Genetic Tool to Help Feed the World

Source: Science Network Western Australia (27 Feb 2016)/Meridian Institute
Author: Geoff Vivian
Researchers at the University of Western Australia have compiled an easily-accessible database of food crop proteins, called CropPAL (Crop Proteins with Annotated Locations), which they hope will eliminate much of the time and expense spent developing new crop varieties. The database contains extensive information about where specific proteins occur within wheat, barley, rice and maize cells. Cornelia Hooper, the lead investigator, said, “We’re also hoping to build collaborations with people from the biotechnology field to use this data for breeding crops.” Knowledge of a protein found in one plant species, the researchers say, could help a plant breeder or biotechnologist understand the protein’s function when it occurs in another species, or help them better target a breeding program. The team plans to add grape, soybean, tomato, potato, canola, sorghum and banana to the database this year. more
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