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Tag: plant genetics

Wild wheat, plant genomics, and food security

Wheat is the most widely grown crop in the world, providing 20% of the calories and proteins consumed by humankind. More than one fifth of the projected yield is lost every year to disease. Dr Brande Wulff, Group Leader at the John Innes Centre, and speaker at the 8th Plant Genomics and Gene Editing Congress, Europe, is leading research aiming to reduce the proportion of wheat lost to pathogens and increase global food security…

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The future of GMOs, gene editing and plant biotechnology in post-Brexit UK

Growing and selling genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is permitted in the UK but GMO products are subject to a lengthy and stringent EU authorization process. There are currently no GM crops grown commercially in the UK, but they are imported. So, what is the UK’s relationship with GM products, and where do we stand on gene editing? We spoke with Nigel Halford, Principal Research Scientist at Rothamsted Research, UK.

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The Plant Genomics and Gene Editing Congress Presentation Slides

Following the Plant Genomics and Gene Editing Congress: Europe, we have made the following presentation slides from Ana Atanassova, Ian Bancroft, Nigel Halford and Kim Hammond-Kossack available.

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What kind of plant genes allow crops to shape the rhizosphere microbiota?

In my lab we aim to decipher the genetic basis of plant-microbe interactions taking place at the root-soil interface, in the so called “rhizosphere”. Microbes in this environment, collectively referred to as the rhizosphere microbiota, can enhance mineral mobilisation for plant uptake and crop protection, thereby representing a yet untapped resource for sustainable agriculture.

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Utilising Machine Learning Models to transform Plant Genomics

A lot of machine learning is used in technology such as Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, or to get rid of spam in your email inbox. Deep learning and rapid development of this technology enables us to solve image classification problems – e.g. “does this picture contain a dog or a cat?”. Also, artificial intelligence is set to soon replace many human jobs – in the darkest views, it might even pose an existential threat to the human race.

What repercussions do these developments have for genome-related research and in particular plant genomics?

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How CRISPR/Cas9 can help unravel Salt Stress Responses in Rice

Soil salinity affects a large amount of arable land and is one of the major causes of crop yield reduction worldwide. Rice, a major food crop feeding more than half of the world, is highly susceptible to salinity stress. Developing salt-stress tolerant rice cultivars is essential to sustain world rice production. The major focus of my research at the Maathuis Lab in the Biology Department of the University of York is looking for key players in the complex molecular networks responsible for rice salt-tolerance, and understanding their mode(s) of action.

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Integrating breeding technologies to supercharge future crops

The inspiration for the development of ‘Speed Breeding’ came from the first food product designed and purposefully bred for growing in space, a variety of wheat called USU-Apogee. Because there is not much space inside the spacecraft, they needed to maximise the number of wheat plants and grow them very quickly.

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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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