Plants show evolvability!

A group of researchers have “accidentally” found that the plant Arabidopsis can pass on its ability for greater homologous recombination in case of stressed environment to its offsprings. It is quite intriguing because this increased tendency for recombination is passed on even if the mutation occurs in somatic cells.

This phenomenon can be regarded as if the plant is telling its offsprings to kick-start increased recombination so that they may be saved from stresses such as UV or pests. In other words, the plants are getting ready to evolve!

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