How CRISPR/Cas9 can help unravel Salt Stress Responses in Rice
Posted 18th February 2019 by Joshua Sewell
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.
Integrating breeding technologies to supercharge future crops
Posted 15th February 2019 by Joshua Sewell
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.
Major resistance genes in cereals
Posted 6th February 2019 by Joshua Sewell
Cereal crops, such as wheat, maize, rice, barley, sorghum and millets, account for more than half of the global harvest and provide staple foods around the world.
However, viruses, bacteria, water moulds and fungi can limit access to nutrients, reduce yields and can even cause entire crops to fail. Some diseases can also produce toxins that are harmful to humans and animals. To protect food security, identifying disease resistant genes is crucial.
The Top 5 Plant Genomics Articles of 2018
Posted 26th December 2018 by Jane Williams
It has been an eventful year for plant genomics: we’ve seen advancements in plant disease research, the sequencing of the wheat genome, which was finally achieved through a worldwide collaboration of researchers spanning 13 years, and the ruling on the legal status of gene-edited crops.
As 2018 draws to a close, we thought it was a good time to reflect. Here, we’ve collated our top articles of the year.
Microbiome within Plants, the Rhizophagy cycle and metagenomic discovery strategies
Posted 12th December 2018 by Jane Williams
As a result of revolutionary breakthroughs in recent years, plant research has evolved dramatically. At the 6th Plant Genomics & Gene Editing Congress: USA, the latest NGS, “omic” and gene editing technologies being used for progressing plant based research were examined. If you weren’t able to be there in person, these slides are now available from Sharon Doty, James White & Axel Visel.
Can bacteriophages combat bacterial diseases of plants?
Posted 3rd December 2018 by Jane Williams
The bacterial nature of a plant disease was first proven in 1878–1880 by T. J. Burrill in the University of Illinois when studying fire blight. The number of known species of pathogenic bacteria is in constant change due to the clarification of phylogenetic relatedness upon receipt of new data, but as of 2014 the number of phytopathogenic bacteria genera that unite them was 39 1.
Case Study: High-throughput SNP Screening Downstream of CRISPR/Cas9 Gene Editing
Posted 31st October 2018 by Jane Williams
One of the most powerful applications of genome editing is the introduction of nucleotide substitutions in specific genomic sites. This can be used to mimic single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) or to generate stop codons that yield precise gene knockouts. However, screening hundreds of clones for a single edited nucleotide remains a challenge, especially in the absence of a corresponding phenotype.
Challenges of epigenetic studies in plants: focus on ChIP technique
Posted 26th October 2018 by Jane Williams
Agnieszka Zelisko-Schmidt from Diagenode elaborates on their poster presented at the 6th Plant Genomics & Gene Editing Congress: Europe, explaining how regulatory pathways in plants can be unravelled using the universal plant ChIP-seq kit.