Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UCR researchers determine genetic origin of California wild radish

17.07.2006
The rapid spread of the hybrid radish caused the extinction of its parents in the state

UC Riverside scientists studying the genetic makeup of wild radishes in California have determined that the California wild radish is descended from hybrids between two species: cultivated radish and the weed called jointed charlock. The hybrid-derived plants apparently have completely eliminated the ancestral species from California, the researchers report.

The discovery is significant because the parental species were replaced by a single, stable hybrid lineage in less than 100 years, an extremely short interval in evolution. The researchers attribute the rapid spread of the hybrid radish to the evolution of a unique combination of traits relative to the parental species. These traits include unswollen roots, which are not as sensitive to disease and injury as are swollen roots, and early flowering.

The researchers published their findings in the June issue of Evolution. Next week's issue of the journal Nature highlights their research.

"The documented instances of extinction by hybridization in which both parents are replaced by the hybrid are rare," said Subray G. Hegde, the lead author of the paper and a postgraduate research geneticist who, in 2001, joined the research group of Norman C. Ellstrand, professor of genetics in UCR's Department of Botany and Plant Sciences. "What we've shown is that the extinction of a species by this process can occur very rapidly. We need to recognize the lesson this teaches us for conservation: if we are to save organisms from extinction, we need to make sound decisions fast."

Both the cultivated radish and jointed charlock were introduced to California more than 100 years ago. While the cultivated variety, found in grocery stores, bears pink, purple and white flowers and has a swollen root, the weed bears yellow flowers (occasionally also white) and has a slender root.

California wild radish is a genetic fusion of the cultivated and weedy varieties, thriving along California's coast as well as in the inland valley. Bearing a mixture of white, purple, pink, bronze and yellow flowers, all of the plants are uniformly intermediate between the cultivated radish and jointed charlock in root size and shape. Its fruit size is intermediate also. Suggested as a hybrid lineage by UC Berkeley scientists in the 1960s, the UCR-led research now reports definitive genetic evidence for its hybrid origin.

In their research, the UCR scientists performed an extensive survey of wild radishes throughout California, cultivated radish varieties, and samples of jointed charlock from outside of California. After doing a morphological study of the three types of plants, they performed modern population genetic analysis, using a sophisticated analytical tool developed in the last five years to determine the radishes' genetic makeup.

"We found that wild radish in California has now become an evolutionary entity separate from both of its parents," said Ellstrand, a co-author of the paper. "It can serve as an excellent model organism for evolutionary studies."

Hegde noted that the California wild radish has spread fast in the state, where, unlike its parents, it has become invasive. Next in their research the scientists will look for a genetic explanation for how the hybrid acquired its invasive behavior. Said Hegde, "This approach could help us find a way to control the spread of other plants that evolved invasiveness after interspecies hybridization."

Iqbal Pittalwala | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucr.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>