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Tag: plant genomics

The Future of Plant Gene Editing: A Q&A with Professor Richard Visser

We were delighted to welcome Richard Visser, Professor, Chair and Head of Plant Breeding, Dean of Research, Wageningen University & Research, to the 6th Plant Genomics and Gene Editing Congress, where he presented on the use of novel breeding techniques in practical breeding.

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Using Machine Learning to Assign Gene Ontology

It is a quite common phenomenon in biology: we have identified a gene or a set of genes that are likely to be important for the system we are studying, but we have no clear explanation for why they are important or how they influence the system. For example, in plant genomics, we are often interested in a specific trait and have a genomic locus or a list of candidate genes that might affect this trait. The question is: how can we prioritise these genes in order to proceed to experimental validation?

To this end, it would be extremely useful if we knew the functions of our candidate genes. For instance, if a gene codes for an enzyme, what type of reaction does this enzyme catalyse? And in which pathways might this reaction take place?

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To regulate or not to regulate: Current legal status for gene-edited crops

Gene editing is the latest and sexiest DNA editing tool in the continuum of plant breeding innovations. With genetically modified organism (GMO) technology, scientists introduce “foreign” genes, i.e. genes from a different organism, into crops. With gene editing, scientists create additional genetic variation by making precise changes to the existing crop’s genome. It offers great opportunities, but also creates regulatory challenges.

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Round-Up of Top Plant Science News

It’s been a busy month in the field of Plant Science, with new discoveries, technologies, and research making the news. As the month draws to a close, we thought we’d reflect on the top stories.

This month, there was new insights into autophagy, previously extinct plant species, and the way in which climate change poses a potential threat to half of plant and animal species.

Take a look at the list below to find out more: 

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Exploring the Orphan Crop: Pearl Millet

As an awardee of Global Engage’s Early Career Research grant, we are pleased to announce that Ambika Dudhate will be presenting her research about the drought tolerance in pearl millet in detail at the 6th Plant Genomics and Gene Editing Congress: Europe. It will be a great opportunity to discuss the topic on a large platform.

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What’s Next for Plant Genomics?

2017 is drawing to a close and it’s about that time where we begin to reflect. It has been a huge year for plant genomics in terms of technological advancements in the field with two developments in particular: CRISPR and disease resistance.

Successful sequencing, along with the improvement of biological data sets, have given plant scientists the tools and knowledge to make exciting developments to benefit agriculture. Research in plant disease resistance is being used to tackle global issues, such as food security, and novel gene editing technologies like CRISPR will take this research even further. 

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The Development and Application of CRISPR-Cpf1

Genome editing is slowly causing, or has perhaps already caused, a paradigm shift in the world of agriculture and in plant genomics in general. The ability to precisely and easily edit genes has never been as widespread before as it is now. The technology is causing a momentous shift towards using genome editing to not only validate gene function but also to create better crop varieties for the sustenance of a growing human population.

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The Challenge of Accurately Performing Skin Microbiome Metagenomic Studies

The human skin is densely colonised with a complex microbial community (1). Microbes are a part of the skin barrier that, combined with  innate immunity, keeps the balance essential to maintaining healthy skin (2). Recent and independent research projects strongly suggested that human skin microbiota is of a major importance for human health and could be targeted to improve the skin health.

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