Biotech Updates

DNA Discovery in Drought Resistant Crops

June 1, 2012

An international collaboration among scientists from the University of Western Australia, Guangzhou University,  and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas has come up with a breakthrough. The team was able to identify the ‘stay green' DNA in barley which will help develop improve crops in areas where drought, heat and salinity are major problems.

Using a molecular biology technique known as EcoTILLING, scientists were able to identify 23 DNA sequence variations of which 17 occurred in the gene coding region. Two of these DNA sequence variations in the coding region are predicted to cause malfunctioned proteins.

Understanding the genetic variation in genes that encode the light harvesting chlorophyll proteins will enable scientists to use DNA markers to improve the ‘stay green' efficiency in plants.

The news from the University of Western Australia is available at