News & Events
Some types of herbs can "steal" the genes of other plants.
- July 27, 2019
- Posted by: Wiley M. Wagner
- Category: Science
Who among us did not write off at school with a neighbor on the desk? However, if among people such behavior can be called fairly standard and common, then among other living organisms — namely, among plants — such behavior raises many questions. Today, experts in evolutionary biology from Sheffield University presented the results of their new study, which focuses on studying the characteristics of gene behavior and the evolution of certain plant grass species in the context of sampling genes and genetic sequences from living organisms closest to them – which many researchers themselves were surprised by.
Such a possibility of certain types of plant grass in the literal sense of stealing genetic material from other plants next to them allows, in turn, to avoid many stages of biological evolution and quickly acquire various properties, abilities and types of protection. Something similar can be observed in bacteria, which actively exploit the format of horizontal gene transfer from one type of bacteria to another in order to adapt them as quickly as possible in a potentially dangerous environment.
Studying some types of plant grass, specialists in evolutionary biology from Sheffield University noticed very pronounced properties of such gene theft and transfer of genetic material to a grass species called Alloteropsis semilata, comparing its genetic code with more than 150 other genetic codes of plants. They were able to ascertain the presence of a multitude of mutually intersecting genetic data and individual genetic fragments, thereby clearly demonstrating the fact of the presence of contradictory horizontal gene transfer.
Thus, the presented study clearly proves the fact that horizontal transfer of genes and genetic material for the purpose of subsequent adaptation may be characteristic not only of bacteriological, but also of higher organisms. So far, experts continue to closely monitor the subsequent behavior of Alloteropsis semilata plant grass in this regard.