Fear Not, the Four-Leaf Clover Gene May Be Within Reach
Some crop biologists from the University of Georgia have gotten pretty close to pinpointing the gene(s) responsible for four-leaf clovers (called “quadrifoliolate” as opposed to their “trifoliolate” cousins).
By using a technique in genetics called “linkage mapping”, they have narrowed down the part of the clover genome that makes this pattern (which is no more “lucky” than someone handing you a head of lettuce, btw BUZZKILL). By looking at what other genes are mutated along with four-leafedness, they can map the trait near other genes without knowing the precise DNA sequence that is responsible for the feature. We’ll have fields of four-leafers before too long.
Bonus: Wanna see some quotes from people that get WAY too excited about clover breeding? Read here.
Double Pint O’ Guinness Bonus: A biologist’s Irish ode to beer and yeast and St. Patrick’s day … sing it while you drink!