Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Evolution and domestication of seed structure shown to use same genetic mutation

Date:
July 7, 2011
Source:
Norwich BioScience Institutes
Summary:
For the first time, scientists have identified a mutation in plants that was selected twice -- during both natural evolution and domestication. The mutation has been identified as the source of variation in the evolution of fruit morphology in Brassica plants and it was also the source of key changes during the domestication of rice.

Cauliflower (a member of the Brassica family). The mutation has been identified as the source of variation in the evolution of fruit morphology in Brassica plants and it was also the source of key changes during the domestication of rice.
Credit: © netsuthep / Fotolia

For the first time, scientists have identified a mutation in plants that was selected twice -- during both natural evolution and domestication.

The mutation has been identified as the source of variation in the evolution of fruit morphology in Brassica plants and it was also the source of key changes during the domestication of rice.

"We have shown that the genetic source of both natural and human-made changes was the same," said one of the authors on the findings, Dr Robert Sablowski from the John Innes Centre, which is strategically funded by the BBSRC.

"These insights indicate that evolutionary development may have more to offer plant breeders than previously anticipated," he said.

Wild rice scatters its seeds easily to maximise dispersal, so an important part of domestication was to select for cultivars that retain seeds that can then be harvested. Previous studies identified the mutation -- a single nucleotide change -- that reduced seed dispersal. John Innes Centre scientists were surprised to find that the same nucleotide change was behind variation in the evolution of fruit morphology in the Brassica plants.

The Brassica family and rice are separated by 140 million years of evolution and the anatomies of their fruit are very different. However, this work, published in the journal Current Biology, shows that the same genetic tools are applicable over a large evolutionary distance and that evolution can offer insights into the tools that might be useful to breeders.

"Ever since Darwin used domestication as a model for evolution there has been debate over whether the same type of variation is relevant to both domestication and natural evolution," said Dr Sablowski.

"In this study we have shown that the same type of variation is relevant to both processes. In addition, we saw that a surprisingly simple genetic change is enough to explain differences between the fruits of different Brassica relatives. Now further examples will be needed to show whether the simplicity of the regulatory change in our case is exceptional."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Norwich BioScience Institutes. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nicolas Arnaud, Tom Lawrenson, Lars Ψstergaard, Robert Sablowski. The Same Regulatory Point Mutation Changed Seed-Dispersal Structures in Evolution and Domestication. Current Biology, July 7, 2011 DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2011.06.008

Cite This Page:

Norwich BioScience Institutes. "Evolution and domestication of seed structure shown to use same genetic mutation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110707121920.htm>.
Norwich BioScience Institutes. (2011, July 7). Evolution and domestication of seed structure shown to use same genetic mutation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110707121920.htm
Norwich BioScience Institutes. "Evolution and domestication of seed structure shown to use same genetic mutation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110707121920.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

AFP (Apr. 14, 2014) — To curb the growing numbers of feral cats in the US capital, the Washington Humane Society is encouraging residents to set traps and bring the animals to a sterilization clinic, after which they are released.. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida

After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida

AP (Apr. 14, 2014) — Florida wildlife officials say they have killed five bears following an attack on a woman in a suburban subdivision in central Florida. Forty-five year-old Terri Frana was attacked by a large bear in her driveway Saturday. (April 14) 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