Recent Posts

Research Highlight: Knocking out consumer concerns and regulator’s rules with CRISPR/Cas

When is a genome-edited plant a GMO (and subject to GMO-restrictions)? Wolter and Puchta summarize two important papers that show that CRISPR/Cas genome editing can be achieved in wheat and rice without the introduction of foreign DNA (making these plants “not GMO”), by delivering complexes of enzyme…

Review: The genomic basis of adaptation in plants ($)

Evolution starts with molecular variation and phenotypic diversity, upon which selection acts. Flood and Hancock review the approaches used to detect adaptive evolution. The top down approach starts with the phenotype and works to identify its genomic basis; examples are quantitative trait locus (QTL)…

Review: Host-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions for plant breeding ($)

The idea that the microbes on and within an organism (the microbiota) influence an organism in positive, neutral and negative ways has been a hot topic in popular science, especially the role of the gut microbiota in human health and nutrition. Plants are similarly influenced by their microbiota, as…

Review: Signaling in early maize kernel development

The formation of a maize kernel requires growth coordination between embryo, endosperm, and surrounding maternal tissues. Key molecular actors in this coordination are hormones, sugars, peptides and transcription factors. Doll et al. review recent advances in our understanding of maize kernel development,…

Review: Synthetic botany

As photosynthetic autotrophs, plants have the potential to convert sunlight into a vast array of useful products: to act as little green metabolic factories. Of course, they already provide us with everything from carbohydrates and vitamins to stimulants and medicinal compounds, but with a few small…

Review: Modifying bananas: From transgenics to organics?

Did you know that bananas are: one of the top ten world food crops, the world’s most popular fruit, eaten in nearly every country, and an important food security crop in regions where they are grown? Did you also know that most bananas are triploid and usually sterile, making conventional breeding…

Review: The increasing impact of activity-based protein profiling in plant science

Activity-based protein profiling is a proteomics approach that involves covalently labeling reporter tags to subsets of proteins based on their active sites. Morimoto and van der Hoorn define different types of probes and the types of proteins that they bind to. Activity profiling can reveal different…

Trees' ability to store carbon in doubt after groundbreaking Australian study

The ability of trees to offset carbon emissions has been questioned after a Western Sydney University study found common Australian trees are unable to store as much carbon as previously thought. Published in the Nature Climate Change journal, the research found that Australia's iconic Eucalyptus…

How climate change threatens to make our bread less tasty (The Conversation)

Increasing carbon dioxide is impacting some of our favourite foods.Glenn Fitzgerald, University of Melbourne Climate change and extreme weather events are already impacting our food, from meat and vegetables, right through to wine. In our series on the Climate and Food, we’re looking at what this…