Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. Earth Science News .




WOOD PILE
Oil palm genome boosts hopes for tropical forests
by Staff Writers
Paris, France (AFP) July 24, 2013


Sequencing of the oil palm, one of the world's most important crops, has pinpointed a gene that should boost yields and ease pressure on tropical rainforests, studies said on Wednesday.

Published in the scientific journal Nature, the genome highlights the role of an all-important gene called Shell, according to a probe led by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB).

With 32 chromosomes and around 35,000 genes, the oil palm has an impressively long lineage, dating back to the origins of flowering plants during the Cretaceous period some 140-200 million years ago, says the investigation.

It comprises two species -- Elaeis guineensis, which originates from West Africa, and E. oleifera, from Central and South America, and has a higher content of unsaturated fatty acids and resistance to disease.

The oil palm is grown widely in the tropics, accounting for 45 percent of edible oil worldwide, but its image has been badly damaged by destruction of rain forest and peatland to create plantations.

Land clearance by illegal burning on the Indonesian island of Sumatra has been blamed for last month's smog scares in neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia, the region's worst pollution episode in more than a decade.

The Shell gene is responsible for the three known forms of oil palm shell: dura (thick); pisifera (shell-less) and tenera (thin), says the study.

Tenera, a highly desired hybrid of dura and pisifera, contains a normal version of Shell and one of two different mutations of the gene.

This combination results in 30-percent higher yield of palm oil per fruit than dura palms.

"Mutations in this gene... explain the single most important economic trait of the oil palm: how the thickness of its shell correlates to fruit size and oil yield," said Rajinder Singh of the MPOB's Advanced Biotechnology and Breeding Center.

"This discovery may help balance the competing interests of meeting increasing world-wide demand for edible oil and biofuels on the one hand, and of rainforest conservation on the other."

Oil palms have a notoriously long reproductive cycle, lasting up to a dozen years.

As a result, it can take growers six years to identify whether a plantlet is of the high-yielding type and deserves to be transferred to the plantation.

Being able to get a genetic marker at the seedling stage will speed the process and dampen demand for acreage, according to the researchers. Other traits in the genome point to characteristics for fruit ripening and use of cloned plants for planting.

.


Related Links
Forestry News - Global and Local News, Science and Application






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





WOOD PILE
Loss of African woodland may impact on climate
Edinburgh, Scotland (SPX) Jul 23, 2013
Deforestation in parts of Africa could be reversed with changes to land use, a study suggests. A more strategic approach to managing trees across the continent could have a positive impact on the changing climate, researchers say. A pioneering study of African savannas by the University of Edinburgh has revealed deforestation in south-central Africa, driven by rising populations in the aft ... read more


WOOD PILE
Malaysia says will get tough on illegal immigrants

More steam in Fukushima reactor building: TEPCO

Fukushima steam still baffling: TEPCO

The best defense against catastrophic storms: Mother Nature, say Stanford researchers

WOOD PILE
Perfecting digital imaging

Ancient technology for metal coatings 2,000 years ago can't be matched even today

Controlling friction by tuning van der Waals forces

Carnegie Mellon, Microsoft researchers demonstrate internal tagging technique for 3D-printed objects

WOOD PILE
Newly discovered marine viruses offer glimpse into untapped biodiversity

Study explains Pacific equatorial cold water region

Carnegie Mellon-Developed Chemicals That Break Down Water Contaminants Pass Safety Test

NUS researchers developed world's first water treatment techniques using apple and tomato peels

WOOD PILE
Ancient ice melt unearthed in Antarctic mud

Coastal Antarctic permafrost melting faster than expected

New iceberg theory points to areas at risk of rapid disintegration

Arctic methane breach an 'economic time bomb'

WOOD PILE
Climate Forecasts Shown to Warn of Crop Failures

Secret of plant geometry revealed

World changing technology enables crops to take nitrogen from the air

Western demand for cashmere said a threat to endangered Asian species

WOOD PILE
New Notre Dame study proposes changes in New Orleans area levee systems

Tropical Storm Dorian forms in Atlantic

Rescuers battle to find China quake survivors

Quake shatters migrants' dream of better life for son

WOOD PILE
Covert U.S. flights could signal new Somalia action

Post-mortem on French operation in Mali

Nigeria to withdraw some troops from Mali

Climate change to hit Volta Basin for energy, farming

WOOD PILE
Extinct Ancient Ape Did Not Walk Like a Human

Japanese women retake top spot for life expectancy

Archaeologist says he's uncovered King David's palace

Brain signal said to create inner 'voice' we hear even if we're silent




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement