Looking for ways to enhance rice yield, Indian plant biologists have cracked a novel genetic code that could nearly double the length of a rice grain. As a consequence, the yield per every rice plant would increase, providing the country with yet another option to augment rice productivity. Read more
Researchers have uncovered an unusual protein activity in rice that can be exploited to give crops an edge in the evolutionary arms race against rice blast disease, a major threat to rice production around the world.
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
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.
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 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.
Species often experience a genetic bottleneck that diminishes genetic variation after speciation or introduction into a new area. Though bottlenecks in population size always reduce fitness and evolutionary potential, introduced species often become invasive. This is known as the genetic paradox of invasion. Read more
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.
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.