The “Fertilization Dance” in Flowering Plants is Similar to Animals….Except for Who Leads

The Sperm & Egg Tango In a paper published in the 23 November 2012 issue of Science magazine (Ref 1 below), Dr. Stephanie Sprunck and Prof. Dr. Thomas Dresselhaus and colleagues report a major finding regarding the cellular nature of sexual reproduction in plants. Specifically, they have been studying gamete…

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Plant “Fountain of Youth”? – Increasing the Longevity of Plants Through Genetic Modification

Forever Young? In a previous post, we saw how some Spanish scientists genetically modified (GM) plants in the genus Pelargonium (more commonly known as geraniums) so that they don’t produce pollen. (You can view the abstract of this paper here or read a provisional copy of the complete paper via…

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Nothing To Sneeze At: Making Pollen-Free Plants Using Genetic Engineering

Sneeze The pollen from some plants can cause allergic rhinitis, a.k.a., “hay fever” in many people. This is because, when the pollen is inhaled into the nasal passages, antigens on the surface of the pollen elicit an immune response in people with a sensitized immune system. (In grass pollen, the…

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