Recent Posts

Review: Engineered male sterility by early anther ablation (Frontiers Plant Sci)

Male sterility in seed production could be used to increase crop yields, eliminate pollen allergies or avoid gene flow between genetically modified plants and other species. Here, Roque et al. developed a system to produce engineered nuclear male sterile plants using the pea Pisum sativum ENDOTHECIUM…

A bacterium that demethylates opiate thebaine for a green chemistry solution ($) (Nature Sustainability)

Opium poppies produce opiates including morphine and thebaine. Derivatives of these compounds can also have diverse beneficial properties. One of these, naloxone, is a competitive opioid receptor antagonist that can be administered to counteract the effects of opioid overdose. Because of the rise in…

Methyl jasmonate-induced changes of flavor profiles during the processing of green, oolong, and black tea (Frontiers Plant Sci)

Tea quality depends on the product's taste and aroma, which are provided by phenolic and volatile compounds respectively.  Here, Shi et al. analyzed changes of volatile and amino acid (AA) profiles in fresh tea leaves (Camellia sinensis L.) and during the processing of three tea products (green, oolong…

Review: The challenges of delivering genetically modified crops with nutritional enhancement traits (Nature Plants) ($)

Despite the widespread success of genetically modified (GM) crops resistant to herbicides and insect herbivory, GM food crops with nutritional enhancement traits remain on the fringes of commercial agriculture. In this review, Napier et al. examine the current state of GM food crops and the obstacles…

A bifunctional dipeptide functionalizes crop surfaces for sustainable pest management (Green Chemistry)

Most synthetic pesticides do not stick well on plants especially during raining season and can be washed off during irrigation shorty after application. Therefore, the farmer may need to apply several times or hope for dry days to spray. Swinges et al. developed a synthetic peptide with two separate…

Wheat exome sequencing and wheat ancestry (Nature Genetics)

Wheat is of course a hugely important food for humans, and has been selectively bred across the globe for millennia. Modern bread wheats are hexaploid and contain three distinct subgenomes (AABBDD). As with other crops, there is a need to understand wheat’s ancestry and explore the greater genetic…

Linking CRISPR-Cas9 interference in cassava to the evolution of editing-resistant geminiviruses (Genome Biol)

CRISPR/Cas9 is a promising gene editing tool that has already been successfully used to modify many plant genes. In these applications, the gene editing machinery is transiently employed to make a stable genomic change which is then passed on to the progeny. A different application is to use CRISPR/Cas9…

Generation of herbicide tolerance traits and a new selectable marker in wheat using base editing (Nature Plants)

Nowadays, weeds represents a major problem to agriculture due to the limited availability and expense of tools to manage them. Using new technologies to create herbicide-tolerant, non-transgenic varieties could improve weed control. Here, Li et al. analyzed multiallelic editing of the wheat TaALS (encoding…

Review: Towards a sustainable bio-based economy through plant synthetic biology ($) (Plant Sci)

Plant synthetic biology is heating up, as ideas and methods initially developed for single-celled organisms are moving into the more interesting and complicated space of multicellular organisms; this leads to greater potentials as well as greater challenges. Why plants? One important reason is that they…