Nav: Home

The origin of flower making genes

January 10, 2018

Flowering plants have evolved from plants without flowers. It is known that the function of several genes, called MADS-box genes, creates shapes peculiar to flowers such as stamens, pistils, and petals. Although plants that do not produce flowers, such as mosses, ferns, and green algae are also known to have the MADS-box genes. However, it was not well understood how the MADS-box genes work in plants without flowers until now. In order to understand the mechanism of flower evolution, it is necessary to understand how the MADS-box genes work in plants without flowers.

A research team led by Professor Mitsuyasu Hasebe of the National Institute for Basic Biology revealed that the MADS-box genes control sperm motility and cell division and elongation of the stem of gametophores, using the moss Physcomitrella patens. Graduate student Shizuka Koshimizu of the research team said, "There are six MADS-box genes in Physcomitrella patens, and we analyzed their functions using moss in which we broke those six genes. In moss which lost the function of all MADS-box genes, sperm flagella hardly moved. Moreover, in the stem, the increase of the length prevented water supply to the tip, in which sperm swim for fertilization. The MADS-box genes are critical for fertilization in two ways: providing enough water for sperm swimming and producing movable flagella."

Professor Hasebe said, "Both the gametophore and sperm flagella have been lost in the process of evolution as the flowering plants adapted to the dry environment on land. Based on this, it is likely that the MADS-box genes that worked in the gametophore and sperm flagella became unnecessary, and that the flower might have evolved by reusing them for other functions. It is interesting that genetic regulatory networks of development are different between different lineages in plants, although they are relatively conserved in animals"

These research results were published in Nature Plants on January 3rd. This research was conducted as a collaborative research project by the National Institute for Basic Biology, SOKENDAI (the Graduate University for Advanced Studies), Kanazawa University, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Miyagi University, and The University of Tokyo.
-end-
Nature Plants
"Physcomitrella MADS-box genes regulate water supply and sperm movement for fertilization" Shizuka Koshimizu, Rumiko Kofuji, Yuko Sasaki-Sekimoto, Masahide Kikkawa, Mie Shimojima, Hiroyuki Ohta, Shuji Shigenobu, Yukiko Kabeya, Yuji Hiwatashi, Yosuke Tamada, Takashi Murata, and Mitsuyasu Hasebe
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41477-017-0082-9

National Institute for Basic Biology http://www.nibb.ac.jp/en/

National Institutes of Natural Sciences

Related Evolution Articles:

Prebiotic evolution: Hairpins help each other out
The evolution of cells and organisms is thought to have been preceded by a phase in which informational molecules like DNA could be replicated selectively.
How to be a winner in the game of evolution
A new study by University of Arizona biologists helps explain why different groups of animals differ dramatically in their number of species, and how this is related to differences in their body forms and ways of life.
The galloping evolution in seahorses
A genome project, comprising six evolutionary biologists from Professor Axel Meyer's research team from Konstanz and researchers from China and Singapore, sequenced and analyzed the genome of the tiger tail seahorse.
Fast evolution affects everyone, everywhere
Rapid evolution of other species happens all around us all the time -- and many of the most extreme examples are associated with human influences.
Landscape evolution and hazards
Landscapes are formed by a combination of uplift and erosion.
New insight into enzyme evolution
How enzymes -- the biological proteins that act as catalysts and help complex reactions occur -- are 'tuned' to work at a particular temperature is described in new research from groups in New Zealand and the UK, including the University of Bristol.
The evolution of Dark-fly
On Nov. 11, 1954, Syuiti Mori turned out the lights on a small group of fruit flies.
A look into the evolution of the eye
A team of researchers, among them a zoologist from the University of Cologne, has succeeded in reconstructing a 160 million year old compound eye of a fossil crustacean found in southeastern France visible.
Is evolution more intelligent than we thought?
Evolution may be more intelligent than we thought, according to a University of Southampton professor.
The evolution of antievolution policies
Organized opposition to the teaching of evolution in public schoolsin the United States began in the 1920s, leading to the famous Scopes Monkey trial.

Related Evolution Reading:

Evolution
by Douglas J. Futuyma (Author), Mark Kirkpatrick (Author)

Extensively rewritten and reorganized, this new edition of Evolution--featuring a new coauthor: Mark Kirkpatrick (The University of Texas at Austin)--offers additional expertise in evolutionary genetics and genomics, the fastest-developing area of evolutionary biology. Directed toward an undergraduate audience, the text emphasizes the interplay between theory and empirical tests of hypotheses, thus acquainting students with the process of science. It addresses major themes--including the history of evolution, evolutionary processes, adaptation, and evolution as an explanatory... View Details


Why Evolution Is True
by Jerry A. Coyne (Author)

"Coyne's knowledge of evolutionary biology is prodigious, his deployment of it as masterful as his touch is light." -Richard Dawkins

In the current debate about creationism and intelligent design, there is an element of the controversy that is rarely mentioned-the evidence. Yet the proof of evolution by natural selection is vast, varied, and magnificent. In this succinct and accessible summary of the facts supporting the theory of natural selection, Jerry A. Coyne dispels common misunderstandings and fears about evolution and clearly confirms the scientific truth that... View Details


Evolution: A Visual Record
by Robert Clark (Author)

Stunning images to reawaken us to the scientific process that drives the amazing diversity of life on earth

Evidence of evolution is everywhere. Through 200 revelatory images, award-winning photographer Robert Clark makes one of the most important foundations of science clear and exciting to everyone. Evolution: A Visual Record transports readers from the near-mystical(human ancestors) to the historic (the famous 'finches' Darwin collected on the Galapagos Islands that spurred his theory); the recently understood (the link between dinosaurs and modern birds)... View Details


Evolution: The Cutting-Edge Guide to Breaking Down Mental Walls and Building the Body You've Always Wanted
by Joe Manganiello (Author)

Joe Manganiello first gained recognition around the world for his incredible, sculpted body while winning both popular and critical praise as the star of HBO's True Blood. Now, from the man that Magic Mike director Steven Soderbergh called “walking CGI,” comes the cutting-edge guide to achieving the perfect body and therefore enhancing your overall quality of life.

With a build that men envy and women adore, Joe Manganiello is more than qualified to write the end-all guide to sculpting the perfect body. His fit physique catapulted him to the top of the list of... View Details


Improbable Destinies: Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution
by Jonathan B. Losos (Author)

A major new book overturning our assumptions about how evolution works
 
Earth’s natural history is full of fascinating instances of convergence: phenomena like eyes and wings and tree-climbing lizards that have evolved independently, multiple times. But evolutionary biologists also point out many examples of contingency, cases where the tiniest change—a random mutation or an ancient butterfly sneeze—caused evolution to take a completely different course. What role does each force really play in the constantly changing natural world? Are the plants and animals that... View Details


Grandmother Fish: A Child's First Book of Evolution
by Jonathan Tweet (Author), Karen Lewis (Illustrator)

Where did we come from?

It's a simple question, but not so simple an answer to explain―especially to young children. Charles Darwin's theory of common descent no longer needs to be a scientific mystery to inquisitive young readers. Meet Grandmother Fish.

Told in an engaging call and response text where a child can wiggle like a fish or hoot like an ape and brought to life by vibrant artwork, Grandmother Fish takes children and adults through the history of life on our planet and explains how we are all connected.

The book also includes comprehensive... View Details


Evolution: Making Sense of Life
by Carl Zimmer (Author), Douglas Emlen (Author)

Science writer Carl Zimmer and evolutionary biologist Douglas Emlen have produced a thoroughly revised new edition of their widely praised evolution textbook. Emlen, an award-winning evolutionary biologist at the University of Montana, has infused Evolution: Making Sense of Life with the technical rigor and conceptual depth that today’s biology majors require. Zimmer, an award-winning New York Times columnist, brings compelling storytelling to the book, bringing evolutionary research to life. Students will learn the fundamental concepts of evolutionary theory, such as natural... View Details


Evolution (Second Edition)
by Carl T. Bergstrom (Author), Lee Alan Dugatkin (Author)

Get your students thinking critically about evolution.

Evolution presents foundational concepts through a contemporary framework of population genetics and phylogenetics that is enriched by current research and stunning art. In every chapter, new critical thinking questions and expanded end-of-chapter problems emphasizing data interpretation reinforce the Second Edition’s focus on helping students think like evolutionary biologists. View Details


Four Views on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology)
by J.B. Stump (Editor), Stanley N. Gundry (Editor), Ken Ham (Editor), Hugh Ross (Editor), Deborah Haarsma (Editor), Stephen C. Meyer (Editor)

Four Views on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design presents the current "state of the conversation" about origins among evangelicals representing four key positions:

Young Earth Creationism - Ken Ham (Answers in Genesis)Old Earth (Progressive) Creationism - Hugh Ross (Reasons to Believe)Evolutionary Creation - Deborah B. Haarsma (BioLogos)Intelligent Design - Stephen C. Meyer (The Discovery Institute)

The contributors offer their best defense of their position addressing questions such as: What is your position on origins - understood broadly to include the... View Details


Evolution: The Human Story
by DK (Author)

How did we develop from simple animals inhabiting small pockets of forest in Africa to the dominant species on Earth? Traveling back almost eight million years to our earliest primate relatives, Evolution: The Human Story charts the development of our species from tree-dwelling primates to modern humans.

Investigating each of our ancestors in detail and in context, from the anatomy of their bones to the environment they lived in, Evolution: The Human Story profiles every human relative and ancestor discovered to date, and illustrates them in lifelike form.

Amazingly... View Details

Best Science Podcasts 2018

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2018. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

The Big Five
What are the five biggest global challenges we face right now — and what can we do about them? This hour, TED speakers explore some radical solutions to these enduring problems. Guests include geoengineer Tim Kruger, president of the International Rescue Committee David Miliband, political scientist Ian Bremmer, global data analyst Sarah Menker, and historian Rutger Bregman.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#456 Inside a Conservation NGO
This week we take a close look at conservation NGOS: what they do, how they work, and - most importantly - why we need them. We'll be speaking with Shyla Raghav, the Climate Change Lead at Conservation International, about using strategy and policy to tackle climate change. Then we'll speak with Rebecca Shaw, Lead Scientist at the World Wildlife Fund, about how and why you should get involved with conservation initiatives.