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Botanists trace flower evolution

by webdev

November 05, 2010

Researchers at the University of Leeds have traced lower gene mutation in flowers to reveal differing reproduction methods, reports the European Commission Cordis.

Botanists traced gene mutation as far as 100 million years ago that had led flowers to make male and female parts in a variety of ways.

The research was funded by a Marie Curie Research Training grant and was presented in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Among the flowers studied were snapdragon and rockresses.

In some plants, flowers were found to create two similar copies of male and female organs, where one copy is involved in gene reproduction and the other takes on a role such as making seed pods open.

"More genes with different roles give an organism added complexity and open the door to diversification and the creation of new species," Brendan Davies, a professor of Plant Development at Leeds' Faculty of Biological Sciences, told the news source.

Snapdragons, which are native to the Mediterranean, are a popular flower for bouquets, according to The flowers come in a variety of colors such as white, yellow, purple red and bronze and make a good addition to a dried flower arrangement.


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