Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How 'Mother Of Thousands' Makes Baby Plants

Date:
October 5, 2007
Source:
University of California, Davis
Summary:
New research shows how the houseplant 'mother of thousands' makes the tiny plantlets that drop from the edges of its leaves. Mother of thousands appears to have lost the ability to reproduce sexually and make seeds, but transferred at least part of the embryo-making process to the leaves to make plantlets, according to researchers. The findings could be useful in manipulating plant reproduction.

The houseplant "mother of thousands" makes the tiny plantlets that drop from the edges of its leaves.
Credit: Neelima Sinha/UC Davis photo

New research shows how the houseplant "mother of thousands" (Kalanchoe diagremontiana) makes the tiny plantlets that drop from the edges of its leaves. Having lost the ability to make viable seeds, the plant has shifted some of the processes that make seeds to the leaves, said Neelima Sinha, professor of plant biology at UC Davis.

Many plants reproduce by throwing out long shoots or runners that can grow into new plants. But mother of thousands goes further: the plantlets are complete miniature plants that become disconnected from the mother plant's circulatory system and drop off, allowing them to spread rapidly and effectively. The houseplant has lost the ability to make viable seeds and only reproduces through plantlets.

Helena Garcês, a graduate student in Sinha's laboratory, Sinha and colleagues looked at two genes, STM and LEC, in mother of thousands and close relatives, some of which make seeds instead of plantlets. STM controls shoot growth, while LEC is involved in making seeds.

Expression of STM in leaves was essential for making plantlets. In most plants LEC is expressed in seeds, but mother of thousands' version of the gene, LEC1, was expressed in leaves as well. When the researchers transferred the LEC1 variant into other plants, they were unable to make viable seeds.

Mother of thousands appears to have lost the ability to reproduce sexually and make seeds, but transferred at least part of the embryo-making process to the leaves to make plantlets, Sinha said. The findings could be useful in manipulating plant reproduction, she said.

The other authors on the paper are: Connie Champagne and Soomin Park, postdoctoral researchers at UC Davis; graduate student Brad Townsley; Rui Malhó, University of Lisbon, Portugal; Maria Pedroso, Monsanto Co., St. Louis; and John Harada, professor of plant biology at UC Davis. The work was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, Portugal, and is published online by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California, Davis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California, Davis. "How 'Mother Of Thousands' Makes Baby Plants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071002144306.htm>.
University of California, Davis. (2007, October 5). How 'Mother Of Thousands' Makes Baby Plants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071002144306.htm
University of California, Davis. "How 'Mother Of Thousands' Makes Baby Plants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071002144306.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) — West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) — Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) — The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) — A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
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