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 18, 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 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) — Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — With plenty of honking, flapping, and fluttering, more than three dozen Caribbean flamingos at Zoo Miami were rounded up today as the iconic exhibit was closed for renovations. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) — Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
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

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