An entire botanical garden of genomes

An article published recently in the Open-Access journal GigaScience provides data that effectively triples the number of plant species with available genome data. This mammoth amount of work comes on the back of the growing efforts of the scientific community to sequence more plant genomes to aid in understanding their …

New technologies show better details on GM plants

Researchers from the Salk Institute for biological studies, USA used the latest DNA sequencing technologies to study exactly what happens at a molecular level when new genes are inserted into plants. Scientists usually rely on Agrobacterium tumefaciens when they want to put a new gene into a plant. Decades ago, …

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 …

The chloroplast genome sequence of bittersweet

Information about the organization and evolution of plastomes is crucial to improve crop plants and to resolve the phylogeny of photosynthetic organisms. In a recent study published in PLoS ONE researchers of the Finnish Museum of Natural History, University of Helsinki, sequenced the chloroplast genome of a weed called bittersweet …