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Content archived on 2024-04-16

Molecular and Genetic Analysis of Genes Controlling Flower Development

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The form, physiology and function of the flower is of central interest to plant developmental and reproductive biologists. The flower is of major agronomic importance both for the efficient breeding of crops and because many plant products are derived from flower seeds and fruits. European scientists have made major advances in the molecular and genetic analysis of flower development through studies on Antirrhinum the garden snapdragon. By studying mutations that cause Antirrhinum flowers to develop abnormally, they have been able to start unravelling how genes control the development of normal flowers. The technology is also being extended to other species such as the pea so that processses general to all plant species are being uncovered. Significant highlights of the study to date include; Isolation and characterization of several new plant transposons; Construction of a combined restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and genetic map for Antirrhinum; Characterization of novel gene interactions controlling flower development; Initiation of targetted tagging; Characterization of monoclonal antibodies recognising floral organs; Optimization of a regeneration system for Antirrhinum.

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