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Genes Controlling Plant Size

Plant stature is a surprisingly important trait. Growing short has its advantages, so understanding the genetic controls is important. Dr. Phillipa Borrill is a group leader at the University of Norwich in the UK, and has identified a new gene that affects dwarfing. Her work in wheat introduces a potential new way to increase agricultural production.

Dec 3, 2022 by Dr. Kevin Folta in Talking Biotech

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Bigger plants are better, right? Not always. Control of plant or tree size can have many advantages, and genetic control of 'dwarf' phenotypes has been important in feeding a billion people. The problem is that the changes induced by dwarfing genes can have a negative effect on other aspects of plant biology, so identifying new genes to control size is an important goal. Dr. Philippa Borrill is a group leader at the John Innes Center, and she recently discovered a gene that contributes to size control in wheat. The discovery establishes a new means to possibly develop more productive crop varieties.


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