Having lost the ability to make viable seeds, the plant has shifted some of the processes that make seeds to the leaves, said Neelima Sinha, professor of plant biology at UC Davis.
Many plants reproduce by throwing out long shoots or runners that can grow into new plants. But mother of thousands goes further: the plantlets are complete miniature plants that become disconnected from the mother plant's circulatory system and drop off, allowing them to spread rapidly and effectively. The houseplant has lost the ability to make viable seeds and only reproduces through plantlets.
Helena Garcês, a graduate student in Sinha's laboratory, Sinha and colleagues looked at two genes, STM and LEC, in mother of thousands and close relatives, some of which make seeds instead of plantlets. STM controls shoot growth, while LEC is involved in making seeds.
Expression of STM in leaves was essential for making plantlets. In most plants LEC is expressed in seeds, but mother of thousands' version of the gene, LEC1, was expressed in leaves as well. When the researchers transferred the LEC1 variant into other plants, they were unable to make viable seeds.
Mother of thousands appears to have lost the ability to reproduce sexually and make seeds, but transferred at least part of the embryo-making process to the leaves to make plantlets, Sinha said. The findings could be useful in manipulating plant reproduction, she said.
The other authors on the paper are: Connie Champagne and Soomin Park, postdoctoral researchers at UC Davis; graduate student Brad Townsley; Rui Malhó, University of Lisbon, Portugal; Maria Pedroso, Monsanto Co., St. Louis; and John Harada, professor of plant biology at UC Davis. The work was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, Portugal, and is published online by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Andy Fell | EurekAlert!
One step closer to reality
20.04.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie
The dark side of cichlid fish: from cannibal to caregiver
20.04.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy