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Massive duplication of genes may solve Darwin's 'abominable mystery' about flowering plants

n," asserts dePamphilis. The MADS-box genes, a family of transcription factors that are required for flower development, are known to have undergone an expansion through duplication that was critical to the evolution of angiosperm flowers. A whole-genome duplication explains the sudden emergence of novel traits better than a series of single-gene duplications, explains dePamphilis. "Some of the MADS-box genes and many other genes important in plant development were produced by paleopolyploidy."

In addition to de Pamphilis, coauthors at Penn State include the lead author Liyiung Cui and Kerr Wall, who developed the software for the statistical analysis along with Bruce Lindsay, Distinguished Professor and head of the Department of Statistics. Additional coauthors who contributed to the paper are at the University of Oslo, the Benaroya Research Institute in Seattle, Cornell University, and the University of Florida in Gainesville. The research was sponsored by the National Science Foundation.


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Contact: Barbara K. Kennedy
science@psu.edu
814-863-4682
Penn State
11-May-2006


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