New technology for protein complex discovery holds promise for biotechnology and crop improvement

Living cells survive and adapt by forming stable protein complexes that allow them to modulate protein activity, do mechanical work and convert signals into predictable responses, but identifying the proteins in those complexes is technically challenging. Purdue University researchers have developed a method to predict the composition of thousands of proteins complexes at one time, a discovery that will speed discoveries about cell functions. Read more

Researchers Report Rice Gene that Confers Broad-spectrum Resistance to β-triketone Herbicides

Genomes of the genus Oryza, including both domesticated and wild species, have been well characterized because of the importance of rice to the global food supply. The wealth of genetic variation in rice varieties has allowed the identification of useful genes for crop breeding by map-based cloning methods. With regard to large-scale farming, in particular, weed control with the use of appropriate herbicides is critical for efficient crop production.

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PH Scientists Create Potential Super Antibiotic

Seventy years after its historic and global contribution, Iloilo is again poised to be the source of the next antibiotic discovery. Dr. Doralyn S. Dalisay of the Center for Chemical Biology and Biotechnology (C2B2) at the University of San Agustin in Iloilo City has found marine microbes with the potential of becoming the basic ingredient for a super antibiotic. Read more

Plants Grow Less in Hotter Temperatures

Plants have developed a robust system that stops their cell cycle in hostile environments such as abnormally hot temperatures. In response, they direct their energy to survival rather than growth. A new study led by scientists at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) reports in eLife that two transcription factors, ANAC044 and ANAC085, are critical for this response in the flowering plant Arabidopsis. The findings give clues on ways to modulate the growth of crops and other agriculture products.

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An Easier Way to Engineer Plants

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a new genetic tool that could make it easier to engineer plants that can survive drought or resist fungal infections. Their technique, which uses nanoparticles to deliver genes into the chloroplasts of plant cells, works with many different plant species, including spinach and other vegetables.

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Blue Roses Could Be Coming Soon To A Garden Near You

For centuries, gardeners have attempted to breed blue roses with no success. But now, thanks to modern biotechnology, the elusive blue rose may finally be attainable. Researchers have found a way to express pigment-producing enzymes from bacteria in the petals of a white rose, tinting the flowers blue. They report their results in ACS Synthetic Biology.

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China’s Scientists Observe Plant Growth in its Space Lab

Astronauts need a lot of food during their space expedition that sometimes takes nearly two years. Carrying dried prepackaged food takes up space in their spacecraft.

One solution is to send seeds that occupy less volume to cultivate them in the space. Recently, scientists have successfully grown vegetables and plants in the space shuttles. Read more