Rapid Cycling Brassicas

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Rapid Cycling Brassica Investigations
Jeffery Gray

Abstract:
Rapid-cycling brassicas has been used by researchers because of traits that make it convenient to study such as: short life cycle, rapid flowering time and seed maturation, small size, and ability to grow under 24 hour fluorescent light, etc... These traits make RCBr's valuable laboratory models for students to study inheritance and selection along with evolution. Trichome/hairs on plants are extremely variable in their presence across species, location on plant organs, density, and therefore functionality The investigation conducted supports the hypothesis that trichrome number is a heritable trait that can be artificially selected for by breeding two select populations of RCBr's with one another.

introduction
Rapid-cycling populations of important species in the genus Brassica have unusual potential for resolving many problems in plant biology and for use in education. Rapid-cycling Brassicas can produce up to ten generations of seed per year and serve as models for research in genetics, host-parasite relation, molecular biology, cell biology, plant biochemistry, population biology, and plant breeding. Brassicas are a highly diverse group of crop plants that have great economic values vegetables and as sources of condiment mustard, edible and industrial oil, animal fodder, and green manure. These plants can also be used in the classroom as convenient, rapidly responding, living plant materials for ‘hands on' learning at all levels of our educational system. Trichome/hairs on plants are extremely variable in their presence across species, location on plant organs, density, and therefore functionality. However, several basic functions or advantages of having surface hairs can be listed. It is likely that in many cases, hairs interfere with the feeding of at least some small herbivores and, depending on stiffness and irritability to the predator, large herbivores as well....
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