Scientists developed early flowering transgenic mustard


  • Researchers at Delhi-based TERI School of Advanced Studies have developed an early flowering transgenic variety of mustard.
  • Researchers figured out the role of a regulatory gene, called MIR172 belonging to the micro RNA family, that is present in functionally varied forms in Indian mustard and is responsible for a number of traits including the timing of flowering.
  • In plants, this microRNA enacts by negatively regulating the expression of some protein-coding genes involved in flowering time.
  • By increasing the expression of this microRNA, the researchers have developed an early flowering transgenic plant of Indian mustard cultivar Brassica junceacv.
  • By manipulating flowering time, one can develop a plant variety with shorter life cycle and thus help have better yields through reduced exposure to the harsh climatic conditions in the fields.

Important for India

  • Indian mustard is a major oilseed crop in the country and due to changing climate the number of cold days required for full plant cycle has shrunk.
  • Scientists have been working on improving crop varieties by modifying plant genes to make them more adaptable changing climate.
  • Early flowering and maturing varieties can help cope with climate change, without compromising on yields.


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