Research conducted by plant biologists at the University of California,
Davis brings scientists closer to breeding plants with genefrom one parent.
The work is based on a discovery previously made by the late Simon Chan
and colleagues over a decade ago when they serendipitously discovered a
way to eliminate the genetic contribution from one parent while breeding
Arabidopsis. They modified a protein called CENH3 which is found in the
centromere of a chromosome. Crossing wild-type Arabidopsis with plants
with modified CENH3, they got plants with half the normal number of
chromosomes, and the part of the genome from one parent plant had been
eliminated to create a haploid plant.
However, replicating Chan's work has been fruitless, according to
Professor Luca Comai, UC Davis Department of Plant Biology and Genome
Center, who is senior author on the new paper. Mohan Marimuthu, a
researcher at the UC Davis Genome Center and Department of Plant
Biology, with Comai, Maruthachalam (now at the Indian Institute of
Science Education and Research, Kerala), and colleagues found that when
CENH3 protein is altered, it is removed from the DNA in the egg before
fertilization, weakening the centromere.
According to Comai, the CENH3-depleted centromeres contributed by the
egg fail to compete with the CENH3-rich ones contributed by the sperm,
and the female genome is eliminated. This new knowledge would make it
easier to induce haploids in plants.
Breeding Plants With Genes From 1 Parent | UC Davis