Mol. Cells 2008; 26(1): 1~4  
Training Molecularly Enabled Field Biologists to Understand Organism-Level Gene Function
Jin-Ho Kang and Ian T. Baldwin
© The Korean Society for Molecular and Cellular Biology. All rights reserved.

A gene’s influence on an organism’s Darwinian fitness ultimately determines whether it will be lost, maintained or modified by natural selection, yet biologists have few gene expression systems in which to measure whole-organism gene function. In the Department of Molecular Ecology at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology we are training “molecularly enabled field biologists” to use transformed plants silenced in the expression of environmentally regulated genes and the plant’s native habitats as “laboratories.” Research done in these natural laboratories will, we hope, increase our understanding of the function of genes at the level of the organism. Examples of the role of threonine deaminase and RNA-directed RNA polymerases illustrate the process.
Keywords: Jasmonic Acid Signaling, Natural Selection, Threonine Deaminase, Darwinian Fitness, Direct Defenses, Indirect Defenses

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31 August 2021 Volume 44,
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COVER PICTURE Heart-stage embryo dissected from Arabidopsis seed (Yoo et al., pp. 602-612).

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