Recent Posts

Carbon nanotube-mediated DNA delivery in intact plants (Nature Protocols)

One promising use of nanomaterials is the delivery of biomolecules into cells. Demirer et al. report a detailed protocol for Carbon Nano Tube-mediated DNA delivery into intact plants, allowing transformation without transgene integration, that can be used in both model and crop species. In brief, carboxylated…

Editorial and Special Issue. Biotechnology of the sweetpotato: Ensuring global food and nutrition security in the face of climate change (Plant Cell Reports)

Global food security is increasingly threatened by expanding industrialization and skyrocketing human populations set in the backdrop of dramatically shifting environmental conditions due to climate change. Innovations in agricultural practices and technology are required to overcome the unprecedented…

Cannabis glandular trichomes alter morphology and metabolite content during flower maturation ($) (Plant J)

The therapeutic and recreational applications of Cannabis sativa (Cs) attract public and clinical interest thanks to its secondary metabolites (cannabinoids and terpenes) synthesized and stored in glandular trichomes, hair-like epidermal protrusion densely concentrated in the flowers. Little is known…

Glyphosate-based herbicide effectiveness can be maximized by considering plant circadian rhythms (Nature Comms)

Plants’ internal circadian clocks regulate the timing of many physiological and developmental processes. This circadian clock also controls plant sensitivity to the herbicide glyphosate, which is maximally effective at dawn. Here, Belbin et al. showed that the minimum effective dose varies with time…

Transcriptomic and cell wall analysis of stinging nettle, an underutilized fibre crop (Plant Direct)

Plant fibres from crops such as flax and hemp have diverse uses from rope to clothing, and are increasingly being incorporated into eco-friendly biocomposite materials.  These long, flexible, useful fibres, called “bast” fibres, are not derived from the xylem, but instead are derived from specialized…

Compositional analysis of genetically engineered GR2E “Golden Rice” (J. Agric. Food Chem.)

In Southeast Asian countries, rice accounts for two-thirds of the caloric intake for many people. This narrow dietary base is often correlated with vitamin A deficiency, which can cause blindness, anemia and weakened immunity. In an effort to enhance vitamin A consumption, rice has been engineered to…

Update. GMO-free RNAi: exogenous application of RNA molecules in plants (Plant Physiol)

Criticism of transgenic plants and GMOs motivates research into effective GMO-free RNA delivery methods. In this review, Dalakouras et al. discuss different strategies for exogenous application of RNA molecules (dsRNAs, siRNAs) into plants to trigger RNA interference (RNAi) against various targets, such…

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…