- DTN Headline News
Crop Tech Corner
Friday, November 28, 2014 7:47AM CST

By Emily Unglesbee
DTN Staff Reporter

ST. LOUIS (DTN) -- This bi-monthly column condenses the latest news in the field of crop technology, research and products.

COAXING VACCINES FROM CORN

Preventing hepatitis B might be as easy as popping an inexpensive, non-perishable wafer into your mouth someday if a California biotechnology firm is successful in its latest venture. Applied Biotechnology Institute, located in San Luis Obispo, Calif., is growing corn genetically engineered to produce a hepatitis vaccine in the germ of its kernels. Scientists grind up the germ, extract the vaccine and create an edible wafer from it. The project has drawn controversial attention after the San Francisco Chronicle published a story criticizing what it perceived as lax government regulation of experimental GE trials like Applied Biotechnology's 5-acre test plot. According to a later article in The Tribune newspaper in San Luis Obispo, Applied Biotechnology's founder John Howard hopes to apply for permission to conduct human clinical trials next year and estimates the company is still three to five years away from distributing the oral vaccine.

PLANTS DOUBLE UP TO DEAL WITH DAMAGE

When herbaceous (green-stemmed) plants are damaged by animal feeding, they perform an impressive genetic trick: duplicating their own DNA, which allows for rapid regrowth and a fertility boost. According to a University of Illinois news release, the link between genome duplication and a plant's recovery from damage was confirmed when university biologists genetically enhanced an Arabidopsis plant's genome duplication abilities. The plant rebounded impressively from lab-induced damage and quickly caught up to its undamaged counterparts. "We were able to completely mitigate the otherwise detrimental effects of damage," University of Illinois researcher Daniel Scholes noted in the press release. "There was no difference in fertility between damaged and undamaged plants." Now the scientists will focus on testing their theories on the mechanics of this rapid recovery process. You can find the study here: http://goo.gl/…, and the news release here: http://goo.gl/….

RAMPING UP RICE YIELDS

Researchers at the University of Arkansas have found a way to increase rice yields by nearly 30% by turning on a protein "switch" in the plant that spurs additional photosynthesis activity. According to a university news release, scientists have long hypothesized that increasing a plant's photosynthetic capabilities would lead to increased yields, but only now have the Arkansas researchers proved it. The protein in question, known as the Higher Yield Rice (HYR), controls a suite of genes that controls photosynthesis. Researchers found that by keeping the protein "switched on" during periods of stress, when photosynthesis would normally shut down, the plants could remain productive even under environmental stresses like drought and high temperatures. By manipulating the HYR regulator, the researchers documented grain yield increases of 29.7%. You can see the study here: http://goo.gl/…, and the press release here: http://goo.gl/….

Emily Unglesbee can be reached at emily.unglesbee@dtn.com

Follow Emily Unglesbee on Twitter @Emily_Unglesbee

(SK)


blog iconDTN Blogs & Forums
DTN Market Matters Blog
Katie Micik
Markets Editor
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 6:14PM CST
Monday, November 24, 2014 7:43PM CST
Monday, November 17, 2014 6:33PM CST
Technically Speaking
Darin Newsom
DTN Senior Analyst
Monday, November 24, 2014 11:07AM CST
Sunday, November 23, 2014 4:23PM CST
Saturday, November 22, 2014 2:01PM CST
Fundamentally Speaking
Joel Karlin
DTN Contributing Analyst
Friday, November 28, 2014 2:09PM CST
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 4:01PM CST
Friday, November 21, 2014 2:36PM CST
DTN Ag Policy Blog
Chris Clayton
DTN Ag Policy Editor
Monday, November 24, 2014 8:39PM CST
Friday, November 21, 2014 6:43PM CST
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 2:34PM CST
Minding Ag's Business
Marcia Taylor
DTN Executive Editor
Monday, November 24, 2014 9:56PM CST
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 11:45PM CST
Monday, November 17, 2014 3:24PM CST
DTN Ag Weather Forum
Bryce Anderson
DTN Ag Meteorologist and DTN Analyst
Friday, November 28, 2014 3:54PM CST
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 3:38PM CST
Monday, November 24, 2014 5:47PM CST
Friday, November 28, 2014 9:34PM CST
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 10:30PM CST
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 9:34PM CST
DTN Production Blog
Pam Smith
Crops Technology Editor
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 8:49PM CST
Friday, November 21, 2014 9:29PM CST
Tuesday, October 7, 2014 8:50PM CST
Harrington's Sort & Cull
John Harrington
DTN Livestock Analyst
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 6:59PM CST
Friday, November 21, 2014 7:15PM CST
Friday, November 7, 2014 6:37PM CST
South America Calling
Alastair Stewart
South America Correspondent
Friday, November 28, 2014 1:51PM CST
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 7:21PM CST
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 6:43PM CST
An Urban’s Rural View
Urban Lehner
Editor Emeritus
Friday, November 21, 2014 12:41PM CST
Monday, November 17, 2014 12:27PM CST
Monday, November 10, 2014 12:10PM CST
Machinery Chatter
Jim Patrico
Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
Friday, November 28, 2014 1:13PM CST
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 1:15PM CST
Thursday, November 13, 2014 10:42PM CST
Canadian Markets
Cliff Jamieson
Canadian Grains Analyst
Friday, November 28, 2014 9:05PM CST
Thursday, November 27, 2014 8:43PM CST
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 8:07PM CST
Editor’s Notebook
Greg D. Horstmeier
DTN Editor-in-Chief
Thursday, November 20, 2014 6:09PM CST
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 7:12PM CST
Friday, October 31, 2014 5:45PM CST
 
Copyright DTN. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.
Powered By DTN