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The genome of Rafflesia arnoldii which produces the largest individual flower, unraveled

The genome of Rafflesia arnoldii which produces the largest individual flower, unraveled

DHAKA 14TH MARCH, 2014. RESEARCHERS FROM NYU, NYU ABU DHABI, LIU, THE PHILIPPINE GENOME CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF CANTERBURY, UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA AND SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY SEQUENCED THE  GENOME OF STEMLESS, LEAFLESS AND ROOTLESS,  SAPROPHYTIC RAFFLESIA ARNOLDII.  ONE OF THE OBJECTS WAS TO FIND THE CHLOROPLASTS IN THIS HETEROTROPH.  EACH FLOWER HAS NEARLY 40 INCHES DIA  AND ROOTS THAT PARASITIZE A SPECIFIC VINE. RAFFLESIA SMELLS LIKE ROTTING FLESH IN ORDER TO ATTRACT THE FLIES THAT POLLINATE IT. AS A PARASITE, THE PLANT DIVERGES FROM TYPICAL PLANTS, WHICH ARE PHOTOSYNTHETIC AUTOTROPHS. THE RESULTS OF THEIR INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT THE PLANT LACKS CHLOROPLASTS BECAUSE IT OBTAINS ALL OF ITS SUGARS, OR ENERGY, FROM ITS HOST VINE, WHICH IS IN THE SAME FAMILY, THE VITACEAE   THE GRAPE VINE FAMILY. RESEARCHERS SPECULATE THAT IN THE COURSE OF EVOLUTION,  THE DNA THAT CODES FOR ESSENTIAL MOLECULES, LIKE HEME, WAS  TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER PART OF THE RAFFLESIA GENOME – IN THE NUCLEUS OR MITOCHONDRIA.

 

 

Professor, researchers discover plant without chloroplasts

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