An international collaboration involving the Earlham Institute, Norwich, UK, and the Iwate Biotechnology Research Centre, Japan, has for the first time provided a genome sequence for the white Guinea yam, a staple crop with huge economic and cultural significance on the African continent and a lifeline for millions of people.
Though it may look haphazard, the network of intertwining plant roots snaking through the soil actually represents a deliberate process. Root growth is guided by chemical snapshots taken by the young roots, allowing them to detect obstructions and coordinate the paths they take, new research led by Florida Institute of Technology finds.
Unifying the approaches to plant and animal breeding through the use of genomic selection is crucial to achieving global food security, according to a team of world leading scientists.
In a paper published this week in the international journal Nature Genetics, scientists from NIAB, the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) assert that global collaboration and investment across the two disciplines is central to increasing agricultural productivity and resilience.
Researchers have increased plant productivity by boosting levels of three proteins involved in photosynthesis, offering hope for improving food crops
In field trials, the scientists saw 14–20% increases in the productivity of their modified tobacco plants, according to the new study published in the journal Science.
Scientists at the John Innes Centre have discovered how plants send internal warning signals in response to attack by aphids.
They found that when the insect feeds on a leaf it triggers the plant to admit calcium into the damaged cells. This small flux of calcium prompts the plant to signal that an attack is underway, and a larger amount of calcium is then mobilised from within the cell.
The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has announced funding for the creation of a new Cambridge Centre for Crop Science (3CS), developed by the University of Cambridge in collaboration with NIAB.
The new centre will provide a major boost to the University and NIAB’s existing research initiatives around global food security.