Archive for June, 2009

PLoS Biology published today a breakthrough in plant breeding called–apomixis at the molecular level. This is simply the suppression of sexual shuffling in plants. We all know that plants produce reproductive cells by meiosis and this process involves sexual shuffling, this natural process becomes a problem in hybrids who achieved good vigor and traits because their next generation are usually poor performers than themselves. Mercier and his colleagues started producing a triple mutant Arabidopsis by combining 3 mutations in a plant. The mutations are produced by crossing plants without the second round of meiosis (OSD1 or the omission of second division) plus two other mutations involving meiosis. The result is a plant that doesn’t have meiosis at all and what’s more exciting is that it can produce reproductive cells via MITOSIS. Obviously, the reproductive cells are diploid and so crossing them with a haploid or another diploid reproductive cell either produces triploid or tetraploid zygotes. But, it seems that these triploid and tetraploid offsprings are viable and have the same hybrid vigor as their parents. Interesting huh? Although, I wonder what will happen to the 2nd generation of these triploid and tetraploid plants…hmmm.

Happy teaching!

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Most of you do know that I am currentlystudying in Japan, this is the main reason why I have’nt posted much stuff about biology teaching. Anyway, starting today, I would like to share with you guys  some of the latest breakthroughs and interesting things about my current reseach interest: Photosynthesis Research! Yup, tha’s right!  Most of us know that the red and blue light of the spectrum are the types of light usually absorbed by the plants and that the green light bounces back and so producing green coloration of the leaves. A recent paper from the University of Tokyo showed that green light of the spectrum are far efficient in driving photosynthesis at certain environmental conditions. Hope you can share this information with your classes. Here’s the link to the paper: http://pcp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/50/4/684

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