Discovery of baldness plant genes shows the origin of hairy alpine plant, Scientists have solved a puzzle that has long baffled botanists why some plants in the high mountains are hairy while their low cousins are bald.
Alpine swamp species have been developed to deactivate genes that do not allow low-altitude animals to grow hair on their stems and leaves, the researchers said.
Small hair can function as a UV sunblock to protect alpine plants that grow in full sun on high exposed rocks, the team said. Discovery of baldness plant genes shows the origin of hairy alpine plant.
Plants that lie flat may not need to style their hair because there is enough shade in the valley.
This finding could help produce useful chemicals released from the hairs of several plants, including anti-malaria drug artemisinin and chemicals that release spices and the taste of hops.
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have identified genes that control hair production, which they call hair genes in snipers, by breeding alpine and lowland species. They found that the gene was secreted in alpine plants. This is involved in species that lie that cause baldness and block the activation of DNA strands involved in hair production, the team said. Discovery of baldness plant genes shows the origin of hairy alpine plant.
The results show that the first roundworms that grew about 12 million years ago were bald and newer alpine species developed as a result of mutations that deactivate genes.