Flower seeds - the study of plants with genetic errors

Results of the study of plants - were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) Online Early Edition - provides a perfect example of how diversity is related to such genetic "errors." The study of plant also opens the door to further discoveries, such as: the origin of seeds and fruits that we eat.

Flower seeds - the study of plants with genetic errors

As the number of plant genes involved in making men's and women's genitals is duplicated to create two very similar copies. In one instance Rockcress still make male and female parts, but other copies are assumed an entirely new role: it makes the seed pods break open. In snapdragon (snapdragon), both genes are still linked with the sexual organs, but one instance does the main female roles, while maintaining a small role in the male organs - but other copies can only be a man. "Snapdragon are on the verge of separation work on the development of male and female genitalia between these two genes, the key moment in the evolutionary process," said lead researcher professor of plant development, Brendan Davis, School of Leeds' Biological Sciences. "Most of the genes with different roles gives organism more complex and opens the door for the diversification and creation of new species. "tracing back through the evolutionary" tree "for flowering plants, the researchers calculate the gene duplication occurred about 120 million years ago. But a mutation that separates both snapdragon and rock cress use this additional gene occurred about 20 million years later. The researchers found that the different behavior of genes in each plant due to one amino acid. While genes are very similar, they encode proteins that do not always have this amino acid. If it is present, the activity of the protein is restricted to make only a man parts. When the amino acid does not exist, the protein can interact with several other proteins involved in flower production, which will allow her to make both male and female roles. "Small mutations in the gene fools machinery plant to insert additional amino acids, and this tiny change made dramatic difference in how these plants manage their genitals does, "says Professor Davis." This is evolution in action, although we do not yet know whether this mutation will be at an impasse and do not go further, or it could lead to further complications . "Our study is an excellent example of how a chance imperfection sparks evolutionary change. If we lived in an ideal world it would be much less interesting without diversity, and no opportunities for new development." The researchers now plan to study protein interactions that allow the production of male and female parts in the further investigation into the genetic basis of which the plants produce flowers. This work was supported by funding from the European Union Marie Curie training and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.


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