For a new generation of grains for a warmer world
As the Earth’s human population marches toward 9 billion, the need for hardy new varieties of grain crops has never been greater.
It won’t be enough to yield record harvests under perfect conditions. In an era of climate change, pollution and the global spread of pathogens, these new grains must also be able to handle stress. Now, researchers at Michigan Technological University have identified a set of genes that could be key to the development of the next generation of super rice.
A meta-data analysis by biologist Ramakrishna Wusirika and PhD student Rafi Shaik has uncovered more than 1,000 genes in rice that appear to play key roles in managing its response to two different kinds of stress: biotic, generally caused by infectious organisms like bacteria; and abiotic, caused by environmental agents, like nutrient deficiency, flood and salinity.
Traditionally, scientists have believed that different sets of genes regulated plants’ responses to biotic and abiotic stress. However, Wusirika and Shaik discovered that 1,377 of the approximately 3,800 genes involved in rice’s stress response played a role in both types stress. “These are the genes we think are involved in the cross talk between biotic and abiotic stesses,” said Wusirika.
About 70 percent of those “master” genes are co-expressive—they turn on under both kinds of stress. Typically, the others turn on for biotic stress and turn off for abiotic stress.
The scientists looked at the genes’ response to five abiotic stresses—drought, heavy metal contamination, salt, cold and nutrient deprivation—and five biotic stresses—bacteria, fungus, insect predation, weed competition and nematodes. A total of 196 genes showed a wide range of expressions to these stresses.
“The top genes are likely candidates for developing a rice variety with broad stress-range tolerance,” Wusirika said.
Next, they would like to test their findings. “We want to do experimental analysis to see if five or 10 of the genes work as predicted,” he said.
Their study is described in the paper, “Machine Learning Approaches Distinguish Multiple Stress Conditions using Stress-Resposive Genes and Identify Candidate Genes for Broad Resistance in Rice,” published in the January edition of Plant Physiology.
Marcia Goodrich | newswise
Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University
New findings about the deformed wing virus, a major factor in honey bee colony mortality
11.11.2016 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine
07.12.2016 | Life Sciences
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine