Scientists improve antioxidant content of maize

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences improved the tocopherol composition of maize to maximize its use for human and livestock health. The results are published in Transgenic Research. The seeds of many plant species, including maize, have high gamma (γ)-tocopherol but low alpha (α)-tocopherol contents, α-tocopherol, a form …

Enabling Plants to Combat Climate Change by Storing More Carbon Dioxide

Scientists from the University of Würzburg, Germany and partners are exploring on the capability of modified plants to store more carbon dioxide, which can possibly slow down climate change. Their findings are published in Trends in Biotechnology. Excessive carbon dioxide released through the soil and vegetation respiration that is not absorbed by plants through photosynthesis fuels global …

GM poplar field trials result to sustainable biomass production without isoprene emission

A group of scientists were able to successfully developed genetically modified (GM) poplar trees that do not emit the gas isoprene. Two field trials in the US showed that the GM poplars were not affected by their non-production of isoprene and they grew normally just like conventional poplars. Isoprene is …

New eco-friendly protein antibiotics fight off crop diseases

Scientists from the University of Glasgow have discovered a safe and novel method that can safeguard important crops from the widespread bacterial disease caused by Pseudomonas syringae (Ps). Ps infects a wide range of crop species worldwide including tomato, kiwifruit, pepper, olive, soybeans, and fruit trees. Plant diseases result to massive economic losses, …

Chemical ‘vaccine’ helps plants repel pathogens

When plants come under attack from invading bacteria, viruses or fungi, they mount a two-pronged response, producing both offensive chemicals to kill invaders and defensive chemicals to prevent infestations from spreading. Now, scientists at Stanford have used a type of chemical vaccine to switch on this plant defense system to …

GM Tobacco Plants to Produce Industrial Proteins

The market for biologically-derived proteins is said to reach US$300 billion in the future. Currently, industrial enzymes and other proteins are made in large, expensive fermenting reactors, but using plants to produce them could reduce production costs by three times. Researchers at Cornell University and the University of Illinois have …