Monday, October 24, 2011

Genome duplication encourages rapid adaptation of plants

The study, done by biologist Justin Ramsey who is at the University of Rochester, found that the number of chromosomes in plants can alter adaptability. Ramsey chose a plant that existed in two different climates: one a dry one and the other more moist. He noticed that the plants in the more dry climate had more chromosome sets and tested to see if the plant with less sets would be able to thrive in that environment to the same degree. The results proved that adding sets of chromosomes to the plants that grew in the moist environment allowed for them to survive in the dry climate to a greater degree than plants that were not altered. The study is fascinating because the plants were able to yield the same effects that regular genetic mutation has, which occurs over many years, in such a short amount of time.

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