James and the Giant Corn Genetics: Studying the Source Code of Nature

January 12, 2010

Ideas on why plant genomes rule?

Filed under: Site Business — James @ 1:11 pm

I’m considering starting a series on several ways that plant genomes can take more punishment than mammalian genomes and survive. Right now I can think of:

-Methylation knockouts

-Telomerase knockouts (for a few generations) and tissue culture for decades

-Whole genome duplications/and aneuploidy

Can you think of any other examples of things plant genomes can survive better than animal genomes? (Or counter examples of things that are horrible for plants but that animal genomes can shrug off without ill effects?).

I’m not asking anyone to do my research for me, I’ll track down the papers for myself. But in finding research results, like many things, knowning they’re there to be found is half the battle.


  1. Well, I can’t say I’ve studied all mammals, but as far as I know none of them can grow entirely by propagation 🙂 Yet. But the stem cell work got kinda set back for a few years….

    Snark aside, there may be some plasticity there that’s better somehow….?

    Comment by Mary — January 12, 2010 @ 6:31 pm

  2. Yeah, I would definitely say plant totipotency(sp?) is a big one.

    Also hybridization (sometimes through allopolyploidy, sometimes not). As far as I know there is a lot more hybridization in plants then animals. Fairly distant relatives can mate and have fertile offspring something that is rare in animals.

    Comment by Greg — January 13, 2010 @ 4:16 pm

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