A New Method for Better Gender Determination in Asparagus
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A New Method for Better Gender Determination in Asparagus

The genome of garden asparagus as a model for sex chromosome evolution has been sequenced. Since a very long period of time origin and early evolution of gender chromosomes are a matter of discussion among scientists. The new research positively gives some justification about origin and early evolution of gender chromosomes.

Asparagus that are also called garden asparagus is a spring vegetable, a flowering perennial plant species in the Asparagus community. While it is seen that most flowering plants are hermaphrodites, garden asparagus plants are typically either male (XY) or female (XX). However, after a long research YY "super-males" asparagus can be produced in the greenhouse. Farmers of asparagus prefer all-male plants, as they have longer life span and do not self-seed. Breeders produce all-male XY seed by crossing an XX female, with YY super-male. Until now the differences between asparagus X and Y chromosomes were not known to its breeders and they were unable to differentiate XY males from YY super-males without wasting their time in lengthy test.

Through this research genetic markers were identified that allowed breeders to successfully distinguish XY males from YY males and then use those YY males to produce all-male seeds. Flowering plants like asparagus, however, have separate sexes and gender chromosomes that help in applying breeding programs. Identification of gender determination genes in asparagus will now allow scientists to produce plants with male, female and bisexual flowers, and elite hybrid seed.

Content- www.sciencedaily.com

By- Anita Aishvarya

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