This is a major challenge that CIRAD is keen to take up in order to stimulate economic development in tropical zones with low rainfall. Breeding resistant cotton varieties would discourage African farmers from abandoning their land in the event of drought.
For ten years, now, CIRAD had been studying cotton growing in the arid lands of sub-Saharan Africa. Its researchers are working to breed drought-resistant planting material. However, "this is a slow business, involving numerous trials", as Bernard Hau, from CIRAD’s Annual Crops Department’s "Cotton Farming Systems" Research Unit points out.
The Israeli biotechnology firm Evogene has isolated gene/promoter combinations of agronomic interest in tomato that are involved in resistance to drought and to salt water. The idea is to apply the technique to cotton, using bioinformatic analysis tools that could lead to the creation of new varieties.
The Cottonstress project has been granted funding from the Agence nationale de la recherche, which should allow it to employ two researchers. Work is due to begin in May, at INRA’s Versailles laboratories.
Catherine Pannetier | alfa
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Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
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Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
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A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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