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Researchers Explain How Double Flowers Develop

May 11, 2000

UC San Diego researchers have unraveled the mystery of how certain plants, such as the arabadopsis, above left, can develop flowers within flowers, above right. Biologist Martin F. Yanovsky and his colleagues report in today's Nature that the unusual blooming pattern results from mutations in three nearly identical genes. The mutations convert the flower's petals, stamens and pistils into sepals, the green, leaf-like structures that normally surround the flower. Double flowers can be produced only in the greenhouse because they are sterile.

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Compiled by Times medical writer Thomas H. Maugh II

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