|Member since||Dec 8, 2022|
by lifeasible on May 4, 2023
Tobacco plants have been genetically modified to create an alluring fragrance containing insect sex pheromones, which could be used to confuse would-be love-seeking pests and reduce the need for harmful pesticides. By using precise genetic engineering techniques, researchers at Norwich Earlham Institute have been able to turn tobacco plants into solar-powered factories that produce moth sex pheromones. Crucially, they have shown how to efficiently manage the production of these molecules so that normal plant growth is not hindered. Pheromones are complex chemicals produced and released by living organisms as a means of communication. They allow members of the same species to send signals, which include letting others know they're looking for love. Farmers can hang pheromone dispersants in crops that mimic the signals of female insects to trap or distract male insects in their search for a mate. Some of these molecules can be produced through chemical ... Continue reading →
by lifeasible on Apr 4, 2023
The DNA sequence of a gene responsible for resistance to a devastating virus in wheat has been discovered, providing important clues for managing more resistant crops and maintaining a healthy food supply. Wheat crops in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Africa are regularly damaged by wheat yellow mosaic virus (WYMV), and there is a high demand for wheat varieties or cultivars that are resistant to this virus. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that the resistance gene originated in an ancient Mediterranean relative of wild wheat. Dr Mohammad Pourkheirandish from the University of Melbourne, lead researcher of the study, said: "This discovery could help develop more resistant wheat varieties, improve crop yields and reduce the use of harmful fungicides. It also highlights the need to conserve biodiversity necessary to protect the food supply." WYMV reduces food production by 80%, causing major ... Continue reading →
by lifeasible on Mar 2, 2023
Although CRISPR/Cas9 is a huge advance in plant breeding, it remains an expensive and laborious solution, making its application in most plants infeasible. Recent advances by a team of scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology in Germany overcome these limitations. Recently, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology are applying a breakthrough in the CRISPR tool (aka "gene scissors") to edit plant genomes, marking a change in approach. By combining grafting with "mobile" CRISPR tools, the discovery could simplify and accelerate the development of new, genetically stable commercial crop varieties. Unmodified shoots were grafted onto roots containing mobile CRISPR/Cas9, which allowed the genetic scissors to move from the root to the shoot. It's there to edit the plant's DNA, but not to leave its mark on the next generation of plants. This breakthrough will save time and money, circumvent ... Continue reading →
by lifeasible on Feb 2, 2023
In plants, a regulatory protein associated with stress responses can also act as a master switch for immunity against pathogens, a demonstration that could help breeders develop crops that are more resistant to pests and better adapted to climates. The kaust-led discovery suggests that agricultural scientists wishing to implement sustainable crop protection strategies can simply focus on this very important protein, rather than focusing on the individual immune signals involved in plant defense. "Identifying OXI1 as a single-molecule switch for immunity offers many great advantages in molecular breeding," says Heribert Hirt, professor of plant science at KAUST and leader of the study. Hirt's discovery took nearly 20 years. In 2004, he and his colleagues were the first to identify a species called OXI1—an abbreviation for oxidative signal-inducible kinase—that is critical for plant responses to environmental stress. Over the next 18 ... Continue reading →
by lifeasible on Dec 8, 2022
Photosynthesis is one of the most important chemical reactions, not only for plants, but also for the entire world. The impact of photosynthesis and its importance should not be underestimated. Therefore, it makes sense that science has long been fascinated by reactions and physical phenomena that enable photosynthesis to occur. One such phenomenon is the ferredoxin/thioredoxin (Fd/Trx) pathway. The Fd/Trx pathway, discovered about half a century ago, has been thought to regulate many light-dependent responses in chloroplasts, which are organs where photosynthesis occurs in leaves. The Fd/Trx pathway has long been thought to be extremely important for plants because it activates several enzymes in chloroplasts as a response to light. However, these assumptions were challenged for two reasons. The first reason is that other pathways that can activate chloroplast enzymes have been identified in leaves. The second is that so far, no studies have been conducted on how inhibition of ... Continue reading →
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