Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Database On Tiny Plant Will Help Scientists Create Better Crops, Biofuels and Medicines

Date:
July 10, 2009
Source:
Carnegie Institution
Summary:
A tiny plant with a long name helps researchers design new crops to help meet increasing demands for food, biofuels, industrial materials, and new medicines. The genes, proteins, and other traits of this plant reside in the Arabidopsis Information Resource (TAIR) database. TAIR just released a new version of the genome sequence, which includes an array of improvements and novel features that promise to accelerate this critical research.

Arabidopsis thaliana - first plant with decoded genome.
Credit: iStockphoto

A tiny plant with a long name (Arabidopsis thaliana) helps researchers from over 120 countries learn how to design new crops to help meet increasing demands for food, biofuels, industrial materials, and new medicines. The genes, proteins, and other traits of this fast-growing, tiny mustard plant reside in a vast database dubbed the Arabidopsis Information Resource (TAIR), which has over 1.6 million page hits each month.

The TAIR group, headed by Dr. Eva Huala at Carnegie's Department of Plant Biology, just released a new version of the genome sequence of this model plant, which includes an array of improvements and novel features that promise to accelerate this critical research.

The new TAIR9 genome release contains detailed information on all 33,518 genes that make up this tiny plant (including 114 newly discovered genes and 168 new pseudogenes), the proteins produced by these genes, and extensive new experimental and computationally predicted gene-function information.

Huala highlighted the advances: "We now have a ranking system that provides a measure of our confidence that the structure of a specific gene is correct; we've overhauled information on pseudogenes—the evolutionary remnants that start out as copies of conventional protein-coding genes and sometimes take on interesting new functions; and we've made extensive updates to the genome sequence based on new sequence data submitted to TAIR."

In 2000, Arabidopsis was the first plant genome to be sequenced. Partly due to the vast experimental data on gene function, which TAIR has painstakingly extracted from the literature and associated to the genes, and because of an extensive set of molecular tools developed for this plant, the Arabidopsis genome is the most advanced plant genome in the world and is the most commonly used experimental plant today. Its small size and fast growth allow large-scale experiments on drought and salt tolerance, resistance to plant diseases, and other topics with a direct impact on economic and food quality issues to be carried out quickly and economically, and the results applied to important crop species.

"TAIR is a crucial resource for plant sciences, but its impact goes far beyond," remarked Dr. Wolf Frommer, director of Carnegie's Department of Plant Biology. "TAIR9, as the 'green' reference database, is crucial for understanding the function and engineering of algae as well as crop plants. It is the basis for all improvement of crop plants to meet the challenges of a growing population as well as climate change."

The Arabidopsis Information Resource (TAIR) collects information and maintains a database of genetic and molecular biology data for Arabidopsis thaliana, a widely used model plant. TAIR is produced by the Carnegie Institution's Department of Plant Biology in Palo Alto, CA. Funding is provided by the National Science Foundation, (Grant No. DBI-9978564 and DBI-0417062).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Carnegie Institution. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Carnegie Institution. "Database On Tiny Plant Will Help Scientists Create Better Crops, Biofuels and Medicines." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090622103907.htm>.
Carnegie Institution. (2009, July 10). Database On Tiny Plant Will Help Scientists Create Better Crops, Biofuels and Medicines. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090622103907.htm
Carnegie Institution. "Database On Tiny Plant Will Help Scientists Create Better Crops, Biofuels and Medicines." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090622103907.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

AFP (Sep. 27, 2014) The drop in price of soy on the international market is a cause for concern in Argentina, as soybean exports are a major source of income for Latin America's third largest economy. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) A mama bear and her two cubs climb trees, wrestle and take naps in the backyard of a Monrovia, California home. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Crazy' Climate Forces Colombian Farmers to Adapt

'Crazy' Climate Forces Colombian Farmers to Adapt

AFP (Sep. 26, 2014) Once upon a time, farming was a blissfully low-tech business on Colombia's northern plains. Duration: 02:05 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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