Friday, November 27, 2015

Scientists have created a plant that rejects its own pollen to reduce inbreeding and less healthy offspring

University of Birmingham scientists took a plant called Arabidopsis Thaliana which is a self-fertile plant and made it reject its own pollen by inserting two genes found in a field poppy called “Papaver rhoeas.” The poppy creates two proteins, PrpS and PrsS which identifies the plant. When a plants flowers receives its own pollen, it recognizes it is from itself, the pollen begins its programmed cell death, and stops itself from germinating. Research shows that when just these two genes alone were transferred into the Arabidopsis Thaliana, it was enough for it to become self-incompatible. In the future, scientists hope to be able to implement this into more crops and breed hybrid plants which give off better yields and strength. They also plan to make F1 hybrids easier as this would make it cheaper and easier for plant breeders to create superior plants and seeds.

This research in this article is particularly interesting because the poppy plant isn’t even closely related to the Arabidopsis plant. It also amazes me how plants can not only reject itself, but can reject close relatives of itself as well. It is fascinating how two different breeds of plant can use the same genes to make the plants work in the same way. If this works and can become implemented into more plants, food quality will soar as well as hopefully be cheaper which can create a big impact on the world.

The Original articlecan be found here

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