Permanent Plant Genes

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Permanent plant genes reported in Nature, vol. 435, p388 26 May 2005. (Whole item quoted) "Short pieces of RNA that play a key role in plant development have been doing their job since before the evolution of flowers, say Michael Axtell and David Bartel of the Whitehead Institute in Massachusetts. They used microarrays to measure the accumulation of 63 microRNAs and other RNAs that silence genes in Arabidopsis thaliana, a plant of the mustard family. They applied the same probes to species of wheat, pine (Pinus resinosa, pictured), fern and moss. Despite the fact that these plants diverged hundreds of millions of years ago, they contain some of the same microRNAs acting on similar target genes."

Editorial Comment: If these microRNAs, and the DNA that coded for them, really existed for hundreds of millions of years they are good evidence that genetic information is remarkably resistant to changing. Because control genes are essential to proper growth and development they have to be fully functional to be of any use. In all the plants studied the microRNAs were fully functional and worked with fully functioning genes. This is good evidence for purposeful creation. (Ref. RNA, genetics, plants)

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