Navigation Links
Protecting the food crops of the future
Date:6/17/2009

Biologists are investigating how to control when plants flower - to help farmers reap a bumper harvest.

The University of Leeds team will also investigate whether the flowering process can be made more robust and able to withstand predicted changes in the climate.

Professor of Plant Development at the University, Brendan Davies, says: "Flowers are vital to the plant reproduction process as pollination leads to the development of the fruit, where the seeds are found. Everything that we eat comes from flowering plants - even the food that is fed to livestock. This means that the long-term future of the world's food supply would be greatly enhanced if we could predict and control flowering. Farmers need to be able to plan when their crops should be harvested and so our study has major significance for agriculture."

As part of a three-year European project called BLOOM-NET, the research team has been awarded 288,000 through the EU to look into how minute changes in the way genes are expressed in plants can have a huge impact on when they flower.

Working with computer modelling experts, the plant scientists will build a digital model that ultimately should be able to predict the impact of changes in genetic structure in the 'shoot apical meristem' a small cluster of just a few cells that eventually produce the entire plant, including its flowers. The model will also calculate the impact of changes in external factors such as climate.

Professor Davies says: "Flowers are a plant's reproductive organs and it is essential for breeding programmes and crop harvests that farmers and breeders are able to predict when flowering will take place. This has been done for centuries by taking note of weather patterns and varying light levels, but we can now improve on these predictions by adding in other factors such as minute changes in genetic make-up.

"We now know a great deal about how the genes that control flowers operate. What we want to find out is how the expression of these genes, that is the order in which they are turned on and off, helps to create a flower at a specific time and in specific environmental conditions. It we could predict, or even control this process, then over time we may be able to help farmers improve the quantity and quality of their harvests."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jo Kelly
jokelly@campuspr.co.uk
44-113-258-9880
University of Leeds
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Compost can turn agricultural soils into a carbon sink, thus protecting against climate change
2. Fueling ethanol production while protecting water quality
3. Protecting those who heal
4. Research identifies type of vaccine that holds promise in protecting against TB
5. Protecting neurons could halt Alzheimers, Parkinsons diseases
6. NC State takes research lead in protecting Puerto Ricos unique freshwater fisheries
7. Protecting fresh-cut produce
8. MIT: Human-generated ozone will damage crops
9. Iowa Staters talk biofuels, healthy oils and pharma crops at AAAS meeting
10. What farmers think about GM crops
11. Gene that controls ozone resistance of plants could lead to drought-resistant crops
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/12/2016)... May 12, 2016 WearablesResearch.com , a ... the overview results from the Q1 wave of its ... wave was consumers, receptivity to a program where they ... a health insurance company. "We were surprised ... says Michael LaColla , CEO of Troubadour Research, ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... 2016  Neurotechnology, a provider of high-precision biometric ... Biometric Identification System (ABIS) , a complete system ... ABIS can process multiple complex biometric transactions with ... fingerprint, face or iris biometrics. It leverages the ... MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have been used ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... Sweden , April 28, 2016 First ... M (139.9), up 966% compared with the first quarter of 2015 ... profit totaled SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin ... 7.12 (loss: 0.32) Cash flow from operations was SEK ... The 2016 revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has ... Association to serve as their official health care ... Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, ... coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. "We ... Association and to bring Houston Methodist quality services ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   EpiBiome , ... secured $1 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley ... up automation and to advance its drug development efforts, ... new facility. "SVB has been an incredible ... the services a traditional bank would provide," said Dr. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced positive ... its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. The trials were ... studies designed to assess the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics ... healthy adult volunteers. Forty subjects were ... dose (ranging from 45 to 1,440mg) or repeated ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, the ... Convention Center and will showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 to ... a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the conference. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: