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News About Farming On Earth and in Space
July 20, 2016
Scientists sequence genome of 6,000-year-old barley
Ramat Gan, Israel (UPI) Jul 18, 2016
Ancient barley recently became the oldest plant to have its genome sequenced. Scientists recovered 6,000-year-old barley seeds from a cave in Israel. They split the grains, using half for radiocarbon dating and the other half for genome sequencing. The Chalcolithic barley reveal the grain as it was prior to its use in the bronze-making process. "These archaeological remains provided a unique opportunity for us to finally sequence a Chalcolithic plant genome," Ehud Weiss, an archae ... read more

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Crop roots enact austerity measures during drought to bank water
With a growing world population and a changing climate, understanding how agriculturally important plants respond to drought is crucial. New work from a team led by Carnegie's Jose Dinneny discovers ... more
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A culinary expedition with Peru's intrepid top chef
As a teenager on the streets of Lima, Virgilio Martinez aspired to a life of extremes, hoping to become a professional skateboarder. ... more
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EU limits glyphosate use during 18-month extension
EU member states on Monday approved limiting use of the weedkiller glyphosate during an 18-month extension Brussels granted ahead of a report on whether the chemical can cause cancer. ... more
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ChemChina extends $43 bn offer for agri-giant Syngenta
State-owned China National Chemical Corp. said Monday it was extending its $43 billion agreed takeover for Swiss pesticide and seed giant Syngenta until September. ... more
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Zimbabwe farmers benefit from China agricultural technology transfer
Zimbabwean farmers and students are benefiting from the China-Aid Agricultural Technology Demonstration Center (CATDC), 27 km north-west of Harare, where they are getting knowledge on how to improve ... more
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Feeding the world by rewiring plant mouths
Plants have tiny pores on their leaves called stomata - Greek for mouths - through which they take in carbon dioxide from the air and from which water evaporates. New work from the lab of Dominique ... more
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Characteristics improving bean resistance to drought identified
The common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is the most important food legume in the tropics. It is an inexpensive source of proteins and minerals for almost 400 million people, mainly from Africa and L ... more
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A new tool to study plant cell biomechanics
We know that within every living plant there are millions of cells working together in a wonderfully complex harmony. But what we don't know is, within each of these cells, what exactly is going on. ... more
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Decoding the genome of the olive tree
The olive was one of the first trees to be domesticated in the history of mankind, probably some 6,000 years ago. A Mediterranean emblem par excellence, it is of vital importance to the Spanish and ... more
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New study compares transportation energy efficiency of local and conventional food
Two researchers at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture find that farmers located closer to city centers seem to have a locational advantage in transportation over their long distanc ... more
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Study finds that plant growth responses to high carbon dioxide depend on symbiotic fungi
Research by an international team of environmental scientists from the United Kingdom, Belgium and United States, including Indiana University, has found that plants that associate with one type of ... more
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Conservation key to curbing emissions from palm oil agriculture in Africa
As oil palm production expands from Southeast Asia into Central Africa, a new Duke University-led study warns that converting Africa's tropical forests into monoculture palm plantations will cause a ... more
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New farming strategies can help prevent soil runoff while maintaining high crop yields
Soil and nutrient loss and runoff from agricultural fields are major problems environmentally and economically in the U.S. and globally. After heavy spring rains, soil and water runoff containing fe ... more
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Herbicides used widely on federal, tribal wildlands, study says
Although the amount of herbicides used on croplands is reported and known, recent research reveals huge amounts of the plant-killing chemicals are used on public and tribal wildlands as well, according to a new study. ... more
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Could ancient wheat be the future of food?
Researchers believe untapped consumer markets exist for ancient foods such as einkorn, emmer, and spelt, which fed large swaths of the world's population for thousands of years but disappeared almos ... more
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Four newly identified genes could improve rice
A Japanese research team have applied a method used in human genetic analysis to rice and rapidly discovered four new genes that are potentially significant for agriculture. These findings could inf ... more
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Nobel winners slam Greenpeace on GMO crops
About a third of living Nobel laureates - 108 at last count - have signed an open letter Thursday which attacks Greenpeace for campaigning against genetically modified crops, especially one called Golden Rice. ... more
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'Amazing protein diversity' is discovered in the maize plant
The genome of the corn plant - or maize, as it's called almost everywhere except the US - "is a lot more exciting" than scientists have previously believed. So says the lead scientist in a new effor ... more
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U of T Mississauga professor discovers new origins for farmed rice
Chew on this: rice farming is a far older practice than we knew. In fact, the oldest evidence of domesticated rice has just been found in China, and it's about 9,000 years old. The discovery, ... more
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Crop breeding is not keeping pace with climate change
Crop yields will fall within the next decade due to climate change unless immediate action is taken to speed up the introduction of new and improved varieties, experts have warned. The research, led ... more
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How squash agriculture spread bees in pre-Columbian North America
Using genetic markers, researchers have for the first time shown how cultivating a specific crop led to the expansion of a pollinator species. In this case, the researchers found that the spread of ... more
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Immense species richness of bacterial-eating microorganisms discovered in soil
Typically ignored, the millions of microorganisms that we tread upon daily play a major role in the decomposition of soil matter - one that is of far greater significance than that of the whales and ... more
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Better soil data key for future food security
To project how much food can be produced in the future, researchers use agricultural models that estimate crop yield, or how much of a crop can be produced in a certain amount of space. These models ... more
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Invasive species could cause billions in damages to agriculture
Invasive insects and pathogens could be a multi-billion- dollar threat to global agriculture and developing countries may be the biggest target, according to a team of international researchers. ... more
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