Navigation Links
New genetic map will speed up plant breeding of the world's most important medicinal crop
Date:1/14/2010

AUDIO: Professor Ian Graham, the Director of the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products at the University of York, UK, talks about the importance of genetic map of the medicinal plant Artemisia...

Click here for more information.

Plant scientists at the University of York have published the first genetic map of the medicinal herb Artemisia annua. The map is being used to accelerate plant breeding of Artemisia and rapidly develop the species into a high-yielding crop. This development is urgently needed to help meet escalating demand for effective malaria treatments.

Though preventable and treatable, malaria is a serious global health problem, estimated to kill almost a million people every year. The most effective drugs for treating malaria are Artemisinin Combination Therapies (ACTs). Increased funding for malaria treatments means demand for ACTs is expected to double from last year's figures, to around 200 million treatments, by 2012. However, meeting this increased demand will be a challenge: artemisinin is extracted from the plant Artemisia annua, but yields are low, making production expensive. In recent years, Artemisia production has been uneconomic and planting areas have declined, raising fears of shortages.

Plant scientists at the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (CNAP) in the Department of Biology at the University of York are addressing this problem by using molecular technologies to rapidly improve the Artemisia crop. In the latest issue of Science, they publish the first genetic map of this species, plotting the location on the plant's genome of genes, traits and markers associated with high performance. This will enable scientists to recognise young plants as high performers from their genetics. It will also inform the selection of suitable parent plants for breeding experiments.

The map has been validated in glasshouse experiments that found the top-performing plants had elevated frequencies of genetic indicators for high yield. The project is led by Professor Dianna Bowles and Professor Ian Graham. Professor Graham says "The map is already proving to be an essential tool for us. With our new understanding of Artemisia genetics, we can produce improved, non-GM varieties of Artemisia much faster than would otherwise be possible." This speed is essential. "We intend to get high-yielding seed to farmers in the next 2-3 years in order to supply soaring demand for malaria treatments" explains Professor Dianna Bowles. "This is a really tight deadline and we can only do it with the benefit of the new knowledge provided by the map." The work demonstrates how modern genetics is shortening the timescales needed to turn a wild plant species into a domesticated crop.

The scientists at York are creating the new varieties for use by many thousands of small scale growers in the developing world, for whom the Artemisia crop is an important source of income. The project has just received its second grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This grant will support final development of the new varieties and their delivery to Artemisia producers in Africa and Asia.


'/>"/>

Contact: Elspeth Bartlet
eb526@york.ac.uk
44-019-043-28834
University of York
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Does the desire to consume alcohol and tobacco come from our genetic makeup?
2. Diverse genetic abnormalities lead to NF-κB activation in multiple myeloma
3. Many parents at-risk for cancer disclose genetic test results to children
4. Genetics determine optimal drug dose of common anticoagulant
5. Claims of sex-related differences in genetic association studies often not properly validated
6. American College of Medical Genetics responds to new FDA labeling decision for warfarin
7. UNC study questions FDA genetic-screening guidelines for cancer drug
8. Genome study shines light on genetic link to height
9. Selexis Announces Advanced Approach to Maximize Power of Genetic Elements for Rapid Development of High Performance Cell Lines
10. Genes, Environment and Health Initiative invests in genetic studies, environmental monitoring
11. Rutgers Genetics receives $7.8 million for autism research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New genetic map will speed up plant breeding of the world's most important medicinal crop
(Date:3/31/2016)... -- Genomics firm Nabsys has completed a financial  restructuring under ... M.D., who returned to the company in October 2015. ... including Chief Technology Officer, John Oliver , Ph.D., ... Vice President of Software and Informatics, Michael Kaiser ... Bready served as CEO of Nabsys from 2005-2014 and ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... PROVO and SANDY, ... Screening Ontario (NSO), which operates the highest sample volume ... testing, and Tute Genomics and UNIConnect, leaders in clinical ... today announced the launch of a project to establish ... testing panel. NSO has been contracted ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... 15, 2016 --> ... Transparency Market Research "Digital Door Lock Systems Market - Global ... 2023," the global digital door lock systems market in terms ... and is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 31.8% ... and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across the world and high industrial ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... May 20, 2016 , ... Kablooe Design, a leading provider ... announced its official 25th anniversary of the business. “We have worked hard to build ... our customers for the privilege and honor of serving their product design and development ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... RIDGE, British Columbia , May 19, 2016 ... AdvanTec Global Innovations Inc. (AGI), based out of ... recently added Greenlane Biogas Ltd. to its existing ... 2-year contract manufacturing agreement. AFS along with its ... Technologies (ABT) is a vertically integrated industrial group ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... May 19, 2016 - I ... orale durante il 52 ° ...    - Le conclusioni dello studio indicano ... pazienti trattati, di cui il 90% presenta una d ... o più. Il settantadue per cento dei pazienti ha riscontrato ...
(Date:5/18/2016)... ... 18, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software company, today ... assault kit processing to help them save time and reduce errors. , Sexual Assault ... be processed and victims informed of results. Due to a previous lack of tools, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: