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UCalgary Scientists Find Canola Protein Vital for Pollination
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: March 09, 2019 08:23AM

Scientists at the University of Calgary (UCalgary) discovered a canola
protein with an important function in pollination. According to the
researchers, the protein dubbed as phospholipase D1 (PLD1) could be used to
develop more vigorous canola hybrids by speeding up pollination amidst
challenging environmental conditions. Drs. Marcus Samuel and Sabine Scandola
identified a number of unique proteins using a proteomics approach and
showed that some have important functions both for pollination and for the
biochemical process called self-incompatibility response. This particular
response makes canola plants reject self-pollination and self-fertilization
to prevent inbreeding. Inbreeding is detrimental for hybrid seed production
because it weakens the genetic diversity and hybrid vigor. The researchers
focused on PLD1 protein.

Using geneic engineering, they knocked down the expression of PLD1 in
self-pollinated canola, which led to plants that do not accept their own
pollens to fertilize themselves. Thus confirming the role of PLD1 in
successful pollination. Through biochemical techniques, PDL1 was found to
produce the phosphatidic acid liquid molecule in the female reproductive
tissue that enables the pollen (male reproductive tissue) to establish on
female parts of canola plants, leading to fertilization and seed


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