Biotech Updates

RF Gene Nomenclature Developed by University of Illinois

January 7, 2011

Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a system of unified nomenclature for male fertility restorer (RF) proteins in higher plants. RF genes are responsible in suppressing the male phenotype and at times, restoring fertility to plants in hybrid breeding technology .

"The nomenclature, which is designed to include new RF genes as they become available in the future, is not based on one species or another, but rather on the function of the gene itself," said Manfredo J. Seufferheld, U of I assistant professor of crop sciences. "This allows scientists to work with a wide range of plants and take a gene with known functions from one plant and transfer it into another plant to restore male fertility."

It is hoped that this new tool will help plant breeders and scientists make quick decisions on possible effective restorer mechanism to use in particular crops.

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