Plant scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS), in their search for solutions to global food production challenges, have doubled the amount of grains that a sorghum plant can yield.
Sorghum, one of the world's most important sources of food, animal feed, and biofuel, is considered a model crop for research because it has a high tolerance to drought, heat, and high-salt conditions.
Increasing the grain yield has become even more important to plant breeders, farmers, and researchers as they try to address and overcome food security issues related to climate change, growing populations, and land and water shortages.
Led by Doreen Ware, CSHL Adjunct Professor and research scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and USDA colleague Zhanguo Xin, Ph.D, the research team identified novel genetic variations that occurred in sorghum's MSD2 gene, increasing the grain yield 200 percent.
MSD2 is part of a gene line that boosts flower fertility by lowering the amount of jasmonic acid, a hormone that controls the development of seeds and flowers.
"When this hormone is decreased, you have a release of development that does not normally occur," said Nicholas Gladman, a postdoctoral fellow in Ware's lab and first author on the study, recently published in The International Journal of Molecular Sciences. "That allows for the full formation of the female sex organs in these flowers, which then allows for increased fertility"
MSD2 is regulated by MSD1, a gene discovered by Ware's team last year. Manipulating either gene increases seed and flower production.
"Major cereal crops are very close to each other evolutionarily. A lot of the genes that they share have similar functions," said Yinping Jiao, a postdoctoral associate in the Ware Lab and an author on the study. "This gene that plays an important role controlling the sorghum yield may also help us improve the yield of other crops like maize or rice."
Ware's lab uses this type of genetic research to understand how plants have changed over time.
"These genetic analyses actually give us the molecular mechanisms that provide more opportunities to engineer crops in the future," she said.
The team is now looking to work with collaborators, such as the United States Department of Agriculture, to see if one of the genes--MSD2 or MSD1--can be used to improve sorghum yield in large field trials.
Sara Roncero-Menendez | EurekAlert!
Studies show integrated strategies work best for buffelgrass control
11.12.2019 | Cambridge University Press
The tips of a plant design its whole shape
09.12.2019 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
In a joint experimental and theoretical work performed at the Heidelberg Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, an international team of physicists detected for the first time an orbital crossing in the highly charged ion Pr⁹⁺. Optical spectra were recorded employing an electron beam ion trap and analysed with the aid of atomic structure calculations. A proposed nHz-wide transition has been identified and its energy was determined with high precision. Theory predicts a very high sensitivity to new physics and extremely low susceptibility to external perturbations for this “clock line” making it a unique candidate for proposed precision studies.
Laser spectroscopy of neutral atoms and singly charged ions has reached astonishing precision by merit of a chain of technological advances during the past...
The ability to investigate the dynamics of single particle at the nano-scale and femtosecond level remained an unfathomed dream for years. It was not until the dawn of the 21st century that nanotechnology and femtoscience gradually merged together and the first ultrafast microscopy of individual quantum dots (QDs) and molecules was accomplished.
Ultrafast microscopy studies entirely rely on detecting nanoparticles or single molecules with luminescence techniques, which require efficient emitters to...
Graphene, a two-dimensional structure made of carbon, is a material with excellent mechanical, electronic and optical properties. However, it did not seem suitable for magnetic applications. Together with international partners, Empa researchers have now succeeded in synthesizing a unique nanographene predicted in the 1970s, which conclusively demonstrates that carbon in very specific forms has magnetic properties that could permit future spintronic applications. The results have just been published in the renowned journal Nature Nanotechnology.
Depending on the shape and orientation of their edges, graphene nanostructures (also known as nanographenes) can have very different properties – for example,...
Using a clever technique that causes unruly crystals of iron selenide to snap into alignment, Rice University physicists have drawn a detailed map that reveals...
University of Texas and MIT researchers create virtual UAVs that can predict vehicle health, enable autonomous decision-making
In the not too distant future, we can expect to see our skies filled with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) delivering packages, maybe even people, from location...
03.12.2019 | Event News
15.11.2019 | Event News
15.11.2019 | Event News
11.12.2019 | Materials Sciences
11.12.2019 | Information Technology
11.12.2019 | Life Sciences