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Scientists seek to establish community-driven metadata standards for microbiomes research

By | News, Plant Health, Plant Science

We are living through an explosion in the availability of microbiome data. In agricultural systems, the proliferation of research on plant and soil microbiomes has been coupled with excitement for the potential that microbiome data may have for the development of novel, sustainable, and effective crop management strategies. However, while this is an exciting development, as the collective body of microbiome data for diverse crops grows, the lack of consistency in recording data makes it harder for the data to be utilized across research projects.

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Researchers Reveal Lignin Protection Mechanism in Forest Soils

By | Forestry, News, Plant Science

Over the course of forest succession, both components of plant residues and the structure of soil microbial communities play important roles in affecting soil aggregates, and thus the sequestration and stability of soil organic carbon. However, up till now there is still a lack of holistic understanding of the interactions among root turnover, microbial community composition, chemical composition of plant residues and different sized soil aggregates.

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rice

Scientists Optimize Prime Editing for Rice and Wheat

By | Agriculture, News, Plant Science

Many genetic and breeding studies have shown that point mutations and indels (insertions and deletions) can alter elite traits in crop plants. Although nuclease-initiated homology-directed repair (HDR) can generate such changes, it is limited by its low efficiency. Base editors are robust tools for creating base transitions, but not transversions, insertions or deletions. Thus, there is a pressing need for new genome engineering approaches in plants.

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Applying CRISPR beyond Arabidopsis thaliana

By | News, Plant Science

Few technologies have made as big a splash in recent years as CRISPR/Cas9, and rightfully so. CRISPR/Cas9, or clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and associated genes, is a bacterial gene editing toolbox that allows researchers to edit genomic sequences much more precisely and efficiently than previously possible, opening up doors to new ways of doing research. As with many new biotechnologies, the application of CRISPR in biology began with genetic model organisms such as Arabidopsis thaliana. In recent research authors review the prospects for expanding the use of CRISPR for research beyond genetic model plant species.

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