29. new way for gene-controlling DNA sequences to evolve

Researchers discover a new way for gene-controlling DNA sequences to evolve

Max Nanao, a staff scientist in Andrew McCarthy’s group at EMBL Grenoble, and colleagues in Francois Parcy’s lab at the CNRS in France studied a transcription factor called LEAFY. Algae, mosses and land plants have different versions of LEAFY, which control different genes. The scientists found that a group of plants called hornworts have a version of LEAFY that can control all three of those target genes. This multitasking LEAFY provides a stepping-stone on the evolutionary path from an ancient, algal-like LEAFY to the current plant and moss forms.


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