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Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Reveal the Ancestor of Flowering Plants

December 17, 2010

Scientist Doug Soltis of the University of Florida, together with his team, traced back the ancestor of flowering plants, which compose 90 percent of all land-based plants. Through their study, they found out that the first flowering plants could have come from gymnosperm cones since male cones has everything a flower has in terms of genetic wiring. A genetic transformation may have occurred that enabled the male cones to have female parts and allowed formation of colored petals that attract pollinators.

The researchers analyzed water lily, avocado, California poppy, and Arabidopsis, and other evolutionarily distant flowers and results supported their single cone theory. They also studied Zambia, a non-flowering cycad, and concluded that a relative could have been the first flowering plant.

According to the researchers, the findings of their study could possibly aid scientists in other fields such as medicine and agriculture.

Read the rest of the story at http://nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=118227&org=NSF&from=news.