In the news...

Sequenced pea genome aids effort to improve global nutrition, boost sustainable farming

September 13th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

An international team of researchers has assembled the first genome of the field pea, providing insight into how Mendel’s original genetic model evolved and help future improvements of the crop. The study, published in Nature Genetics, has important implications for global nutrition and sustainability of crops. Pea is the second most important grain …

DNA project to decode ‘all complex life’ on Earth

November 14th, 2018 / BBC, UK

A mission to sequence the genome of every known animal, plant, fungus and protozoan – a group of single-celled organisms – is underway.
The Earth BioGenome Project (EBP) has been described as a “moonshot for biology”. A key aim is to use the information in efforts to conserve threatened species. Scientists …

Researchers take genomic sequencing to the farm to help transform lives

October 23rd, 2018 / Phys.org

In a world first, international scientists including a University of Otago researcher, have used whole genome sequencing to help diagnose a plant pathogen destroying crops on African farms, potentially paving the way for preventing crop failures, vital to the African economy.
Dr. Jo-Ann Stanton, a Senior Research Fellow in the University …

Genetic markers identify the sex of yams and accelerate breeding

October 19th, 2018 / CGIAR: Roots, Tubers and Bananas

Researchers have identified the genetic markers that distinguish the sex of yam plants, saving time and resources for future breeding efforts.
White Guinea yam (Dioscorea rotundata) is native to West Africa, where it has been a food security crop for centuries. As Africa is rapidly urbanizing, yams are now being grown …

Wheat gene map to help ‘feed the world’

August 17th, 2018 / BBC

The starting pistol has been fired in a race to develop “climate change resistant” wheat with the publication of a map of the crop’s genes.
An international team of scientists has identified the location of more than 100,000 wheat genes.
The researchers say the map will accelerate the development of new strains …

Millet genome sequenced by scientists from 10 countries

September 27th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

An international consortium of researchers from France, India, and China has published the genome sequence of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum), a cereal that belongs to the family of small-seeded grasses, grown in arid areas in the Sahel region in Africa and in Asia, especially in India.
Coordinated by the Institut de …

Future of corn: genetics could improve maize’s sustainability and productivity

June 20th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

A new, much more detailed reference genome for maize, or corn, as it is called in the U.S., [was] published in Nature [June 12]. In its accounting of the sequence of DNA letters in the plant’s 10 chromosomes, the new version helps us understand as never before why maize, and …

Breakthrough pigeonpea genome re-sequencing will lead to superior varieties and make the pulse more affordable

May 25th, 2017 / ICRISAT

In a significant breakthrough, a global team of 19 scientists from 9 institutes have re-sequenced the genome or DNA of 292 pigeonpea varieties (Cajanus cajan) and discovered new traits such as resistance to various diseases that affect the crop and its insensitivity to photo-period (the duration of daylight hours required …

Secrets of tea plant revealed by science

May 5th, 2017 / BBC, UK

Botanists have unlocked the genetic secrets of the plant prized for producing tea.
A team in China has decoded the genetic building blocks of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, whose leaves are used for all types of tea, including black, green and oolong.
The research gives an insight into the chemicals that …

Barley genome sequenced

May 2nd, 2017 / New Atlas

Sequencing the entire genome of an organism is no easy feat, but the benefits can be as important as saving species from the brink of extinction, fighting cancer, getting rid of pests – and now, brewing better booze. After a decade of study, an international team of scientists has finally …