Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Reappearance Of Missing Genetic Information Poses Exception To The Rule

Date:
March 28, 2005
Source:
National Science Foundation
Summary:
Researchers have discovered that “missing” genetic information unexpectedly reappears in later generations. By poring over the genome of the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, scientists at Purdue University found specific genetic information present in a “grandparent” and “grandchild,” even though it was seemingly absent in the “parent.”

Arabidopsis thaliana researchers have discovered that "missing" genetic information unexpectedly reappears in later generations yielding offspring with traits identical to the grandparent and not the parent.
Credit: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation

Researchers have discovered that “missing” genetic information unexpectedly reappears in later generations. By poring over the genome of the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, scientists at Purdue University found specific genetic information present in a “grandparent” and “grandchild,” even though it was seemingly absent in the “parent.”

The study is featured in the March 24 issue of the journal Nature.

For more than a century, a basic tenet of inheritance has dictated that an organism’s genome passes directly from one generation to the next in a predictable manner—from grandparents—to parents—to children. Now, Susan Lolle, Robert Pruitt and their colleagues have shown this cardinal rule of inheritance is sometimes broken. The scientists reached their conclusion by tracking how genetic information passes through multiple Arabidopsis generations. In violation of current genetic theory, they found a significant percentage of the plant grandchildren had genetic information identical to that of the grandparent, but not the parent.

But how could the child acquire genetic information from its grandparent, if the parent had lost it? Lolle and Pruitt postulate that the “lost” genetic information securely resides outside the standard genome and is only retrieved under particular circumstances when it may be beneficial to restore genomic sequences back to an ancestral state. So, the information was not lost, but rather “hidden”—from scientists anyway.

How does the plant benefit by accessing a cache of its ancestor’s genomic information? Lolle said, “This ancestral information acts like a reserve genetic template that plants can make use of should living conditions become less ideal.” She continued, “In this way, we think plants get a ‘second chance’ to win the genetic lottery.”

Like any good scientist, Lolle was skeptical of her own results and hesitant to believe something so novel was occurring. For years she reasoned there were trivial explanations for what she was seeing. Eventually, however, Lolle could no longer discount the evidence, so she meticulously repeated experiments and verified results, ruling out all explanations afforded by conventional dogma. The data became irrefutable—the genetic information was “skipping” a generation.

It’s a nearly heretical theory. Indeed, the implications will have scientists pondering old results anew. As Rita Teutonico, the National Science Foundation program manager who oversees this work said, “We knew the project was ambitious, but these results challenge us to re-think some genetic paradigms and demonstrate that some very forward thinking ideas warrant investigation.” Teutonico continued, “This result illustrates the benefits of the NSF’s support of bold, high-payoff science.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Science Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Science Foundation. "Reappearance Of Missing Genetic Information Poses Exception To The Rule." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 March 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050325153201.htm>.
National Science Foundation. (2005, March 28). Reappearance Of Missing Genetic Information Poses Exception To The Rule. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050325153201.htm
National Science Foundation. "Reappearance Of Missing Genetic Information Poses Exception To The Rule." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050325153201.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

Reuters - US Online Video (July 21, 2014) An endangered black rhino baby is the newest resident at the San Diego Zoo. Sasha Salama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins