Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New technology eliminates plant toxins

Date:
August 5, 2012
Source:
University of Copenhagen
Summary:
Researchers have developed a method to hinder unwanted toxins from entering the edible parts of plants such as the oilseed rape, which will make it suitable for animal feed.

Worldwide, oilseed rape is the third most widely grown oilseed-producing crop.
Credit: © Bauer Alex / Fotolia

Plants produce toxins to defend themselves against potential enemies, from herbivorous pests to diseases. Oilseed rape plants produce glucosinolates to serve this purpose. However, due to the content of glucosinolates, farmers can only use limited quantities of the protein-rich rapeseed for pig and chicken feed. Now, a team of researchers from the University of Copenhagen has developed a method to hinder unwanted toxins from entering the edible parts of the plant.

Related Articles


The breakthrough was published August 5 in the scientific journal Nature.

"We have developed an entirely new technology that we call 'transport engineering'. It can be used to eliminate unwanted substances from the edible parts of crops," says Professor Barbara Ann Halkier, head of the Center of Excellence for Dynamic Molecular Interactions (DynaMo) at the University of Copenhagen's Faculty of Science.

The potential for toxin-free oilseed rape as a feed crop

The oilseed rape plant is but one example of a crop whose use will be greatly enhanced thanks to the new technology. Unlike the healthy glucosinolates found in broccoli, oilseed rape additionally produces a glucosinolate that is harmful to most animals when consumed in larger amounts.

This means that protein-rich rapeseed cake produced using the byproduct of rapeseeds pressed for oil, can only be used in limited quantities for pig and chicken feed. Due to this, Northern Europe continues to import large amounts of soy cake for animal feed.

Two transport proteins found

The breakthrough increases the potential of oilseed rape as a commercial animal feed: "We managed to find two proteins that transport glucosinolates into the seeds of the thale cress plant, a close relative of the oilseed rape. When we subsequently produced thale cress without these two proteins, the remarkable result was that their seeds were completely free of glucosinolates and thus suitable for feed," emphasises Barbara Ann Halkier.

Worldwide, oilseed rape is the third most widely grown oilseed-producing crop. 'Transport engineering', the new technology platform, is so promising that one of the world's largest companies involved in plant biotechnology -- Bayer CropScience -- is now negotiating with the University of Copenhagen's Tech Transfer Unit to collaborate with the research group so as to deploy the new technology and produce an oilseed rape plant with glucosinolate-free seeds. According to Bayer CropScience project leader Peter Denolf such seeds will significantly enhance the use of oilseed rape meal as animal feed and bring along a more sustainable oilseed rape processing procedure.

The research results are the fruit of 16 years of basic research, an excellent example of how basic research can result in new discoveries of direct use for society.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Hussam Hassan Nour-Eldin, Tonni Grube Andersen, Meike Burow, Svend Roesen Madsen, Morten Egevang Jørgensen, Carl Erik Olsen, Ingo Dreyer, Rainer Hedrich, Dietmar Geiger & Barbara Ann Halkier. NRT/PTR transporters are essential for translocation of glucosinolate defence compounds to seeds. Nature, 2012 DOI: 10.1038/nature11285

Cite This Page:

University of Copenhagen. "New technology eliminates plant toxins." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120805144849.htm>.
University of Copenhagen. (2012, August 5). New technology eliminates plant toxins. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120805144849.htm
University of Copenhagen. "New technology eliminates plant toxins." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120805144849.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) — Urbanspoon predicts whicg food trends will dominate the culinary scene in 2015. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — NASA's Curiosity rover detected methane on Mars and organic compounds on the surface, but it doesn't quite prove there was life ... yet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 17, 2014) — Demand for ivory has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of African elephants and now a conservation report says the illegal trade is overwhelming efforts to enforce the law. Amy Pollock reports. Video provided by Reuters
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