domingo, 11 de setembro de 2011

Genetic mutation may help explain first land-based plants

Guoxiong Chen, a doctoral student working at Haifa University's Institute of Evolution, found the gene in wild barley more than a decade ago, but now has identified a mutation of that gene that builds a cuticle, a hard protecting layer that helps the plant retain water. Without the cuticle, the plant would expel all its water and could not survive in the air. Chen named the mutation Eibi1 after his doctoral advisor at Haifa, Eviatar Nevo.

Eibi1 probably is one of many enes that could have contributed to the plant's ability to live out of the water, Nevo said.

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