Scientists Discover Way to Make Crops Grow in Salty Soils

Scientists from Brigham Young University (USA) have successfully inoculated alfalfa with salt tolerant bacteria, a breakthrough in the fight to reverse falling crop yields caused by increasingly salty farmlands around the world. The research team used bacteria found in the roots of salt tolerant plants to successfully inoculate alfalfa plants against overly salty soil. …

Worm pheromones protect major crops

Protecting crops from pests and pathogens without using toxic pesticides has been a longtime goal of farmers. Researchers at Boyce Thompson Institute have found that compounds from an unlikely source—microscopic soil roundworms—could achieve this aim. As described in research published in the Journal of Phytopathology, these compounds helped protect major …

First pea genome to help improve crops of the future

A global team including scientists from The University of Western Australia has assembled the first genome of the field pea, which provides insight into how the legume evolved and will help aid future improvements of the crop. The study, published in Nature Genetics, has important implications for global nutrition and …

Peanut genome sequenced with unprecedented accuracy

Improved pest resistance and drought tolerance are among potential benefits of an effort of scientists from United States, Argentina, Brazil, China and India that have produced the clearest picture yet of the complex genomic history of the cultivated peanut. Scientists undertook this large project to better understand the molecular and …

Phenols in purple corn fight diabetes, obesity, inflammation in mouse cells

Scientists at the University of Illinois have developed new hybrids of purple corn containing different combinations of phytochemicals that may fight obesity, inflammation and diabetes, a new study in mice indicates. The pericarp—or outer layer—of purple and other brightly colored corn kernels also may provide an alternative source of colorants …

Insect-deterring sorghum compounds may be eco-friendly pesticide

Compounds produced by sorghum plants to defend against insect feeding could be isolated, synthesized and used as a targeted, nontoxic insect deterrent, according to researchers who studied plant-insect interactions that included field, greenhouse and laboratory components. The researchers examined the role of sorghum chemicals called flavonoids —specifically 3-deoxyflavonoid and 3-deoxyanthocyanidins—in …