Taking the Initial Step Towards Dev't of Epigenetically Modified CottonJune 7, 2017
American cotton farmers face tough times with the prevailing unpredictable weather and decrease in prices of cotton. With the new study of Z. Jeffrey Chen of The University of Texas at Austin, cotton farmers might have better days ahead. Chen and team developed more productive cotton using epigenetic modification. The study is published in Genome Biology.
The researchers identified over 500 genes that are epigenetically modified between wild cotton varieties and domesticated cotton. Some of these genes are known to be linked to agronomic and domestication traits. This information could help breeders select which genes they want to modify such as resistance to drought, heat or pests.
They found changes in DNA methylation as wild varieties combined to form hybrids, the hybrids adapted to changes in their environment and finally, humans domesticated them. One important finding is that the change that allowed cotton to go from a plant adapted to grow only in the tropics to one that grows in other parts of the world was not a genetic change, but an epigenetic one. Furthermore, they discovered that wild cotton has a methylated gene that prevents it from flowering when daylight hours are long–as they are in the summer in many places, including the United States and China. In domesticated cotton, the same gene lost this methylation, allowing the gene to be expressed, an epigenetic change that allowed cotton to go global.
Read the original article from UT News.
Biotech Updates is a weekly newsletter of ISAAA, a not-for-profit organization. It is distributed for free to over 22,000 subscribers worldwide to inform them about the key developments in biosciences, especially in biotechnology. Your support will help us in our mission to feed the world with knowledge. You can help by donating as little as $10.
See more articles:
News from Around the World
- Report Shows 20 Years of Economic and Environmental Benefits from Biotech/GM Crops
- Public Learns about Biotech for Climate Smart Agriculture at World Environment Day Commemoration in Uganda
- Tanzanian Farmers Urge Gov't to Hasten Delivery of GE Crops
- Salk Scientists Help Plants Pump Iron Using Gene Variants
- Taking the Initial Step Towards Dev't of Epigenetically Modified Cotton
- Current Advances in Genome Editing Technology and its Application in Crop Improvement
- Australia's OGTR Receives License Application for Commercial Release of GM DHA Canola
- Australia's Gene Technology Regulator Shares Regulatory Practices with Vietnam
- India's National Academy of Agricultural Sciences Endorses Commercial Release of GM Mustard
- Scientists Discover Plant 'Brain' Controlling Seed Development
- EFSA Reiterates Previous Risk Assessment Conclusion on NK603 Valid and Applicable
- SbNrat1 Gene in Sorghum Functions for Aluminum Tolerance
- Biosafety in Plant Biotechnology Course
- Development of Gene-Specific Rice Mutants via AvrXa23-based TALENs
- Nagoya University Develops Highly Efficient CRISPR-Cas9 Vector for Arabidopsis
Read the latest:
- Biotech Updates (October 4, 2023)
- Gene Editing Supplement (September 27, 2023)
- Gene Drive Supplement (February 22, 2023)
Subscribe to BU: