Recent Posts

Review: CRISPR/Cas genome editing and precision plant breeding in agriculture (Annu Rev Plant Biol) ($)

To fulfill global food demand in the near future, plant researchers keep pursuing simpler and faster crop breeding strategies. CRISPR/Cas systems have been developed as a powerful tool for plant genome editing. In this review, Chen et al. highlight in detail advances in CRISPR/Cas9 and its variants and…

Nanomaterials enable delivery of functional genetic material without DNA integration (Nature Nanotech)

Key to success of crop improvement is the development of easier, faster and safer biomolecules-delivery systems. Here, the main limitation is the cell wall, which compromises the yield of exogenic material transfer to plant cells. In this study, Demirer et al demonstrate the advantages of infiltrated…

Q&A: Modern crop breeding for future food security (BMC Biology)

The demand for plant-based products will increase and must be doubled in the near future. Therefore, there is need for technological advancements and skillsets in all fields related to agriculture to successfully produce more efficiently than now. What could be done to speed up production to meet the…

Impact of Biolistic Transformation on the Genome

Liu et al. show that biolistic transformation can cause extensive damage and rearrangements, including deletions, duplications, chromosome fusions, and copy number variations. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00613   By Jianing Liu and R. Kelly Dawe, Department of Genetics, University…

ABC transporter-mediated transport of glutathione conjugates enhances seed yield and quality in chickpea (Plant Physiol)

Identifying the genetic determinants of yield and quality traits is essential for crop improvement. Chickpea is the third-most cultivated legume species and is a prominent source of protein to global consumers. Genetic improvement of chickpea, in terms of enhancing its seed size and weight, has been…

Tapping into the genetic diversity of wild crops for engineering disease resistance (Nature Biotech)

Lack of sequence information makes harnessing the diversity of disease resistance (R) genes in wild crops highly challenging. Arora and Steuernagel et al. report AgRenSeq, a reference genome-free technique, for rapid cloning of nucleotide binding/Leucine-rich repeat (NLR) resistance genes from wild…

Distinct characteristics of genes associated with phenome-wide variation in maize (Zea mays) (bioRxiv)

High-throughput plant phenotyping is growing rapidly and enables the collection of dozens or hundreds of traits of the same plant genotype efficiently. The development of this technology expands the diversity of plant phenotypes and brings an opportunity for reexamining the connections between genotype…

AP2-like transcription factor SUPERNUMERARY BRACT controls rice seed shattering and seed size (Plant Cell)

Non-shattering seed, or seed that stays attached to the stem when mature, is a key domestication trait that makes harvesting easier. Previous studies have identified several domestication genes that suppress the formation of the seed's abscission zone, thus preventing shattering. Jiang et al. used a…

CRISPR Mutants Shed Light on Pectin’s Role in Tomato Fruit Softening

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fruits undergo pronounced softening during ripening. Softening is important for flavor development and overall palatability, but also impacts fruit storage, transportability, and shelf life. Shelf life is a particularly important quality trait of tomato fruits affected by…