Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Gregor's Genes

Hot on the heels to my exhibit report on Gregor Mendel is a report in Science of the identification of one of the loci he worked with. It turns out that the same locus (staygreen) that turned his pea's cotyledon's yellow is responsible for the seasonal shut-down of chlorophyll production in many plants, including my lawn.

Based on some quick searching, this would seem to be the molecular scorecard (phenotype descriptions lifted from the Field Museum site) -- corrections & improvements most welcome!

  1. Seed color (yellow or green): staygreen, no predicted molecular function

  2. Seed shape (smooth or wrinkled): starch branching enzyme

  3. Pod color (yellow or green): uncloned?

  4. Pod shape (inflated or purple: uncloned?

  5. Flower color (purple or white): uncloned?

  6. Flower position (axial or terminal): uncloned

  7. Stem height (tall or short): gibberellin 3 beta-hydroxylase

I'm particularly suspicious that the color genes are known, but Google & PubMed couldn't find the paper in five minutes of searching.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To elaborate a little on the post.....the genes responsible for flower position and flower color are known. There are not cloned and published.
The major link to Mendel's I/i gene is that pea does not exhibit a staygreen phenotype. It has been hypothesized for some time that the gene found in many plants is probably in pea, but must play a different role, and is most likely Mendel's I/i gene. It has literally taken decades of work to find one of the two genes, so the other gene could be tested.