Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Seeds Without Sex -- Research Could Make Male Plant Parts Redundant

Date:
September 9, 1997
Source:
Australian Centre For International Agricultural Research
Summary:
CSIRO research could make male plant parts in crops redundant, and dramatically lift grain production around the world.

CSIRO research could make male plant parts in crops redundant, and dramatically lift grain production around the world.

The research program aims to develop plants which can produce seed without sex. It is a 15-year collaboration between CSIRO, the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

"The normal process of pollen formation and transfer is very sensitive to a range of weather conditions - it cannot be too dry nor too windy and so forth. It is estimated that $400 million is lost in rice production alone around the world each year because of drought-related pollination failure," said Dr Abed Chaudhury, of CSIRO Plant Industry.

In a world-first discovery, CSIRO scientists have found a gene that allows Arabidopsis - a test plant used by scientists because of its rapid life cycle - to bypass the normal pollination process and begin seed formation. This is the crucial first step in developing plants which can produce seed without pollination.

The hunt is now on to find equivalent genes in commercial plants like rice - the world's biggest crop, and the staple diet for billions of people globally.

"In most crop plants, the male parts of the flower transfer pollen to the female parts, prompting the grain to develop," Dr Chaudhury said.

"But we are aiming to produce grain without the need for male plant parts."

Plants that do not require pollination for seed-set undergo an alternative, sexless process called apomixis. CSIRO scientists aim to identify the genes involved in apomixis and then use them in pollination-reliant crop species.

"If we can produce commercial crop plants that don't need pollination, the benefits would be enormous in terms of higher yields and more efficient production methods," Dr Chaudhury said.

ACIAR have estimated that the minimum likely benefits from the research will be $7 billion to $8.6 billion worldwide with the benefit to Australia estimated at $16 million to $19 million.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Australian Centre For International Agricultural Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Australian Centre For International Agricultural Research. "Seeds Without Sex -- Research Could Make Male Plant Parts Redundant." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 September 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/09/970909053217.htm>.
Australian Centre For International Agricultural Research. (1997, September 9). Seeds Without Sex -- Research Could Make Male Plant Parts Redundant. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/09/970909053217.htm
Australian Centre For International Agricultural Research. "Seeds Without Sex -- Research Could Make Male Plant Parts Redundant." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/09/970909053217.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins