Embracing bioinformatics in gene banks

The preservation of plant biodiversity is the task of the roughly 1,750 gene banks distributed around the world. They store plant samples and sometimes additional phenotypic or genetic information of around 7.4 million accessions ...

International team decodes the durum wheat genome

An international consortium has sequenced the entire genome of durum wheat—the source of semolina for pasta, a food staple for the world's population, according to an article published today in Nature Genetics.

Diving to new depths for Antarctic science

A University of Canterbury scientist is using Kiwi technology in her Antarctic research to capture fascinating footage of life beneath the surface in McMurdo Sound.

Sexual reproduction only second choice for powdery mildew

Powdery mildew is one of the most dreaded plant diseases: The parasitic fungus afflicts crops such as wheat and barley and is responsible for large harvest shortfalls every year. Beat Keller and Thomas Wicker, both plant ...

Disease-resistant tomatoes fight lethal pests

In the battle against thrips, Cornell breeder Martha Mutschler-Chu has developed a new weapon: a tomato that packs a powerful one-two punch to deter the pests and counter the killer viruses they transmit.

Sorghum eyed as a southern bioenergy crop

Sweet sorghum is primarily grown in the United States as a source of sugar for syrup and molasses. But the sturdy grass has other attributes that could make it uniquely suited to production as a bioenergy crop, U.S. Department ...

Differences in the genomes of related plant pathogens

Many crop plants worldwide are attacked by a group of fungi that numbers more than 680 different species. After initial invasion, they first grow stealthily inside living plant cells, but then switch to a highly destructive ...

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