Navigation Links
Adoption of advanced techniques could propel crop improvement
Date:6/28/2012

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Scientists could take greater strides toward crop improvement if there were wider adoption of advanced techniques used to understand the mechanisms that allow plants to adapt to their environments, current and former Purdue University researchers say.

In a perspective for the journal Science, Brian Dilkes, a Purdue assistant professor of genetics, and Ivan Baxter, a research computational biologist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, argue that today's technology could allow scientists to match physiological and genetic characteristics of plants with the soil characteristics that promote or inhibit their growth. Making those connections could reduce the time necessary to improve plants that are coping with changing environmental and climatic conditions.

"Evolution has solved the problems that we face in terms of adapting plants to grow in a multitude of environments," Dilkes said. "If we understand these processes, we'll be able to apply that knowledge to maintaining diversity in natural systems and improving and maintaining crop yield."

The majority of a plant's makeup, besides carbon dioxide, comes from elements and minerals absorbed from the soil as the plant grows. The physiological and genetic mechanisms that allow plants to obtain iron from the soil, for instance, can also cause the plant to accumulate other elements. Understanding how those changes interact is an important piece of improving plants, Baxter said.

"This is just a hint of the complexity that's out there," said Baxter, a former post-doctoral researcher at Purdue who works for the USDA at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis. "If we're going to make the necessary improvements in agricultural productivity, we will have to move forward with these techniques."

Much of the work done to understand how plants have adapted to their environments focuses on one gene and one element it controls at a time. Pinpointing one or more genes responsible for a particular trait can take years, even decades.

Dilkes and Baxter believe a wider adoption of molecular phenotyping techniques, such as ionomics and genome-wide association mapping, could allow scientists to work with multiple elements and genes at once.

"By focusing on one gene or one element at a time, you miss out on the other physiological mechanisms occurring in the plant," Dilkes said. "The potential to broaden our understanding of these complex interactions and have a dramatic effect on agriculture is there."

Genome-wide association mapping allows scientists to find genetic associations among multiple phenotypes, or physical traits. The process quickly shows which genes may be responsible for the physical characteristics.

Ionomics studies the elemental composition of plants and how those compositions change in response to environmental or genetic changes.

"Experiments with thousands of samples are now possible," Baxter said. "We've just started to put these things together."


'/>"/>

Contact: Brian Wallheimer
bwallhei@purdue.edu
765-496-2050
Purdue University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Advanced Photon Source and Canadian Light Source strengthen ties
2. MARC travel awards announced for the AAI 2012 Advanced Course in Immunology
3. New analysis helps guide use of erlotinib in advanced non-small cell lung cancer
4. Tokai Pharmaceuticals galeterone well-tolerated in patients with advanced prostate cancer
5. Evaluation of microscopy techniques may help scientists to better understand ancient plants
6. Early detection techniques offer hope for improved outcomes in lung cancer patients
7. Pollutants could pose health risks for 5 sea turtle species
8. New evidence in fructose debate: Could it be healthy for us?
9. Research could help track stem cells in the body
10. Intestinal bacteria produce neurotransmitter, could play role in inflammation
11. NIST effort could improve high-tech medical scanners
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Adoption of advanced techniques could propel crop improvement
(Date:2/11/2016)... , Feb. 11, 2016  According to new research ... mainstream. More than 200 fingerprint, iris, and eye-vein ... under 70 brand names. This includes market leaders ... ZTE. Acuity projects that 600 million biometric smartphones ... global installed base. Maxine Most , ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Feb. 11, 2016  Vigilant Solutions announces today that its ... being used by Lee,s Summit Police ... location and arrest of a homicide suspect. ... covers around 65 square miles and is home to roughly ... has a single mobile license plate reader system and also ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... February 10, 2016 ... to 2016 iris recognition market report, combined ... is more widely accepted for border control. ... fingerprint and iris recognition technology in a ... avoid purchasing two individual biometrics devices. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... , February 11, 2016 Non-profit ... Promote Genetic Understanding to Support Research and Discovery ... 100K, today announced an ambitious plan to sequence 100,000 individuals. ... Asian countries and at least 7 of North and East ... In the first phase, the project will focus on creating ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: NBIX ) today announced its financial results ... --> --> For the fourth quarter ... or $0.34 loss per share, compared to a net loss of ... in 2014. For the year ended December 31, 2015, the Company ... share, as compared to a net loss of $60.5 million, or ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... 11, 2016  Vermillion, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRML ), ... announced the formation of the Steering Committee for its ... --> Pelvic masses can present physicians and ... Once pregnancy is ruled out, pelvic masses may include ... endometriosis, benign ovarian tumors and gastrointestinal and urinary tract ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Germany and GERMANTOWN, Maryland ... QGEN ; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) today announced the ... Panels for gene expression profiling, expanding QIAGEN,s portfolio of ... panels enable researchers to select from over 20,000 human ... discover interactions between genes, cellular phenotypes and disease processes. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: