Wheat currently contributes 20% of the world population’s calories and protein—and global demand is estimated to increase by 44% between 2005-07 and 2050. Key recommendations in a recent review included supporting strategic investment in research partner network development and maintenance, and continuing WHEAT’s trajectory towards modernizing breeding processes and integrating sustainable intensification approaches, including mechanization.
A new collaborative study describes a promising strategy to improve the nutritional benefits of crops. The work proposes the controlled transformation of chloroplasts (organelles that conduct the photosynthesis in leaves) into chromoplasts (organelles specialized in producing and storing large amounts of carotenoids). Free of substances harmful to the environment, this technology has been patented and opens new perspectives for the nutritional improvement (biofortification) of crops and for the sustainable production of carotenoids of interest to the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food industries.
Researchers have discovered a new role for a well-known plant molecule, providing the first clear example of ACC acting as a likely plant hormone. Researchers show that ACC has a critical role in pollination and seed production by activating proteins similar to those in human and animal nervous systems. Findings could change textbooks and open the door for research to improve plant health and crop yield.
In recent years, the number of people affected by coeliac disease, wheat allergy or gluten or wheat sensitivity has risen sharply. But why is this the case? Could it be that modern wheat varieties contain more immunoreactive protein than in the past? Results from a new study are helping to answer this question.
An international team has decoded the full genome for the black mustard plant—research that will advance breeding of oilseed mustard crops and provide a foundation for improved breeding of wheat, canola and lentils.
Plants have a unique ability to safeguard themselves against pathogens by closing their pores—but until now, no one knew quite how they did it. Scientists have known that a flood of calcium into the cells surrounding the pores triggers them to close, but how the calcium entered the cells was unclear.
A new study by an international team reveals that a protein called OSCA1.3 forms a channel that leaks calcium into the cells surrounding a plant’s pores, and they determined that a known immune system protein triggers the process.
On the surface, the humble melon may just look like a tasty treat to most. But researchers have found that this fruit has hidden depths: retrotransposons (sometimes called “jumping sequences”) may change how genes are expressed.
An international study has discovered a stem-cell promoting hormone in the liverwort Marchantia polymopha. Marchantia, a common liverwort, is a representative of an ancient lineage of plants. Their evolutionary history presents researchers with an excellent opportunity to explore the fundamental insights into how genes and hormones have evolved in plants.
A new study demonstrates how site-directed mutagenesis can be achieved in virtually any wheat germplasm of choice by intergeneric pollination of wheat with cas9/guide-RNA (gRNA)-transgenic maize.