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Changes in anthocyanin production during domestication of Citrus

Familiar citrus fruits such as sweet orange, lemon, lime and grapefruit are hybrids of three species: Citrus reticulate (mandarin), C. medica (citron), and C. maxima (pummelo). Cultivated varieties are generally vegetatively propagated, with diversity arising from spontaneous or induced somatic mutations.…

Pamela Ronald: The case for engineering our food

2015 TED talk by Pamela Ronald. http://www.ted.com/talks/pamela_ronald_the_case_for_engineering_our_food

Rewiring carotenoid biosynthesis in plants using a viral vector

A healthy human diet should include phytonutrients such as carotenoids. Several approaches including classical breeding and transgenic plant production have been used to increase carotenoid abundance in plant tissues; challenges to these approaches include feedback controls, cell toxicity due to abnormally…

Review: Seed Coating: Science or Marketing Spin? ($)

To meet the Sustainable Development Goal 2, Zero hunger, degraded ecosystems should be brought under cultivation with quality seeds that have good germination and produce healthy seedling for vigorous plant population establishment. Seed technologies like seed coating with inoculants, germination promoters,…

Exploring education resources focused on medicinal plants and ethnobotany

Medicinal plants, which the majority of people use to some degree for their health needs, provide a platform for engaging students in scientific inquiry. Straus & Chudler present an overview of online teaching resources focused on medicinal plants and ethnobotany. The sites highlighted provide a…

A chemical genetic roadmap to improved tomato flavor ($)

They say that “chacun à son gout” (each has his own taste), but when it comes to tomatoes there is near universal agreement that they don’t taste as good as they used to: a fact that is borne out by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and the panel of taste-testers employed by Tieman et al. in…

ARF19 affects seed size in biofuel plant jatropha

Jatropha curcas is a perennial woody plant with high seed oil content that has potential to be used in biofuel production.  However, there is limited knowledge about the biology of seed oil production in Jatropha spp.  Sun. et al., used a genetic approach to identify a J. curcas QTL that controls seed…

MATRILINEAL, a sperm-specific phospholipase, triggers maize haploid induction ($)

Sexual reproduction, with all that recombination and independent assortment, is an excellent way to generate genetic diversity and increase the likelihood that some progeny will survive. However, the seed industry strives to produce genetically uniform seeds. Although there are various ways to circumvent…

Review: Cyanobacterial metabolites as a source of sunscreens and moisturizers

The cosmetic industry uses a lot of different chemicals to produce the seven or so skin care products used by the average American every day. Efforts are underway to develop renewable sources for some of these. Derikvand et al. review the chemistry and potential applications behind compounds used by…