Two scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have described how a plant grown in their laboratory uses two sets of proteins to detect the seasons so that it can flower at the right time. And by tinkering with those proteins, the scientists were able to make the plant flower at will.
"We have demonstrated, for the first time, how plants can anticipate the seasons so that they can flower appropriately," says Marcelo Yanovsky, Ph.D., who is a research associate at TSRI and the lead author of the study.
The work should have special relevance to agriculture because the appropriate seasonal control of flowering is a major determinant of crop productivity. The same technology might be used to make certain crops bear fruit faster and in larger and more nutritious yields.
Keith McKeown | EurekAlert!
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