•The value of a new discovery lies in the potential to produce genetically identical seedlings and increase production of high-value crops.
Because the early stages of embryo development are so conserved among plant species, we expect that vitamin C will have a similar effect in almost any plant,” he said.
A question raised by the study is whether vitamin C might have a similar effect in humans. In contrast to most animals, humans cannot make vitamin C and it must, therefore, be obtained regularly from dietary sources.
“Although the development of plant and animal embryos differ in many respects, the manner in which the genetically identical twins were produced in our study is similar to that for identical human twins in that it is the very first division of the fertilized egg into two separate cells that produces the two separate embryos, resulting in two seedlings in plants or two fetuses in humans,” Gallie said. “Despite the differences in the subsequent development of embryos in plants and humans, the critical effect of vitamin C is on this very first cell division.”
To Gallie’s knowledge, no study linking vitamin C to twins in humans has been carried out to date.
Owen R. Fonorow, Follow #OWENRFONOROW at twitter