How To Generate New Varieties of Plants with Fast

The new research will reduce the time to develop new crops to meet world food needs. Rice fields in Japan were destroyed by the tsunami last year will probably be the first to test new techniques. March 11, the tsunami triggered by a massive earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale off the coast of northeastern Japan, 20 thousand hectares of rice fields flooded with sea water.

Rice varieties grown by farmers in the region can not live in the salt-contaminated soil, and to develop new varieties that are resistant to salt is a long and slow process, according to plant biologists Sophien Kamoun, the Sainsbury Laboratory in the UK.

“How can we incorporate it into the plants new traits such as salt-resistant and at the same time we retain all the other features that make the variety is really ideal for the region?,” Said Sophien Kamoun.

The developers of plant varieties ideal will usually take it and crossed with salt-resistant varieties. Most of the offspring from that cross will inherit the trait, but also may have other differences from the ideal varieties, according to Kamoun.

“If we cross rice varieties that are not related, we will see thousands of differences,” says Kamoun.

Those differences may be good or bad. Accentuate the positive while eliminating the negatives could take a decade or more.

Therefore Kamoun and his colleagues in Japan started with high-quality rice varieties are popular, used a common technique in plant breeding, introducing random changes – or mutations – the genes of plants with chemicals.

Sophien Kamoun added, “Eventually we will have thousands of plants that have all kinds of changes. We then planted the kinds of plants in the field and identify plants that have certain properties of interest.

Kamoun and his group then did something that if done a few years ago too difficult and expensive. They use new technology to map all the genes of plants that have interesting properties that. They identify with certain genetic changes found in plants with new properties and where the changes appear on the gene map of rice.

This represents a major advance for plant developers, who usually follow the signs in the rough genetic map to guide their efforts.

“Instead of saying, between Road A and Road B, we can say this exact address,” said Shannon Pinson.

U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists, Shannon Pinson was not involved in the study. But she is very attractive because it makes the study of plant breeding more precise.

Pinson said the new methods that take advantage of certain changes in genes that result in changes in the properties. It will be easier for us to find out how genes work.

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