Tag Archives: rice

Scientists sequence genome of ‘sacred lotus,’ which likely holds anti-aging secrets

A team of 70 scientists from the U.S., China, Australia and Japan today reports having sequenced and annotated the genome of the “sacred lotus,” which is believed to have a powerful genetic system that repairs genetic defects, and may hold secrets about aging successfully. The scientists sequenced more than 86 percent of the nearly 27,000 genes of the plant, Nelumbo nucifera, which is revered in China and elsewhere as a symbol of spiritual purity and longevity.

“The lotus genome is an ancient one, and we now know its ABCs,” said Jane Shen-Miller, one of three corresponding authors of the research and a senior scientist with UCLA’s Center for the Study of Evolution and the Origin of Life. “Molecular biologists can now more easily study how its genes are turned on and off during times of stress and why this plant’s seeds can live for 1,300 years. This is a step toward learning what anti-aging secrets the sacred lotus plant may offer.” (more…)

Read More

Reducing arsenic in food chain

Soil may harbor answer to reducing arsenic in rice

Harsh Bais and Janine Sherrier of the University of Delaware’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences are studying whether a naturally occurring soil bacterium, referred to asUD1023 because it was first characterized at the University, can create an iron barrier in rice roots that reduces arsenic uptake.

Rice, grown as a staple food for a large portion of the world’s population, absorbs arsenic from the environment and transfers it to the grain. Arsenic is classified as a poison by the National Institutes of Health and is considered a carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program. (more…)

Read More

Global Education

UD student helps provide children in Nigeria a schoolhouse of their own

In the Nigerian village of Ukya’u, the children have a teacher and sit on benches in a church room, but there are no desks, no separate classes and no school building to call their own.

Chelsea Rozanski, a University of Delaware sophomore who is majoring in anthropology with a minor in African Studies, is working to change that situation. (more…)

Read More

A Better Route to Xylan

Joint BioEnergy Institute Researchers Find New Access to Abundant Biomass for Advanced Biofuels

After cellulose, xylan is the most abundant biomass material on Earth, and therefore represents an enormous potential source of stored solar energy for the production of advance biofuels. A major roadblock, however, has been extracting xylan from plant cell walls. Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have taken a significant step towards removing this roadblock by identifying a gene in rice plants whose suppression improves both the extraction of xylan and the overall release of the sugars needed to make biofuels.

The newly identified gene – dubbed XAX1 – acts to make xylan less extractable from plant cell walls. JBEI researchers, working with a mutant variety of rice plant – dubbed xax1 – in which the XAX1 gene has been “knocked-out” found that not only was xylan more extractable, but saccharification – the breakdown of carbohydrates into releasable sugars – also improved by better than 60-percent. Increased saccharification is key to more efficient production of advanced biofuels. (more…)

Read More

Climate Adaptation of Rice

*Symbiogenics — a New Strategy for Reducing Climate Impacts on Plants*

Seattle – Rice – which provides nearly half the daily calories for the world’s population – could become adapted to climate change and some catastrophic events by colonizing its seeds or plants with the spores of tiny naturally occurring fungi, just-published U.S. Geological Survey-led research shows.

In an effort to explore ways to increase the adaptability of rice to climatic scourges such as tsunamis and tidal surges that have already led to rice shortages, USGS researchers and their colleagues colonized two commercial varieties of rice with the spores of fungi that exist naturally within native coastal (salt-tolerant) and geothermal (heat-tolerant) plants. (more…)

Read More

It Takes a Community of Soil Microbes to Protect Plants From Disease

*Berkeley Lab scientists decipher immune system for plants beneath our feet*

Those vegetables you had for dinner may have once been protected by an immune system akin to the one that helps you fight disease. Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the Netherland’s Wageningen University found that plants rely on a complex community of soil microbes to defend themselves against pathogens, much the way mammals harbor a raft of microbes to avoid infections.

The scientists deciphered, for the first time, the group of microbes that enables a patch of soil to suppress a plant-killing pathogen. Previous research on the phenomenon of disease-suppressive soil had identified one or two pathogen-fighting microbes at work. (more…)

Read More

UF Researchers Help Pinpoint Key Events in Ancient Plant Evolution

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Researchers from the University of Florida and six other institutions have unlocked some of the key foundations for the evolution of seed and flowering plants.

The study, to be published online Sunday in Nature, is the first to identify the occurrence of ancient genome duplication events and show the genomes of seed and flowering plants duplicated before each group of plants diversified. It introduces new factors for further molecular research on the organisms humans depend on for food, clothing and shelter. (more…)

Read More

The Shrinking Aral Sea

The Aral Sea is actually not a sea at all. It is an immense lake, a body of fresh water, although that particular description of its contents might now be more a figure of speech than practical fact.

Once it was world’s ‘fourth’ largest lake. But now the lake has shrunk by 70 percent.

(more…)

Read More