Tag Archives: Nature

Gateway enzyme for chemicals from catnip to cancer drug

Nature Journal

Scientists have discovered an enzyme used in nature to make powerful chemicals from catnip to a cancer drug, vinblastine. The discovery opens up the prospect of producing these chemicals cheaply and efficiently. They are produced naturally by some plants such as the medicinal Madagascar periwinkle, but faster-growing plants could be used to produce them. With [...]

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Genome sequence sheds new light on how plants evolved nitrogen-fixing symbioses

Nature Journal

The genome of Medicago, a close relative of alfalfa and a long-established model for the study of legume biology, has been sequenced by an international team of scientists, capturing around 94 per cent of its genes. The research gives new insights into the evolution of the Papilionoid subfamily of legumes, which includes peas, soybean and [...]

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Flowering powers genetic understanding

Flowering powers genetic understanding

New research from the John Innes Centre on how plants adapt their flowering to climate is also helping to unravel some of the mysteries of how genes are controlled. Until relatively recently genome sequencing projects, and studies of gene expression have mostly focussed on the messenger RNA transcripts produced from genes that contain the code [...]

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Purple tomatoes may keep cancer at bay

Purple tomatoes may keep cancer at bay

  Scientists have expressed genes from snapdragon in tomatoes to grow purple tomatoes high in health-protecting anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are naturally occurring pigments found at particularly high levels in berries such as blackberry, cranberry and chokeberry. Scientists are investigating ways to increase the levels of health-promoting compounds in more commonly eaten fruits and vegetables. “Most people [...]

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New research may reduce global need for nitrogen fertilizers

New research may reduce global need for nitrogen fertilizers

Research published today in the journal Nature reveals how scientists at the John Innes Centre (JIC), Norwich and Washington State University, USA have managed to trigger nodulation in legumes, a key element of the nitrogen fixing process, without the bacteria normally necessary. This is an important step towards transferring nodulation, and possibly nitrogen fixation, to non-legume crops [...]

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Molecular breakthrough will add grist to the mill for wheat breeders

Molecular breakthrough will add grist to the mill for wheat breeders

A team of scientists at the John Innes Centre¹ in Norwich, UK led by Dr Graham Moore have a completely new understanding of the structure of a gene complex in wheat that controls the pairing of its chromosomes, knowledge of which has the potential to revolutionise wheat breeding. Dr Moore said “The transfer of useful [...]

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