ... ... American Association of Feline Practitioners Conference (AAFP) later this month. The ... stem cell therapy for the treatment of chronic kidney disease in felines at ...
(Date:9/7/2018)... ... September 05, 2018 , ... Now available on live stream, the NanoScientific ... Sept. 19, 2018. With a panel of industry leaders from Harvard, Cornell, RPI, IBM, ... industry insights from experts in the field. Register today to be a part ...
Breaking Biology Technology: