Research Into Plant Natural Products Receives Boost- Crop Biotech Update ( 1/7/2011 ) |

Research Into Plant Natural Products Receives Boost

A National Science Foundation (NSF) grant was recently awarded to Noble Foundation principal investigator Lloyd W. Summer and Nevin Young from the University of Minnesota to have a better understanding of important natural plant product triterpene saponins. Triterpene saponins are plant products found in forage crops such as alfalfa that can alter the nutritional quality for ruminant animals. Drs. Sumner and Young will use the US$690,000 grant to uncover the genes responsible for producing these chemical compounds.

"If we can locate and understand the genes behind triterpene saponins, we can potentially engineer plants with specific levels of these naturally occurring chemicals," Sumner said. "This would be a great benefit to agriculture and humans."

The original article can be viewed at


This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)

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