plant breeding

Category archives for plant breeding

Tomorrows Table: What does GMO really mean?   For years, journalists, television producers and newspaper reporters that write about genetically engineered crops, have used the term “GMO” (genetically modified organism) to describe these new crop varieties. The marketing industry has taken to writing “GMO-free” on their products, as a way to increase sales to consumers…

Finally our paper is in press! in the coming issue of PNAS, we describe a genome-scale model for predicting the functions of genes and gene networks in rice, an important staple food. Called RiceNet, this systems-level model of rice gene interactions allows us to effectively predict gene function. This information can be used to help…

How to feed a hungry world

This week, the G20 Agriculture Ministers gathered for their first-ever meeting to discuss potential measures to address price volatility and record high food prices. The key to any long-term solution is acknowledging that we need to empower the very people whose lives are most affected by food shortages. Three-quarters of the world’s poorest people get…

Spring in California

Today we took the children to Table Mountain, a volcanic mesa in northern California. It is a special place, preserved from development by the dense, rocky texture of the soil- no good for farming. We strolled through carpets of flowers Lasthenia californica (California goldfields). Blemnosperma nanum (yellow carpet), Lupinus nanus, Triteleia ixiodies (pretty face), Castilleja…

The last common ancestor of plants and animals may have lived 1 billion years ago. Plants and animals have occasionally exchanged genes, but for the most part, have countered selective pressures independently. Microbes (bacteria, eukaryotes, and viruses) were omnipresent threats, influencing the direction of multi-cellular evolution. Receptors that detect molecular signatures of infectious organisms mediate…

For a short 5 minute tour of Bill Gates tackling the controversy of GE crops, please see the blog ERV. Thanks for the plug ERV If you have 45 minutes, watch the entire video here. Bill is serious, sincere and a good speaker with important concepts to convey: The video starts about 11 minutes in.

> WASHINGTON- (AP) The leader of the United States Department of > Agriculture’s National Institute for Food Research, Dr. Roger Beachy, > admitted that the release of last week’s request for proposals (RFP) > from scientific researchers was “simply a gag to lighten the research > funding environment” and that the real one will be…

A few years ago, next to a small barn converted into a winery, I noticed a flyer asking voters to support Measure M, an initiative in Sonoma county that sought to ” prohibit the raising, growing, propagation, cultivation, sale, or distribution of most genetically engineered organisms.” It pictured the destruction in New Orleans wrought by…

Thank you Bill Gates for your work on behalf of farmers and…. for blogging on our book, Tomorrow’s Table! If you don’t have time to read the full reviews, here are a few excerpts:

An Ode to Grasses

Check out this lovely commentary by Olivia Judson