Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tearless Onion Created In Lab Using Gene Silencing

Date:
February 5, 2008
Source:
Crop & Food Research
Summary:
Tearless onions are still in the developmental stages but if the research progresses well, researchers would like to see them become the household and industry norm within the next decade. The scientists have been unable to induce tearing by crushing their model tearless onions.

Researchers have developed a prototype "tearless" onion.
Credit: iStockphoto/Angel Rodriguez

Dr Colin Eady of Crop & Food Research in New Zealand and his collaborators in Japan have been testing tearless onions in the laboratory and have presented their results so far to the 5th International Symposium on Edible Alliaceae, in The Netherlands.

Dr Eady describes “tearless” onions as being in the developmental stages but if the research progresses well, would like to see them become the household and industry norm within the next decade.

“We have been using a gene-silencing technology, called RNAi, developed by Dr Peter Waterhouse at CSIRO in Australia, that allows us to retarget the plant’s own natural regulation system without expressing foreign proteins in the plant,” Dr Eady says.

“Through RNAi, genes can be specifically shut down or turned off. By shutting down the lachrymatory factor synthase gene, we have stopped valuable sulphur compounds being converted to the tearing agent, and instead made them available for redirection into compounds, some of which are known for their flavour and health properties.”

Dr Eady says the research team has been unable to induce tearing by crushing their model tearless onions.

“What we have now is a truly unique germplasm with a unique trait. We can home in and study what the consequences of this one effect are. We can detect differences in sulphur compounds known to be involved in flavour and health and actually measure them and assign to them a role.”

Dr Eady says although the “tearless onion” is an exciting project, he is most interested in sustainable and efficient production and will want to be sure that the onions he is working on are also capable of being grown in an efficient manner. “We have a burgeoning population to feed, and with climate change and other challenges, available resources are being reduced. The gene silencing system can also be used to combat virus diseases and biotechnology in general can help us produce more robust crops.”

Dr Eady says in many countries onions already contribute a significant proportion of the daily fibre requirements of the populations. “They are such a versatile and nutritious vegetable, that if we can manage to get more people cooking and eating fresh onions, then that has got to be a positive outcome.”

Further information is available in the International onion trade journal Onion World, in the last issue published in 2007.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Crop & Food Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Crop & Food Research. "Tearless Onion Created In Lab Using Gene Silencing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080202115345.htm>.
Crop & Food Research. (2008, February 5). Tearless Onion Created In Lab Using Gene Silencing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080202115345.htm
Crop & Food Research. "Tearless Onion Created In Lab Using Gene Silencing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080202115345.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
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