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

The Wheat Code is Finally Cracked

Today in the international journal Science, the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC) published a detailed description of the genome of bread wheat, the world’s most widely cultivated crop. This work will pave the way for the production of wheat varieties better adapted to climate challenges, with higher yields, enhanced nutritional quality and improved sustainability.

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Gene Editing Technique Allows Silkworms to Produce Spider Silk

A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in China has succeeded in using a gene editing technique to get silkworms to produce spider silk. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes the technique they used and the quality of the silk produced.

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New Cotton Plants Engineered to Outcompete Weeds

Texas A&M University researchers have developed cotton plants that utilize a form of phosphorus that allows them to outcompete weeds, particularly Palmer amaranth/pigweed, thus offering “a novel alternative” to herbicides that are becoming increasingly ineffective as more weed species become resistant to glyphosate and other widely-used chemistries.

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Universities in US Plan to Find Cure for Citrus Greening

Through modification of endogenous citrus genes, problems in citrus greening may be solved.

The Gene Editing Research Laboratory of the University of Connecticut teamed up with the University of Florida to resolve the predominant citrus greening problem in the United States through gene modification enabling citruses to resist the greening disease.

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Using CRISPR to edit coral

Some 30 years ago, the world saw its first big global coral bleaching take place — an event that killed more than 15 percent of the ocean’s reefs. Since then, as temperatures continue to rise, so have rates of coral bleaching, leaving scientists scrambling to find new conservation strategies to protect this beloved ocean animal (coral is an animal, not a plant) and the ecosystem it supports. Read more