31 Oct '17, 7am

The monstrous truth about pumpkins

The monstrous truth about pumpkins

The oxford English Dictionary tells us that the word "monster " originally meant "a mythical creature which is part animal and part human, or combines elements of two or more animal forms, and is frequently of great size and ferocious appearance." It turns out that the pumpkins popping up everywhere Halloween is celebrated fit the purpose better than we knew. Thanks to completion of genome sequencing in pumpkins , science has discovered the "monstrous" truth in the history of the bright orange cucurbit: "between 3-20 million years ago, two different ancestral species combined their genomes to create an allotetraploid - a new species with four (tetra-) copies of each chromosome." This means the pumpkin originated as a "monster," albeit non-mythical, that combined elements of two different forms. Instead of the usual process, by which each parent contributes one of its two c...

Full article: https://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/monstrous-tru...

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