Some plants, like soybean, are known to possess an innate defense machinery that helps them develop resistance against insects trying to feed on them. However, exactly how these plants recognize signals from insects has been unknown until now. In a new study, scientists have uncovered the cellular pathway that helps these plants to sense danger signals and elicit a response, opening doors to a myriad of agricultural applications.
By manipulating the expression of one gene, geneticists can induce a form of “stress memory” in plants that is inherited by some progeny, giving them the potential for more vigorous, hardy and productive growth, according to researchers, who suggest the discovery has significant implications for plant breeding. And because the technique is epigenetic — involving the expression of existing genes and not the introduction of new genetic material from another plant — crops bred using this technology could sidestep controversy associated with genetically modified organisms and food.
A new generation of gene-silencing “RNAi pesticides” are making their way through the regulatory system and will soon be available for agricultural use. However, until recently, there was no method to measure the amount of the pesticide present in the dynamic environment of agricultural soil.
Scientists have discovered two proteins in rice involved in pollen aperture formation which are essential in the successful pollination of flowering plants.
Undoubtedly, our solutions are embedded in nature but we need to find them, and more importantly learn to worship the nature. Raising awareness about respecting the nature’s bounty, conserving all biodiversity that it harborsand utilizing it for sustainable solutions is the key.
Interest on Jojoba crop was, and still is, jojoba oil, which is not a glyceride fat, but a liquid wax with unique chemical configuration and features. The seeds of jojoba are one of the world’s only known sustainable sources of liquid wax esters and have been used as an eco-friendly replacement for the similar oils.
Grown around the world, sweet potatoes are an important source of nutrition particularly in sub-Saharan African and Asian diets. Sweet potatoes are especially significant to sub-Saharan Africa as a source of Vitamin A, a nutrient commonly deficient in the region. While China currently produces the most sweet potatoes by country, sub-Saharan Africa has more land devoted to sweetpotatoes and continues to expand production. Farmers elsewhere are also increasingly growing sweetpotatoes.
New research has heralded a promising step for sufferers of wheat sensitivity or allergy. A project has revealed key insights about the proteins causing two of the most common types of wheat sensitivity — non-coeliac wheat sensitivity (NCWS) and occupational asthma (baker’s asthma).
Wheat feeds the world. According to the FAO, wheat is one of the world’s main crops, both in terms of extent and production, as well as being one of the main sources of carbohydrates and vegetable protein in the human diet. The quest for genetic improvement in wheat, leading to varieties that are more resistant to issues brought about by climate change or certain pests, responds to the need to keep feeding people.
Valued at dining room tables and factory floors alike, cassava is worth about $10 billion in Asia. The continued growth of the commodity faces challenges from climate change, land degradation and limited investment in crop improvement and disease.