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Tag: Gene

Scientists find gene that reduces a plant’s pollen count

Scientists find gene that reduces a plant’s pollen count

Science
June 8 (UPI) -- Researchers have discovered a gene that lowers the number of pollen grains produced by a plant's flower. Pollen is to plants what sperm is to animals. The numbers of these two kinds of male gametes vary from plant to plant and animal to animal. Advertisement It seems logical that a larger number of male gametes would be advantageous, but many domesticated plants produce lower concentrations of pollen. Scientists have hypothesized that for species and varieties with high levels of self-fertilization and inbreeding, it might make sense to save resources by producing lower pollen numbers. However, the hypothesis remains unproven. Studies have failed to produce corroborating evidence. "So far, there has been little evidence to support this idea, because the production of male...
Researchers find honey bee gene that causes virgin birth

Researchers find honey bee gene that causes virgin birth

Science
May 7 (UPI) -- The Cape honey bee, a subspecies found along the southern coast of South Africa, reproduces without having sex. Now, scientists have identified the gene responsible for the bee's virgin births. Scientists found the gene, named GB45239, on the bee's eleventh chromosome. The discovery, detailed this week in the journal Current Biology, ends a 30-year search for the virgin birth gene. Analysis of the novel gene could help scientists gain new insights into the evolution of different reproductive strategies. "Sex is a weird way to reproduce and yet it is the most common form of reproduction for animals and plants on the planet," study co-author Benjamin Oldroyd, professor of behavioral genetics at the University of Sydney in Australia, said in a news release. "It's a major biol...
Study reveals how plants communicate for defense using gene regulation

Study reveals how plants communicate for defense using gene regulation

Science
March 13 (UPI) -- An examination of jasmonic acid, a plant hormone, could lead to hardier plants in an era of climate change, Salk Institute researchers reported Friday. In a study published Friday in the journal Nature Plants, researchers noted that plants have hormones to signal defenses against drought, insects or intense temperature change, and then respond. Using Arabidopsis thaliana, a small flowering plant in the mustard family whose genome is well-studied, researchers exposed the plant to additional doses of jasmonic acid three days after germination. Two genes that rose to importance across the system were MYC2 and MYC3. These genes code for proteins that are transcription factors, indicating that they regulate the activity of thousands of other genes in the plant. "By decipher...
Gene explains why some low-lying plants are bald, others are hairy

Gene explains why some low-lying plants are bald, others are hairy

Science
Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Scientists have discovered the gene responsible for baldness in plants. The gene explains why some alpine plants are hairy while their low-lying peers are hairless. New genetic analysis suggests snapdragon plants living at high altitudes have evolved the ability to turn off the genes responsible for silencing hair. The tiny hairs on their stalks and leaves help protect plants growing on sunny cliffs and hillsides from harmful ultraviolet rays. Meanwhile, plants growing at lower elevations remain bald. For snapdragon plants living in shady valleys, the tiny hairs, called trichomes, are unnecessary. The hairs of some plants secrete useful chemicals, including the antimalarial drug artemisinin, as well as compounds that lend herbs and hops their unique flavor profiles. The ...
Gene therapy for rare eye disease set to be offered on NHS

Gene therapy for rare eye disease set to be offered on NHS

Health
Patients with a rare inherited eye disorder are set to be able to access a new gene therapy on the NHS which slows down sight loss.Draft NICE guidance recommends the therapy (Luxturna) to treat inherited retinal dystrophies. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence estimates just under 90 people in England will be eligible for the treatment.Drug company Novartis agreed a discount for the NHS on the £613,410 price. Without the deal, the therapy, voretigene neparvovec, would have breached the regulator's budget impact test.'Breakthrough therapy'Inherited retinal dystrophies cause the gradual degeneration of the light-sensitive cells on the retina. They are usually diagnosed in childhood.The condition causes a loss of vision which ultimately lea