Genetically Dissimilar Leaves

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edfrank
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Genetically Dissimilar Leaves

Post by edfrank » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:07 pm

Diverse Leaves May Protect Eucalyptus

A tree in Australia was found to have genetically dissimilar leaves that varied in attractiveness to herbivores.
By Kate Yandell | February 20, 2013
http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles. ... ucalyptus/


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Scientists have found a eucalyptus tree whose leaves on different branches taste different to predators, according to a study published today (February 20) in BMC Plant Biology.

The researchers sequenced the RNA molecules present in different leaves of a single tree, located in a small Australian town. The tree had been suspected to harbor substantial genetic variation since 1990, when scientists noticed that insects had entirely defoliated it with the exception of a single leaf-covered branch.

The branches, it turned out, were expressing different sets of genes that either made them attractive or unattractive to pests. The authors also found 10 instances where the leaves’ RNA sequences varied by a single nucleotide, likely the sites of mutations in the DNA...

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