Bigger plants are better, right? Not always. Control of plant or tree size can have many advantages, and genetic control of 'dwarf' phenotypes has been important in feeding a billion people. The problem is that the changes induced by dwarfing genes can have a negative effect on other aspects of plant biology, so identifying new genes to control size is an important goal. Dr. Philippa Borrill is a group leader at the John Innes Center, and she recently discovered a gene that contributes to size control in wheat. The discovery establishes a new means to possibly develop more productive crop varieties.
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