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 …

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 …

Golden rice has same nutrients as traditional rice except for the increased provitamin A content

Compositional analysis of genetically engineered crops determines significant changes in nutrient composition as compared to its conventional counterpart. A article published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry presents the results of the compositional analysis of paddy rice, straw, and bran of biofortified rice (Golden Rice or GR2E) compared …

Consumers’ attitude towards GM food is based on their understanding of the science behind it

 Psychologists and biologists from the University of Rochester, the University of Amsterdam, and Cardiff University conducted a study to answer the question “Would consumers eat genetically modified food if they understand the science behind it?” The result of their study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology says that the …

How potatoes could become sun worshippers

If there’s one thing potato plants don’t like, it’s heat. If the temperature is too high, potato plants form significantly lower numbers of tubers, or sometimes none at all. Biochemists at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered the reason why. If the temperature rises, a so-called “small RNA” blocks the …