A group of researchers from the University of Michigan and University of
California Davis studying the sociability of clovers have found that a
gene coding for UDP-glucose flavonoid 3-O-glucosyltransferase plays a key
role in plant diversity and competition.
The coded flavonoid enzyme was found to be involved in many plant
interactions, including those with nitrogen fixing bacteria. The researchers
found that the gene's transcript levels rise when the plants compete with
others and decrease when surrounded by members of the same plants. Another
result involved the correlation of the genes. What made the UDP-glucose
flavonoid 3-O-glucosyltransferase gene stand out so prominently is that all
of the other genes responding to different types of competitors stayed
grouped together. The team initially thought the genes would be scattered
everywhere, but they reacted the same way.
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