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February 9 2013

Do plants 'veto' bad genes?


Latest evidence fails to quell doubt about whether plants can access 'ancestral' genes outside their parents' DNA.

Two publications are seeking to resurrect claims that plants can reject the inheritance of a mutated gene from their parents, in favour of a healthier ‘ancestral’ copy from their grandparents.

Susan Lolle, a plant geneticist now at the University of Waterloo in Canada, and her colleagues first published evidence in 2005 that plants had passed on genes correctly two generations down, even though the genome of the generation in between had only a mutated version.

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