Transition studies 

 in plants             by Rolf Baumberger 


Last year saw a significant turning point in our research. On the one hand, more than 300 GB of Diplacus puniceus/australis genomic data have been published. Secondly, we came across intron STRs accompanying the gene. These are shorter to longer strings from which hairpins can be formed at the pre-mRNA level. This system revealed much more information than we could ever have dreamed of in one fell swoop. Now, for the first time, we postulate a genotype-to-phenotype relationship. 

On closer analysis, it turned out that the STRs can be fundamentally different in length, comparing the yellow with the red ecotypes. They can be used as markers. However, be careful; these strings are changeable. They indicate the gene activity between which they are located. Approximately 25% of all genes (5000 in Diplacus puniceus) have such tuning strings. They are standard for complex proteins that are autoregulatory.

We also found that around 100-500 genes are involved in a transformation from yellow to red in the shape and color of the flower. It is a dynamic concept that, unlike quantum mechanics, cannot be manipulated. There are too many adaptation steps required.

Roughly speaking, the plants in the transition zone adapt to the red or yellow plants depending on the trend. They are thermodynamically most stable near these two attractor points. The decay of the complex structure is minimized there. That is the real reason for evolution. The trend determines the mean climate. The individuals do this autoregulatively. It is not the coding sequence that changes in the norm. Instead, the strings in the introns change the length of the genes involved. - This leaves Darwin out of the equation.