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Rescooped by Jean-Pierre Zryd from Ag Biotech News
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Visit to vandalized Golden Rice field trial - IRRI (2013)

IRRI and PhilRice officials visit the Golden Rice field site that was vandalized... A crowd of 300 had stormed the Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Field Unit 5's (RFU5) Bicol Experiment Station, overwhelming the police and guards, and vandalizing the research plots of Golden Rice... 

 

Regional Executive Diretor Bragas said that they were taken by surprise. They had assembled DA officials and staff in the office, waiting for the group to come in and sit down for a peaceful dialogue. Instead, the militants poured into the compound, overwhelmed the police and village security, broke down a section of the fence surrounding the research area, and entered, uprooted, and trampled the crop. 

 

The officials shared that there were farmers in the group, but they just watched and stayed on the sidelines. Local customs and traditions dictate that the destruction of a living field brings bad fortune – Bicolanos refer to it as "Bosung". Those who entered the field to vandalize were mostly young men and some covered their faces. 

 

The local officials and the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) recounted that the rallyists had been assembled in Legazpi City the day before, and brought overnight to Naga City in a convoy of about a dozen jeepneys. In Naga City they had been housed in local hotels. It was reported that the group included foreigners. 


Via Alexander J. Stein
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Alexander J. Stein's curator insight, August 11, 2013 10:57 PM

Interesting to read how little regard the anti-GMO activists apparently had for local customs, traditions and beliefs (which otherwise they probably claim to be dear to their heart), simply overpowering local farmers and stakeholders rather than empowering them. (A jeepney can easily accommodate more than a dozen passengers, i.e. a dozen jeepneys can have bussed in more than half of the "farmers" from Legazpi City who vandalised the field trial.) 

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Reannotation and extended community resources for the genome of the non-seed plant Physcomitrella patens provide insights into the evolution of plant gene structures and ...

Reannotation and extended community resources for the genome of the non-seed plant Physcomitrella patens provide insights into the evolution of plant gene structures and ... | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it
The moss Physcomitrella patens as a model species provides an important reference for early-diverging lineages of plants and the release of the genome in 2008 opened the doors to genome-wide studies.
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Purification and characterization of a betanidin glucosyltransferase from Amaranthus tricolor L catalyzing non-specific biotransformation of flavonoids

Purification and characterization of a betanidin glucosyltransferase from Amaranthus tricolor L catalyzing non-specific biotransformation of flavonoids | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it

Betacyanins are the major pigments present in Amaranthus tricolor, a leafy vegetable consumed globally. The terminal glycosyltaion of the aglycone betanidin is an important step in the biosynthesis of this natural red antioxidant pigment. A betanidin 5-O-glucosyltransferase (BGT) was fully purified to 134 folds (specific activity, 265.2 nkat.mg−1) from the red amaranth by ammonium sulfate precipitation followed by hydrophobic interaction, anion exchange and size exclusion chromatography. Homogeneity of the purified protein was confirmed by 2-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D PAGE). The molecular weight of the enzyme determined by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) was found to be 62.8 kDa. Furthermore, the enzyme glycosylated flavonoids (kaempferol and quercetin) but not anthocyanidins, presence of which is mutually exclusive to betacyanin accumulating plants. The apparent Km (344 ± 2.34 μM) and Vmax (17.24 μM min−1) of the enzyme were determined by LC- MS/MS. Peptide mass fingerprinting of the purified protein showed 38.4% coverage of peptide masses with anthocyanidin 3-O-glucosyltransferase from Zea mays. Study on this purified enzyme, for the first time, revealed its role of glycosylation in biosynthesis of betacyanin in A. tricolor and indicates promiscuous substrate-specificity.

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Studies on Nonenzymatic Oxidation Mechanisms in Neobetanin, Betanin, and Decarboxylated Betanins - Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (ACS Publications)

Studies on Nonenzymatic Oxidation Mechanisms in Neobetanin, Betanin, and Decarboxylated Betanins - Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (ACS Publications) | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it

A comprehensive nonenzymatic oxidation mechanism in betanin plant pigment as well as its derivatives, 2-decarboxybetanin, 17-decarboxybetanin, 2,17-bidecarboxybetanin, and neobetanin, in the presence of ABTS cation radicals was investigated by LC-DAD-ESI-MS/MS. The main compounds formed during the first step of betanin and 2-decarboxybetanin oxidation are 2-decarboxy-2,3-dehydrobetanin and 2-decarboxyneobetanin, respectively. In contrast to betanin, the reaction mechanism for 2-decarboxybetanin includes more oxidation pathways. Parallel transformation of 2-decarboxybetanin quinone methide produces neoderivatives according to an alternative reaction that omits the presumably more stabile intermediate 2-decarboxy-2,3-dehydrobetanin. The main oxidation product after the first reaction step for both 17-decarboxybetanin and 2,17-bidecarboxybetanin is 2,17-decarboxy-2,3-dehydrobetanin. This product is formed through irreversible decarboxylation of the 17-decarboxybetanin quinone methide or by oxidation of 2,17-bidecarboxybetanin. Oxidation of neobetanin results primarily in a formation of 2-decarboxy-2,3-dehydroneobetanin by a decarboxylative transformation of the formed neobetanin quinone methide. The elucidated reaction scheme will be useful in interpretation of redox activities of betalains in biological tissues and food preparations.

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Targeted knockout in Physcomitrella reveals direct actions of phytochrome in the cytoplasm

Targeted knockout in Physcomitrella reveals direct actions of phytochrome in the cytoplasm | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it

The plant photoreceptor phytochrome plays an important role in the nucleus as a regulator of transcription. Numerous studies imply, however, that phytochromes in both higher and lower plants mediate physiological reactions within the cytoplasm. In particular, the tip cells of moss protonemal filaments use phytochrome to sense light direction, requiring a signaling system that transmits the directional information directly to the microfilaments that direct tip growth. In this work we describe four canonical phytochrome genes in the model moss species Physcomitrella patens, each of which was successfully targeted via homologous recombination and the distinct physiological functions of each gene product thereby identified. One homolog in particular mediates positive phototropism, polarotropism, and chloroplast movement in polarized light. This photoreceptor thus interacts with a cytoplasmic signal/response system. This is our first step in elucidating the cytoplasmic signaling function of phytochrome at the molecular level.

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Increase in β-ionone, a carotenoid-derived volatile in zeaxanthin-biofortified sweet-corn - Gallon &al (2013) - Ag Food Chem

Increase in β-ionone, a carotenoid-derived volatile in zeaxanthin-biofortified sweet-corn - Gallon &al (2013) - Ag Food Chem | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it

Carotenoids are responsible for the yellow color of sweet-corn... but are also potentially the source of flavor compounds from the cleavage of carotenoid molecules. The carotenoid-derived volatile, β-ionone was identified in both standard yellow sweet-corn ('Hybrix5') and a zeaxanthin-enhanced experimental variety ('HZ') designed for sufferers of macular degeneration.

 

As β-ionone is highly-perceivable at extremely low concentration by humans, it was important to confirm if alterations in carotenoid profile may also affect flavor volatiles...

 

Delaying harvest of cobs resulted in a significant increase of both carotenoid and β-ionone concentrations, producing a six-fold increase of β-ionone in 'HZ', and a two-fold increase in 'Hybrix5', reaching a maximum of 62 µg/kg FW and 24 µg/kg FW, respectively.


Via Alexander J. Stein
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Alexander J. Stein's curator insight, June 29, 2013 5:44 PM

Interesting that cultivation practices (delayed harvesting) can have such an impact. This means the impact of biofortification may be improved further through more extension work.

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Europe should rethink its stance on GM crops

Europe should rethink its stance on GM crops | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it

Countries in the European Union (EU) are losing ground in the international race to grow more food on increasingly scarce land. This has serious and urgent implications for the EU science base and the environment, as well as for domestic food security, employment and economic growth. It is down to the slow and expensive way that the continent regulates genetically modified (GM) organisms.

Historical attitudes and actions of the EU have constrained the use of GM crops — both at home and in developing countries. The region must now base its regulations in this area on sound science, as it has promised to do. An early test of this commitment will be the EU’s approach to the next generation of crop genetic-improvement technologies. These techniques allow scientists to generate plant varieties with desired traits more precisely, rapidly and efficiently than with conventional breeding.

 

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Crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis) Allelochemicals That Interfere with Crop Growth and the Soil Microbial Community - Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (ACS Publications)

Crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis) Allelochemicals That Interfere with Crop Growth and the Soil Microbial Community - Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (ACS Publications) | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it

Three chemicals, veratric acid, maltol, and (−)-loliolide, were isolated from crabgrass and their structures were identified by spectroscopic analysis. The chemicals were detected in crabgrass root exudates and rhizosphere soils, and their concentrations ranged from 0.16 to 8.10 μg/g. At an approximate concentration determined in crabgrass root exudates, all chemicals significantly inhibited the growth of wheat, maize, and soybean and reduced soil microbial biomass carbon. Phospholipid fatty acid profiling showed that veratric acid, maltol, and (−)-loliolide affected the signature lipid biomarkers of soil bacteria, actinobacteria, and fungi, resulting in changes in soil microbial community structures. There were significant relationships between crop growth and soil microbes under the chemicals’ application. Chemical-specific changes in the soil microbial community generated negative feedback on crop growth. The results suggest that veratric acid, maltol, and (−)-loliolide released from crabgrass may act as allelochemicals interfering with crop growth and the soil microbial community.

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Temporal transcriptional response to ethylene gas drives growth hormone cross-regulation in Arabidopsis

Temporal transcriptional response to ethylene gas drives growth hormone cross-regulation in Arabidopsis | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it

The gaseous plant hormone ethylene regulates a multitude of growth and developmental processes. How the numerous growth control pathways are coordinated by the ethylene transcriptional response remains elusive. We characterized the dynamic ethylene transcriptional response by identifying targets of the master regulator of the ethylene signaling pathway, ETHYLENE INSENSITIVE3 (EIN3), using chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing and transcript sequencing during a timecourse of ethylene treatment. Ethylene-induced transcription occurs in temporal waves regulated by EIN3, suggesting distinct layers of transcriptional control. EIN3 binding was found to modulate a multitude of downstream transcriptional cascades, including a major feedback regulatory circuitry of the ethylene signaling pathway, as well as integrating numerous connections between most of the hormone mediated growth response pathways. These findings provide direct evidence linking each of the major plant growth and development networks in novel ways.

 

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Cold War Dynamics between Plant and Herbivore

Cold War Dynamics between Plant and Herbivore | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it

Herbivores eat the leaves that a plant needs for photosynthesis. However, the degree of antagonism between plant and herbivore may depend critically on the timing of their interactions and the intrinsic value of a leaf. We present a model that investigates whether and when the timing of plant defense and herbivore feeding activity can be optimized by evolution so that their interactions can move from antagonistic to neutral. We assume that temporal changes in environmental conditions will affect intrinsic leaf value, measured as potential carbon gain. Using optimal-control theory, we model herbivore evolution, first in response to fixed plant strategies and then under coevolutionary dynamics in which the plant also evolves in response to the herbivore. In the latter case, we solve for the evolutionarily stable strategies of plant defense induction and herbivore hatching rate under different ecological conditions. Our results suggest that the optimal strategies for both plant and herbivore are to avoid direct conflict. As long as the plant has the capability for moderately lethal defense, the herbivore will modify its hatching rate to avoid plant defenses, and the plant will never have to use them. Insights from this model offer a possible solution to the paradox of sublethal defenses and provide a mechanism for stable plant-herbivore interactions without the need for natural enemy control.

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Combien de changements de paradigmes en biologie ?

Combien de changements de paradigmes en biologie ? | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it
Le philosophe et historien des sciences Thomas Kuhn est l’un des deux philosophes des sciences dont les idées ont modifié l’idée que les scientifiques ont de leur métier je pense, l’autre étant Popper.

Via Goulu
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Insect resistance to Bt crops: lessons from the first billion acres

Insect resistance to Bt crops: lessons from the first billion acres | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it

Evolution of resistance in pests can reduce the effectiveness of insecticidal proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) produced by transgenic crops. We analyzed results of 77 studies from five continents reporting field monitoring data for resistance to Bt crops, empirical evaluation of factors affecting resistance or both. Although most pest populations remained susceptible, reduced efficacy of Bt crops caused by field-evolved resistance has been reported now for some populations of 5 of 13 major pest species examined, compared with resistant populations of only one pest species in 2005. Field outcomes support theoretical predictions that factors delaying resistance include recessive inheritance of resistance, low initial frequency of resistance alleles, abundant refuges of non-Bt host plants and two-toxin Bt crops deployed separately from one-toxin Bt crops. The results imply that proactive evaluation of the inheritance and initial frequency of resistance are useful for predicting the risk of resistance and improving strategies to sustain the effectiveness of Bt crops.

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Transgenic banana plants overexpressing a native plasma membrane aquaporin MusaPIP1;2 display high tolerance levels to different abiotic stresses

Transgenic banana plants overexpressing a native plasma membrane aquaporin MusaPIP1;2 display high tolerance levels to different abiotic stresses | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it

Water transport across cellular membranes is regulated by a family of water channel proteins known as aquaporins (AQPs). As most abiotic stresses like suboptimal temperatures, drought or salinity result in cellular dehydration, it is imperative to study the cause–effect relationship between AQPs and the cellular consequences of abiotic stress stimuli. Although plant cells have a high isoform diversity of AQPs, the individual and integrated roles of individual AQPs in optimal and suboptimal physiological conditions remain unclear. Herein, we have identified a plasma membrane intrinsic protein gene (MusaPIP1;2) from banana and characterized it by overexpression in transgenic banana plants. Cellular localization assay performed using MusaPIP1;2::GFP fusion protein indicated that MusaPIP1;2 translocated to plasma membrane in transformed banana cells. Transgenic banana plants overexpressing MusaPIP1;2 constitutively displayed better abiotic stress survival characteristics. The transgenic lines had lower malondialdehyde levels, elevated proline and relative water content and higher photosynthetic efficiency as compared to equivalent controls under different abiotic stress conditions. Greenhouse-maintained hardened transgenic plants showed faster recovery towards normal growth and development after cessation of abiotic stress stimuli, thereby underlining the importance of these plants in actual environmental conditions wherein the stress stimuli is often transient but severe. Further, transgenic plants where the overexpression of MusaPIP1;2 was made conditional by tagging it with a stress-inducible native dehydrin promoter also showed similar stress tolerance characteristics in in vitro and in vivo assays. Plants developed in this study could potentially enable banana cultivation in areas where adverse environmental conditions hitherto preclude commercial banana cultivation

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PLOS ONE: Yield Trends Are Insufficient to Double Global Crop Production by 2050

PLOS ONE: Yield Trends Are Insufficient to Double Global Crop Production by 2050 | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it

Several studies have shown that global crop production needs to double by 2050 to meet the projected demands from rising population, diet shifts, and increasing biofuels consumption. Boosting crop yields to meet these rising demands, rather than clearing more land for agriculture has been highlighted as a preferred solution to meet this goal. However, we first need to understand how crop yields are changing globally, and whether we are on track to double production by 2050. Using ~2.5 million agricultural statistics, collected for ~13,500 political units across the world, we track four key global crops—maize, rice, wheat, and soybean—that currently produce nearly two-thirds of global agricultural calories. We find that yields in these top four crops are increasing at 1.6%, 1.0%, 0.9%, and 1.3% per year, non-compounding rates, respectively, which is less than the 2.4% per year rate required to double global production by 2050. At these rates global production in these crops would increase by ~67%, ~42%, ~38%, and ~55%, respectively, which is far below what is needed to meet projected demands in 2050. We present detailed maps to identify where rates must be increased to boost crop production and meet rising demands.

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News: Concern grows over fire blight treatment options among organic producers after oxytetracyclin antibiotic ban (2013)

News: Concern grows over fire blight treatment options among organic producers after oxytetracyclin antibiotic ban (2013) | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it

In October 2014, organic regulations in the United States are set to change drastically in the fight against fire blight, a contagious disease that affects apple and pear trees. A regulatory ban established by the National Organic Standards Board will take effect against the antibiotic oxytetracycline to treat the potentially devastating disease. Although the government restriction keeps consumer interests in mind, concern is growing among organic producers about alternative treatment options.

 

Jessica Shade, director of science programs at the Organic Center, explained that organic farmers may not yet have the tools or knowledge necessary to drop oxytetracycline. “It’s one of the only things that has really been proven to prevent fire blight. It’s not the only material out there but it’s the one farmers trust the most,” Shade said. “When farmers are handling trees that they’ve invested thousands of dollars in, they really want to have something they know for sure is going to work when the lives of their trees are at stake. That’s why it has been so widely used up until this point.”

 

Concern about the pending ban does not, however, stem solely from the fact that farmers currently prefer the agent. As Shade explained, the problem is that many do not know what to do without it. “One of the researchers who’s working on this project, David Granatstein, did polls throughout Washington State of organic growers and came up with some really frightening numbers that 70-90% of all organic producers might drop out of organic production if there aren’t alternatives available for them,” Shade said. “It’s not worth it for them to gamble their really expensive trees on organic practices that may put the lives of their trees at risk.”


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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Nutritional and functional potential of Beta vulgaris cicla and rubra

Nutritional and functional potential of Beta vulgaris cicla and rubra | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it

Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris cicla, BVc) and beetroot (Beta vulgaris rubra, BVr) are vegetables of the Chenopodiaceae family, widely consumed in traditional western cooking. These vegetables represent a highly renewable and cheap source of nutrients. They can be cultivated in soils with scarce organic material and little light and water. BVc and BVr have a long history of use in folk medicine. Modern pharmacology shows that BVc extracts possess antihypertensive and hypoglycaemic activity as well as excellent antioxidant activity. BVc contains apigenin flavonoids, namely vitexin, vitexin-2-O-rhamnoside and vitexin-2-O-xyloside, which show antiproliferative activity on cancer cell lines. BVr contains secondary metabolites, called betalains, which are used as natural dyes in food industry and show anticancer activity. In this light, BVc and BVr can be considered functional foods. Moreover, the promising results of their phytochemicals in health protection suggest the opportunity to take advantage of the large availability of this crop for purification of chemopreventive molecules to be used in functional foods and nutraceutical products.

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Genetic engineering of yellow betalain pigments beyo... [Sci Rep. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI

Genetic engineering of yellow betalain pigments beyo... [Sci Rep. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it

Betalains are one of the major plant pigment groups found in some higher plants and higher fungi. They are not produced naturally in any plant species outside of the order Caryophyllales, nor are they produced by anthocyanin-accumulating Caryophyllales. Here, we attempted to reconstruct the betalain biosynthetic pathway as a self-contained system in an anthocyanin-producing plant species. The combined expressions of a tyrosinase gene from shiitake mushroom and a DOPA 4,5-dioxygenase gene from the four-o'clock plant resulted in successful betalain production in cultured cells of tobacco BY2 and Arabidopsis T87. Transgenic tobacco BY2 cells were bright yellow because of the accumulation of betaxanthins. LC-TOF-MS analyses showed that proline-betaxanthin (Pro-Bx) accumulated as the major betaxanthin in these transgenic BY2 cells. Transgenic Arabidopsis T87 cells also produced betaxanthins, but produced lower levels than transgenic BY2 cells. These results illustrate the success of a novel genetic engineering strategy for betalain biosynthesis.

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The organization of Physcomitrella patens RAD51 genes is unique among eukaryotic organisms

The organization of Physcomitrella patens RAD51 genes is unique among eukaryotic organisms | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it

Genetic recombination pathways and genes are well studied, but relatively little is known in plants, especially in lower plants. To study the recombination apparatus of a lower land plant, a recombination gene well characterized particularly in yeast, mouse, and man, the RAD51 gene, was isolated from the moss Physcomitrella patens and characterized. Two highly homologous RAD51 genes were found to be present. Duplicated RAD51 genes have been found thus far exclusively in eukaryotes with duplicated genomes. Therefore the presence of two highly homologous genes suggests a recent genome duplication event in the ancestry of Physcomitrella. Comparison of the protein sequences to Rad51 proteins from other organisms showed that both RAD51 genes originated within the group of plant Rad51 proteins. However, the two proteins form a separate clade in a phylogenetic tree of plant Rad51 proteins. In contrast to RAD51 genes from other multicellular eukaryotes, the Physcomitrella genes are not interrupted by introns. Because introns are a common feature of Physcomitrella genes, the lack of introns in the RAD51 genes is unusual and may indicate the presence of an unusual recombination apparatus in this organism. The presence of duplicated intronless RAD51 genes is unique among eukaryotes. Studies of further members of this lineage are needed to determine whether this feature may be typical of lower plants.

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Molecular Plant Pathology: Top 10 plant-parasitic nematodes in molecular plant pathology

Molecular Plant Pathology: Top 10 plant-parasitic nematodes in molecular plant pathology | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it

Yay! This OA review joins the list of excellent MPP "Top 10s" including viruses, bacteria and fungi. Let's hear it for the multicellular animal parasites! Can you guess which species is number one? (Hint - it's the one affecting the plant in this photo).

Thanks to the USDA's amazing Scott Bauer for this photo http://www.forestryimages.org/browse/detail.cfm?imgnum=1323037.


Via Mary Williams, Jennifer Mach
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Identification of Wheat Gene Sr35 That Confers Resistance to Ug99 Stem Rust Race Group

Wheat stem rust, caused by Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici (Pgt), is a devastating disease that can cause severe yield losses. A new Pgt race designated Ug99 has overcome most of the widely used resistance genes and is threatening major wheat production areas. Here, we demonstrate that the Sr35 gene from Triticum monococcum is a coiled coil-nucleotide binding-leucine rich repeat gene that confers near-immunity to Ug99 and related races. This gene is absent in the A-genome diploid donor and in polyploid wheat, but is effective when transferred from T. monococcum to polyploid wheat. The cloning of Sr35 opens the door to the use of biotechnological approaches to control this devastating disease and to the analyses of the molecular interactions that define the wheat-rust pathosystem.

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Current Biology: Anthocyanins Double the Shelf Life of Tomatoes by Delaying Overripening and Reducing Susceptibility to Gray Mold (2013)

Current Biology: Anthocyanins Double the Shelf Life of Tomatoes by Delaying Overripening and Reducing Susceptibility to Gray Mold (2013) | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it

Shelf life is an important quality trait for many fruit, including tomatoes. We report that enrichment of anthocyanin, a natural pigment, in tomatoes can significantly extend shelf life. Processes late in ripening are suppressed by anthocyanin accumulation, and susceptibility to Botrytis cinerea, one of the most important postharvest pathogens, is reduced in purple tomato fruit. We show that reduced susceptibility to B. cinerea is dependent specifically on the accumulation of anthocyanins, which alter the spreading of the ROS burst during infection. The increased antioxidant capacity of purple fruit likely slows the processes of overripening. Enhancing the levels of natural antioxidants in tomato provides a novel strategy for extending shelf life by genetic engineering or conventional breeding.


Via Freddy Monteiro, Kamoun Lab @ TSL, The Sainsbury Lab
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fundoshi's curator insight, June 20, 2013 4:05 AM

殺生だからインパクトに関係ないなんてことはないだろうな。

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Massive genomic variation and strong selection in Arabidopsis thaliana lines from Swede

Massive genomic variation and strong selection in Arabidopsis thaliana lines from Swede | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it

Despite advances in sequencing, the goal of obtaining a comprehensive view of genetic variation in populations is still far from reached. We sequenced 180 lines of A. thaliana from Sweden to obtain as complete a picture as possible of variation in a single region. Whereas simple polymorphisms in the unique portion of the genome are readily identified, other polymorphisms are not. The massive variation in genome size identified by flow cytometry seems largely to be due to 45S rDNA copy number variation, with lines from northern Sweden having particularly large numbers of copies. Strong selection is evident in the form of long-range linkage disequilibrium (LD), as well as in LD between nearby compensatory mutations. Many footprints of selective sweeps were found in lines from northern Sweden, and a massive global sweep was shown to have involved a 700-kb transposition.

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Effects of genetically modified T2A-1 rice on the GI health of rats after 90-day supplement : Scientific Reports : Nature Publishing Group

Effects of genetically modified T2A-1 rice on the GI health of rats after 90-day supplement : Scientific Reports : Nature Publishing Group | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it

Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal toxin (Bt) rice will be commercialized as a main food source. Traditional safety assessments on genetically modified products pay little attention on gastrointestinal (GI) health. More data about GI health of Bt rice must be provided to dispel public' doubts about the potential effects on human health. We constructed an improved safety assessment animal model using a basic subchronic toxicity experiment, measuring a range of parameters including microflora composition, intestinal permeability, epithelial structure, fecal enzymes, bacterial activity, and intestinal immunity. Significant differences were found between rice-fed groups and AIN93G-fed control groups in several parameters, whereas no differences were observed between genetically modified and non-genetically modified groups. No adverse effects were found on GI health resulting from genetically modified T2A-1 rice. In conclusion, this study may offer a systematic safety assessment model for GM material with respect to the effects on GI health.

 

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The Science is not the problem - Mundo Obrero (2013)

Other management models for transgenic crops than the European one (which allows only the big companies to enter the market) are possible.

 

In general any scientific advance brings a benefit to society that improves the living standards and eliminates social inequalities. Consider for instance the mechanization, which has improved working conditions and lower costs involving access to goods by a greater section of the population, or how the internet and computers have allowed access to all sorts of information or to communicate easily.

 

In Europe we are now in a debate on the use of plant biotechnology, the demonized transgenic plants. The problem is that you cannot set up a debate in conditions when most of the information circulating on the subject is inaccurate or false. For starters, we should remember that transgenic technology – i.e. inserting a piece of DNA from one organism into another – already is part of our lives, since this technology is used  for many drugs, cotton clothing, Euro bills, enzymes that are used in various industries or in detergents. However, when it comes to GM crops and making this technology available to farmers it is when all misgivings arise, sometimes justified and sometimes not.

 

One of the arguments of those who advocate the prohibition of GMOs is that they are in the hands of a few companies and that we lose control of our food. Well, actually most of the seeds used in agriculture are already in the hands of these companies, and they sell GMOs on top of that. The paradox is that by wanting to stop them makes it easier for them to succeed. European anti-GMO policy arbitrarily applies the precautionary principle demanding more controls and tests. This increases both the cost of the product and it eliminates the possibility that a small or public can compete, leaving in the race only large multinationals. However, because the European model does not work does not mean that we cannot see how alternatives have been applied in other parts of the world and recognize that there is debate and it is used each year more because the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

 

Other models of transgenic crop management

 

Argentina is one of the leading producers of genetically modified soybeans. Being outside the international patent system, it was using Monsanto seeds without paying royalties, until they came to an agreement, but still paying much less. Why has it succeeded? Because by lowering production costs, the technology benefitted mainly small and medium producers who have seen increased profitability of their land. What did the government do? Place a rate of 30% on exports to ensure (besides corruption) the distribution of the profit generated. The Indian model is similar for cotton, since the greatest benefit occurs among small and medium producers (the story of suicides because of transgenics is urban legend.)

 

The soy “fever” spread to Brazil in a curious way. Lula da Silva came to power with a manifesto that included a rejection of GMOs. However, during his tenure Brazil became the second largest producer of these crops. What brought the change? Basically farmers in Rio Grande do Sul, who obtained GM seeds from Argentina, planted in Brazil and then smuggled their soybeans into Argentina to sell them. He spoke with them and saw that the best thing for the region was to authorize them. As the strategy was working but was in the hands of foreign companies, he decided to make a strong public commitment for the national agricultural company EMBRAPA to create varieties that solved specific problems and so has been launched a transgenic virus-resistant bean variety. This model has been followed by Cuba, which in 2012 has joined the list of countries planting biotech, along with Sudan, which has developed own GM maize varieties for their farmers, and by Nigeria, which has also developed a pest-resistant bean. The next to follow this path is Indonesia, which has begun field trials with drought-tolerant and herbicide-tolerant sugarcane.

 

So the debate is open and the theme is multifaceted, but total refusal to use this technology only leads to injury to farmers and ultimately society as a whole. We cannot take a stationary position, but have to learn to separate the wheat from the chaff in the debate. Other models of GM crop management than the European (allowing market entry only to big companies) are possible. In these models, the advantages are maximized versus drawbacks. Our country and our citizens have a big stake in this debate.

 

[Slightly edited machine translation from http://www.mundoobrero.es/pl.php?id=2823

 


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AckerbauHalle's curator insight, June 8, 2013 6:40 AM

Es gibt auch andere Modelle zur Nutzung von GVOs - hier das Beispiel Argentinien. 

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