Protoplast isolation method for genetic improvement of pineapple

Pineapple is the second most important fruit crop next to banana. Besides its economic benefits, it is also a model species for Crassulacean acid metabolism pathway of photosynthesis in plants. An available genetic transformation method is required to further improve and study this plant. However, Agrobacterium-mediated transformation in pineapple suffer …

Blue roses coming soon in gardens

Blue roses do not exist naturally, so florists put cut roses in dye to achieve blue-hued flowers. Also, in a painstaking 20-year effort, biotechnologists made a “blue rose” through a combination of genetic engineering and selective breeding. However, the rose is more mauve-colored than blue. Thanks to modern biotechnology, blue …

Plant hormone makes space farming a possibility

With scarce nutrients and weak gravity, growing potatoes on the moon or on other planets seems unimaginable. But the plant hormone strigolactone could make it possible, plant biologists from the University of Zurich have shown. The hormone supports the symbiosis between fungi and plant roots, thus encouraging plants’ growth—even under …

This wild plant could be the next strawberry

Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and… groundcherries? A little-known fruit about the size of a marble could become agriculture’s next big berry crop. To prepare the groundcherry (Physalis pruinosa) for mainstream farming, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator Zachary Lippman, Joyce Van Eck at the Boyce Thompson Institute, and colleagues combined genomics …

Kiwifruit duplicated its vitamin C genes twice

Today’s kiwifruit contains about as much vitamin C as an orange. Its genome revealed that this extra boost in vitamin C is the result of the fruit’s ancestors’ spontaneously duplicating their DNA in two separate evolutionary events approximately 50-57 million and 18-20 million years ago. The kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis) genome …