US Plant Researchers Meet to Move Towards the Same DirectionSeptember 15, 2011
The perennial grass Miscanthus × giganteus has a promising role in biofuel production because of its fast growth rate and better conversion of sunlight into biomass compared to average plants. However, this grass still has a lot of genomic mysteries to unfold. At present, there are only few markers available that will guide breeders in tracking desirable genes. It is also a sterile hybrid, complicating attempts at genetic development.
"It has such great promise," says Neal Gutterson, president of Mendel Biotechnology, a company in Hayward, California, that is developing the grass as a biofuel crop. "But from a research perspective it is so painfully underdeveloped." Gutterson and a lot more scientists are hopeful that the first summit to map the future of US plant science to be held on September 22-23, hosted by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Maryland, USA, will change the fate of M. × giganteus and other promising crops by encouraging researchers to tackle their genomic wilderness in a more systematic way.
According to Gutterson, the summit involves the expertise of ecologists, which is valuable because molecular biologists are striving hard to understand how the genes and processes they study, function in natural environments. Gary Stacey, an expert in host–microbe interactions in plants at the University of Missouri in Columbia, expects that summit participants will tout their favorite species, but he hopes for unity in the programs and technologies they push. "The tone might be different, but for once, we might be pulling together in the same direction."
For more details, visit http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110913/full/477259a.html.
The Crop Biotech Update is a weekly newsletter of ISAAA, a not-for-profit organization. The CBU is distributed for free to over 23,000 subscribers worldwide to inform them about the key developments in biosciences, especially in agricultural 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
- Global Food Security and Governance of Modern Biotech
- Scientists Set out Roadmap to Improve Yield Potential of Rice
- Need to Strengthen R&D in Nigeria's Value Chain of Agricultural Commodities
- "Climate-smart" Agriculture for Africa
- Commercial Enzyme for Improved Grain Ethanol Production
- US Plant Researchers Meet to Move Towards the Same Direction
- Vast Differences Between Asian Rice Subpopulations, Study Finds
- Rotation to Reduce Glyphosate-Resistant Weeds
- Consumers Willing to Pay Premium for Healthier Genetically Modified Foods: ISU Study
- Developing True Breeds of Cassava, Banana and Plantain
- Pakistan Prepares White Paper on Agriculture
- Bangladesh: 42nd Signatory to the Nagoya Protocol
- Boost for High Rainfall Zone Wheat Research
- Towards the Biological Control of Diamondback Moth
- Pakistan and Iran Sign MOU
- France Ban on GM Cultivation Illegal Says European Court of Justice
- Honey and Food Supplements Containing Pollen from GMO
- Constitutive Overexpression of the OsNAS Genes for Iron- and Zinc-Biofortification of Rice
- Enhancing Gene Expression in GE Rice Seed Using 3'-UTRs
- Influence of Field Size on Maize Gene Flow Using SSR Analysis
Beyond Crop Biotech
- Bees As Environmental Monitors
- Social Network and Gut Bacteria Database in One
- Studies on Transgenic Domestic Cat Help Understand AIDS
- International Conference on Tropical and Sub-tropical Plant Diseases 2012
- European Congress on Biotechnology Set for 2012
- 2012 Lorne Genome Conference
- Corn Rust Webcasts Launched in ‘Focus on Corn'
Read the latest:
- Crop Biotech Update (January 25, 2023)
- Genome Editing Supplement (January 18, 2023)
- Gene Drive Supplement (January 25, 2023)
Subscribe to CBU: