Recent Posts

Genomic regions associated with economic traits in walnut (Plant Breeding)

The bearing habit refers to the location of flower buds in woody plants. For walnut cultivars, lateral bearing is preferred for its yield superiority. Deciphering its genetic architecture would improve seedling and sapling selection. Here, Aradhya et al. performed a SNP-based linkage map to estimate…

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…

Durum wheat genome highlights past domestication signatures and future improvement targets (Nature Genetics)

Durum wheat cultivar Svevo (Triticum turgidum L. ssp. durum) is a cereal crop predominantly grown for pasta production. It is the result of multiple rounds of domestication, originally deriving from wild emmer wheat from the Fertile Crescent approximately 10,000 years ago. Here, Maccaferri et al. report…

Review: Molecular networks of seed size control in plants ($) (Annu Rev Plant Biol)

Crop yield is largely determined by the size of seeds, and studies are being conducted to understand the complex molecular network controlling the seed size. Li et al. review the possible molecular mechanisms and regulatory networks underlying seed size control and growth, including the factors originating…

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…

Crop variety management for climate adaptation supported by citizen science (PNAS)

Current research is focused on developing better crop varieties that could withstand the adversities posed by climate change; however, these varieties might perform worse than the locally-grown varieties in field conditions. This could be due to the release of varieties to farmers without performing…

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…

News and Views: Harnessing the potential of germplasm collections (Nature Genetics) ($)

There are more than 7 million crop accessions in gene banks around the world, however the information records for them are in multiple formats, making a comparison between and within collections difficult. Extrapolating from a new paper by Milner et al. (Nature Genetics 51: pages319–326) Langridge…

Nitrate transporter gene OsNRT1.1A/ OsNPF6.3 confers high yield in rice (Plant Cell)

In many ecosystems, nitrogen (N) is a limiting factor for plant growth. In agro-ecosystems, the application of synthetic N fertiliser has solved that issue. However, N fertiliser application is costly both to the farmers and the environment (in terms of N leaching and atmospheric release of greenhouse…