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 …

The wheat code is finally cracked

Recently in the international journal Science, the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC) published a detailed description of the genome of bread wheat, the world’s most widely cultivated crop. This work will pave the way for the production of wheat varieties better adapted to climate challenges, with higher yields, enhanced …