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Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Discover New Pathway that may Help in Developing More Resilient Crops

March 6, 2019

Researchers from the University of Oxford have discovered CHLORAD, a new biochemical pathway in plants which helps regulate chloroplasts. Chloroplasts are organelles that define plants and are responsible for photosynthesis.

Chloroplasts are composed of thousands of different proteins, most of which are made in the cell and imported by the organelle. These proteins must all be very carefully regulated to ensure that the organelle keeps functioning properly. The CHLORAD pathway works by removing and disposing of unnecessary or damaged chloroplast proteins; hence the name CHLORAD, which stands for "chloroplast-associated protein degradation".

Peter Burlinson, Frontier Bioscience Lead at the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) said that the discovery of the CHLORAD pathway is a good example of how insights from fundamental plant biology research can reveal potential new strategies to develop crops that are more productive and resilient.

For more details, read the article in Oxford Sparks.