Submitted to: Nature Magazine
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Many crops have traits that are similar to those in other crops but it has not been clear if they are really the same traits. This study supports that they are the same and probably came from an original source 150 to 350 million years ago. Because they are the same, it should be possible to use similar crop improvement methods in different crops.
Technical Abstract: The arrangement of genes in short chromosomal segments remains similar in the flowering plant (Angiospermae) subclasses Monocotyledonae (monocots) and Dicotyledonae (dicots), as shown by genetic mapping of common arabidopsis cDNAs in one monocot (Sorghum spp.), and three dicots (Arabidopsis thaliana, Brassica oleracea, Gossypium spp.). Monocots and dicots, which include most agricultural crops and botanical models, diverged from each other about 130-200 million years ago. Genetic map unification of such long-isolated taxa would expedite the application of physical maps and genomic sequences from facile models such as Arabidopsis, to cloning of genes fundamental to development, productivity, or quality of major crops. Mapping of highly-conserved genes may better elucidate macroevolutionary events such as polyploid formation and chromosome structural mutation, and provide a conduit for integrating genetic analysis of organisms as divergent from each other as plants and animals.