An international team of researchers led by biologists has examined how seed formation is coordinated with fruit growth. In their report, they explain the genetic control mechanisms underlying the process. If you open up a pea pod, you will find that all of the peas inside are the same size and the same distance apart. The same is true of princess beans, runner beans and soybeans as well as various other peas and beans, and it also applies to non-pulses. This is surprising because both the seed size and number and the pod size differ substantially from one variety to the next.
A team of scientists has completed one of the largest genetic analyses ever done of any agricultural crop to find desirable traits in wheat’s extensive and unexplored diversity.
Scientists have characterized a sucrose transporter protein found in common beans. The recently discovered protein could help us understand how beans tolerate hot temperatures.
Representing some of the most troublesome agricultural weeds, waterhemp, smooth pigweed, and Palmer amaranth impact crop production systems across the U.S. and elsewhere with ripple effects felt by economies worldwide. In a landmark study, scientists have published the most comprehensive genome information to date for all three species, marking a new era of scientific discovery toward potential solutions.
All plants and animals respire, releasing energy from food. At the cellular level, this process occurs in the mitochondria. But there are differences at the molecular level between how plants and animals extract energy from food sources. Discovering those differences could help revolutionize agriculture.
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.
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.