Casey Kristin Frye
Jan 13, 2012

Plant gene discovery may ease world hunger

Scientists at the the University of Warwick have discovered a very important plant gene, MEG1, that controls the amount of nutrients passed from an adult plant to its seedling.  A gene like MEG1 has always been speculated to exist in plants due to its presence in mammals; this is the first time one has been discovered. The “nourishing gene,” as it is dubbed, is only expressed in the maternal plant chromosome, analogous to how human females express the gene for placenta nourishment. Now, scientists now have the ability to artificially control seed size and seed productivity in major crop plants. This discovery could help increase the global food production to meet demands for the increasing population.