Our associate professor Gou Suzuki among participants of study published in the science journal Nature

A research group of Tohoku University (Japan), Nara Institute of Science and Technology (Japan), and University of Zurich (Switzerland), also participated by our associate professor Gou Suzuki, found what led mouse-ear cress, Brassicaceae, to its evolution of taking on “inbreeding”, reproduction from self-fertilization, by gene analyses and fertilizing experiments for the first time in the world.In 1876, Darwin, well-known for the Origin of Species, proposed a hypothesis that claimed that inbreeding was advantageous for reproduction when the number of mating partner was small. From the gene sequences analyzed this time, it was found that the period in which the inbreeding ability of mouse-ear cress spread in Europe matches the period in which the distribution of mouse-ear cress changed drastically due to the glacial and interglacial cycles. It seems that mouse-ear cress had a small number of fertilizing partners in this period, which corresponds to the Darwin’s hypothesis.The result of this study appeared in the British science journal Nature (online version) on Aril 19th at 2 a.m. (JST). The study also appeared in Yomiuri Shimbun (evening edition on April 19th).