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 September 17, 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 September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 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