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Rescooped by John Kolonis from Plant Molecular Farming
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"Golden Bananas" Enter U.S. Market Trials

"Golden Bananas" Enter U.S. Market Trials | cultivation | Scoop.it

In 2005, with the backing of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, [James] Dale began experimenting with ways to add beta-carotene, a nutrient the human body uses to produce vitamin A, to the East African Highland cooking banana, a staple in the Ugandan diet.

"This may finally give us access to this subset of the population," Dale said. "So I figured it was worth a shot."

In June, Dale's bananas made it to an important milestone, gaining approval to begin human trials in the United States, and in the process picked up a catchy new title: super-bananas. While the fate of the super-bananas has yet to be determined, what is known is just how these bananas became super.


Via Ed Rybicki
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Ed Rybicki's curator insight, July 4, 2014 8:11 AM

The Man with the Golden Banana strikes again!  Kudos, James and team.

Vikram Virdi's curator insight, July 5, 2014 6:41 AM

Wow!  Go #super-banana !  

Rescooped by John Kolonis from Plant Molecular Farming
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Plant pattern-recognition receptors

Plant pattern-recognition receptors | cultivation | Scoop.it

Plants are constantly exposed to would-be pathogens in their immediate environment. Yet, despite relying on innate immunity only, plants are resistant to most microbes. They employ pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) for sensitive and rapid detection of the potential danger caused by microbes and pests. Plant PRRs are either surface-localized receptor kinases (RKs) or receptor-like proteins (RLPs) containing various ligand-binding ectodomains that perceive pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) or damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs). In this review, I summarize our current knowledge of plant PRRs and their ligands, illustrating the multiple molecular strategies employed by plant PRRs to activate innate immune signaling to survive.

 


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Rescooped by John Kolonis from Plant Molecular Farming
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Putting Up Resistance: GMO wheat to control stem rust?

Putting Up Resistance: GMO wheat to control stem rust? | cultivation | Scoop.it
Will the public swallow science’s best solution to one of the most dangerous wheat pathogens on the planet?

 

One way to hasten the development of a long-lasting stem rust–resistant wheat variety is to engineer plants’ DNA to carry resistance genes, creating what are known as genetically modified (GM) crops. But at many of the facilities that develop wheat varieties—primarily led by academic breeding groups, in contrast to the commercial domination of corn and soybean development—such transgenic approaches are taboo, as public opposition, regulatory expenses, and genetic complexity have kept wheat transgenics off the market. “We could do millions of things [with transgenics],” says Jorge Dubcovsky, a wheat geneticist and breeder at the University of California, Davis, “but we have our hands tied.”

 

Still, a few groups are forging ahead. Dubcovsky and other researchers have begun to clone rust-resistance genes from wheat and other taxa and identify their functions. Others are using those discoveries as springboards to compile the genes into constructs that could be employed to develop a plant with multiple forms of resistance. It’s early days yet, says Brande Wulff at the Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, U.K., and downstream consumer resistance to the technology doesn’t discourage him. It could take five to ten years before researchers will have something ready for breeders to try anyway, he says. “By then the public perception could have changed a lot.”


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