Study sheds new light on the genetic genome of Sunflowers

A new genomic study conducted by Dr. Sarel Huebner of the Tel-Hai College and MIGAL מיגל מכון למחקר מדעי בגליל (Migal Research Institute), published today in the prestigious journal Nature Plants, reveals that the sunflower is in fact a genetic mosaic composed of genomes of different species.
The study is considered a breakthrough because biological species, as defined by genetics and evolution scientists in the middle of the last century, cannot produce fertile offspring with another species. According to this new study, the sunflower genome is a genetic mosaic with sources from other wild species, some of which are quite distant from the cultural sunflower. The study examined close to 500 genomes of sunflowers and closely related species summing to 12 trillion databases! The vast amount of information that has been analyzed indicates that about a third of the sunflower genome is not common to all sunflower species in the world, and that 10 percent of the genes stem from eight wild species, some of which are classified as a different species. These findings shed light and challenge the way scientists from all over the world have defined biological species so far.

Read more: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41477-018-0329-0

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