Researchers map complete millet genome to help with food security

By | Agriculture, Fruits and Vegetables, News

New knowledge of ancient grain may enable breeding for climate change adaptation. An international team of researchers has unlocked a large-scale genomic analysis of Setaria or foxtail millet, an important cereal crop. The study advances our understanding of the domestication and evolution of foxtail millet, as well as the genetic basis for important agricultural traits.

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Plant ecology study shows dominant influence of climate on vegetation

By | Botany, Climate change, Forestry, News

For several years, ecological research has argued that climate often has no determining influence on the distribution of forests and savannas in tropical regions. However, an international research team has now succeeded in proving that it depends mostly on climatic factors whether regions in Africa are covered by forest or savanna. The study, confirms the dominant role of climate in the formation of global vegetation patterns.

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colorful corn cobs

Identifying new genes may elevate efficiency of photosynthesis in crops, could boost yields

By | Agriculture, News

Corn leaves on the lowest rung of a plant’s stem spend much of the day shrouded in shade. A gust of wind can crack the window to photosynthesis, and growth, for those leaves, but they typically can’t adjust in time to seize the moment. Research is identifying genes that could open the way to breeding plants better at capitalizing on yield-boosting sunlight.

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Image: Two lateral root primordia develop from the main root of Arabidopsis thaliana. The images (with false colours) were taken with a confocal microscope. Credit: Michael Stitz, Heidelberg University

How plants use sugar to produce roots

By | News, Plant Science

Along with sugar reallocation, a basic molecular mechanism within plants controls the formation of new lateral roots. An international team of plant biologists has demonstrated that it is based on the activity of a certain factor, the target of rapamycin (TOR) protein. A better understanding of the processes that regulate root branching at the molecular level could contribute to improving plant growth and therefore crop yields.

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Image: Delays in delivery of salt-tolerant crops may be due to the need for resource development. This should include the domestication of wild salt-resistant species, such as Salicornia shown here growing in an extreme environment, that have the potential for new food and feed markets. Credit 2023 KAUST; Gabriele Fiene. 

Now is the time to deliver on salt-tolerant crops

By | Agriculture, KAUST, News

In a comprehensive review of breeding salinity tolerance in plants, researchers argue that the main reason research advances have not been translated into commercial salt-tolerant crop varieties for farmers is that this has not been a priority for plant breeders. However, with increasing impacts of climate change due to sea-level rise and storm surges forcing seawater further inland, the need to increase crop salinity tolerance is becoming more urgent, and so priorities will change.

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