INDEPENDENT NEWS

Kiwifruit genes validate plant evolutionary theory

Published: Tue 6 Aug 2019 11:05 AM
6 August 2019
Identification of kiwifruit sex determining genes validates plant evolutionary theory
An international research team has discovered a sex determining gene in kiwifruit that could potentially lead to the breeding of hermaphrodite varieties. The study has also validated the “two-mutation model” in sex acquisition of plants proposed 40 years ago.
Plant & Food Research scientists and their research partners in Japan and the US have identified a gene called Friendly Boy (FrBy), which is necessary for pollen production and is found naturally in Y chromosomes of male kiwifruit plants. It is the second sex-determinant discovered in kiwifruit after Shy Girl (SyGI), which suppresses fruit production in male kiwifruit plants.
“We overexpressed the FrBy gene identified by our Japanese research partner in rapid-flowering kiwifruit plants,” Plant & Food Research scientist Dr Sarah Pilkington says. “We found that expression of FrBy in female kiwifruit resulted in hermaphrodite plants, which means the female plants could both produce and receive pollen, making them capable of self-fertilisation.”
The study supports the “two-mutation model” of sex evolution in plants proposed by Deborah and Brian Charlesworth in 1978. It suggests that at least two gene mutations, one affecting ovule (female) production and one affecting pollen (male) production, are necessary to transform a hermaphrodite species into one with separate sexes.
The results of this study pave the way for the potential development of hermaphrodite kiwifruit. Self-fertile kiwifruit cultivars could remove the current need for pollen supplementation, saving land and labour costs.
The paper “Two Y chromosome-encoded genes determine sex in kiwifruit” is published in the top plant journal Nature Plants https://plantandfood.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1b46d14e528ad30bae8b3663c=e26db8a814=5b367992d8.
ends

Next in Business, Science, and Tech

Rio Tinto announces plans to close Tiwai Point smelter
By: RNZ
New Report on Auckland Port Relocation
By: New Zealand Government
COVID-19 Fails To Knock Kiwi Investor Confidence, But More Disclosure Wanted
By: Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand
Black-Market Tobacco Sidesteps $287 Million In Excise Tax
By: Imperial Brands
Meridian spilled water to hike electricity prices - Authority ruling
By: RNZ
XE Data Update - RBNZ Official Cash Rate Decision
By: XE Money Transfer
Kiwis Ignore Promise Of Cheaper Power
By: Canstar Blue
Transmission Pricing For A Low Carbon Future
By: Electricity Authority
Economic activity and business confidence bouncing back
By: RNZ
The Climate Record That Keeps Getting Broken
By: NIWA
Extended Loan Scheme Keeps Business Afloat
By: New Zealand Government
2019 Prime Minister’s Science Prizes Announced
By: Prime Minister Science Prizes
Fuel, alcohol costs to go up from today
By: RNZ
Young Kiwi Astro-photographer Shoots For The Stars
By: Stardome Observatory
Time For EU To Commit To A Level Playing Field For Trade
By: DCANZ - Dairy Companies Association New Zealand
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media