Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Natural selection on not-so-natural plants

Date:
November 14, 2010
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
New research shows that while a genetically modified squash plant may be resistant to common virus transmitted by aphids, it's no match for bacteria transmitted by beetles.

Research by Andrew Stephenson and his colleagues at Penn State shows that while a genetically modified squash plant may be resistant to common virus transmitted by aphids, it's no match for bacteria transmitted by beetles.

Stephenson's ongoing research program examines what happens when modified genes, known as transgenes, escape into fields of wild squash. Stephenson is investigating a particular transgene that gives squash plants extra resistance to a virus that commonly infects both wild and cultivated squash. Scientists have long worried that if transgenes like this one escape into the wild, plants with the gene may grow unchecked and wreak havoc on ecosystems.

Stephenson's field experiments, which have been going on for four years now, show that the transgene does help plants resist the target virus. When aphids that carry the virus arrive in experimental fields in the spring, wild plants without the transgene tend to become infected while transgenic plants stay healthy. Good health, however, makes the transgenic squash look tasty to beetles. Beetles preferentially attack transgenic squash, infecting many with devastating bacteria. The beetle attack neutralizes nearly all of the fitness advantage the transgenic squash may have enjoyed by being resistant to viral infection. So in this case, natural selection kept the genetically modified plants in check.

The research is published in the November/December issue of the International Journal of Plant Sciences.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Miruna A. Sasu, Matthew J. Ferrari, Andrew G. Stephenson. Interrelationships among a Virus-Resistance Transgene, Herbivory, and a Bacterial Disease in a Wild Cucurbita. International Journal of Plant Sciences, 2010; 171 (9): 1048 DOI: 10.1086/656531

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Natural selection on not-so-natural plants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101110213123.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2010, November 14). Natural selection on not-so-natural plants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101110213123.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Natural selection on not-so-natural plants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101110213123.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Hoping to break the record for world's wooliest, Shaun the sheep came up 10 pounds shy with his fleece weighing over 50 pounds after being shorn for the first time in years. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) Canadian scientists looking into the very first land animals took a fish out of water and forced it to walk. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fake Dogs Scare Real Geese from Wis. Park

Fake Dogs Scare Real Geese from Wis. Park

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Parks officials in Stevens Point, Wisconsin had a fowl problem. Canadian Geese were making a mess of a park, so officials enlisted cardboard versions of man's best friend. (Aug. 28) 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