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News : Dawn of a new era in rice improvement
webmaster Posted on 2014/8/12 15:24:41 ( 2464 reads )

Traditional rice varieties encompass a huge range of potentially valuable genes. These can be used to develop superior varieties for farmers to take part in the uphill battle of feeding an ever-increasing world population (estimated to reach 9.6 billion by 2050). The genes linked to valuable traits can help breeders create new rice varieties that have improved yield potential, higher nutritional quality, better ability to grow in problem soils, and improved tolerance of pests, diseases, and the stresses, such as flood and drought, that will be inevitable with future climate change.

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News : The initial release of the Oryza glaberrima genome from the Arizona Genomics Institute and the Rounsley Lab
webmaster Posted on 2014/6/6 23:50:00 ( 4414 reads )

Oryza glaberrima genome sequence release announcement

We are pleased to announce the initial release of the Oryza glaberrima genome from the Arizona Genomics Institute and the Rounsley Lab. O. glaberrima is a west African species of cultivated rice that was domesticated independently of Asian rice (O. sativa ssp. japonica and indica) about 3,500 years ago.O. glaberrima contains many important adaptive traits for cultivation in African soils and climates. The specific strain sequenced (IRGC accession # 96717 [variety name CG14]) is the parent used for the development of the new rice for African (NERICA) lines that revolutionized rice cultivation in Africa.

News : Wild rice may feed the world
webmaster Posted on 2013/9/9 18:06:05 ( 2000 reads )

A swamp in remote far north Queensland isn't the place you'd expect to find the key to feeding the world.

But scientists are hoping that wild rice growing in the far north, untouched by human cultivation, holds untapped genetic traits like pest and disease resistance.

Professor Rod Wing, from the University of Arizona, says he never expected to be so excited sitting in a bird-spotting shelter in the middle of a swamp.

"It is a remarkable place to be, and it is funny, I think most people would just walk by and they wouldn't even notice that there's wild rice here, but there is," he said.

"The wild relatives of rice contain a virtually untapped reservoir of genes that could be used for crop improvement."


Audio: ... -rice-feeds-world/4940042

News : A new approach to plant breeding
webmaster Posted on 2013/9/3 10:01:54 ( 3483 reads )

The agriculture industry is facing a gargantuan question – how to feed the world’s increasing population, expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, while dealing with less available land, scarcer water, climate changes and mounting environmental concerns.

At least part of the answer will come through groundbreaking science, a process in which Yuma researchers could play a key role.

With increasing competition for land, water and other resources, breeders must develop the next generation of crops that have less negative environmental impact and fewer input requirements. That is, crops that can grow with less water, fertilizer, pesticides, on poorer soils and be less labor-intensive while at the same time producing high-yielding and highly nutritious foods. That’s along with also producing industrial products such as fibers and biofuel feedstocks.

News : The DOE Joint Genome Institute Expands Capabilities via New Partnerships
webmaster Posted on 2013/5/17 1:02:02 ( 2127 reads )

With the publication last year of its strategic plan, “Forging the Future — A Ten-Year Strategic Vision” the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) has positioned itself to provide the most current technology and expertise to their users so that they can address pressing energy and environmental scientific challenges.

An important early step in this process is the launch of the Emerging Technologies Opportunity Program (ETOP). The primary purpose of the ETOP is to develop and support selected new technologies that DOE JGI could establish to add value to the high throughput sequencing it currently carries out for its users. The program was one of several recommendations that emerged from the DOE JGI’s strategic planning as well as a complementary process carried out by DOE’s Office of Biological and Environmental Research. Now, a new set of partnerships is taking shape in response to the ETOP’s first call for proposals. These span the development of new scalable DNA synthesis technologies to the latest approaches to high throughput sequencing and characterization of single microbial cells from complex environmental samples.

News : The 9 Billion People Question
webmaster Posted on 2013/2/25 22:55:38 ( 2114 reads )

Presentation on Feb 20, 2013 by Rod A. Wing, Bud Antle Endowed Chair, School of Plant Sciences and Director of the Arizona Genomics Institute at the The University of Arizona

News : We travel the road to 'mastery of our biological destiny'
webmaster Posted on 2013/1/29 8:51:13 ( 9046 reads )

Genomics, the topic of this year's lecture series at the University of Arizona's College of Science, is not an inherently controversial topic.

It is the realm of scientists who sequence and assemble the entire set of DNA contained in each cell of an organism.

Genomics provides a road map for researchers in a variety of endeavors - biology, evolution, immunology, pharmacology, medicine, agriculture and more.

It has the potential to unlock the mysteries of our ancestry, feed the world, improve health, cure disease and lengthen productive lives.

In the public realm it also raises fears about the misuse of medical information, the danger of synthetic biology and concerns about our food supply, expressed in terms like "super weeds" and "Frankenfoods."

That is partly the reason for the lecture series, said Dr. Fernando Martinez, the pediatrician and asthma researcher who heads the UA's Bio5 Research Institute and will give the initial lecture Wednesday.

"The time has come for society to understand the genome," said Martinez.

He predicts that within the next 10 years, a personalized genome map will be made available to the parents of each child born in the United States.

That knowledge, combined with an increasing understanding of the function of individual genes and the epigenetic factors that influence how they work, he said, will make us "masters of our own biological destiny."

Epigenetics is the study of how identical DNA acts in different ways.

Knowledge of the genomes of food crops, meanwhile, will allow us to feed a worldwide population that will increase by 2 billion people before it reaches a predicted peak of 9 billion by 2050.

Genomics must play a role in that, Martinez said. "You can talk about it all you want, but we really have no alternative."

Rod Wing, director of the Arizona Genomics Institute, is pushing for an international campaign to meet the "9 billion problem" after years of honing research techniques for genomic sequencing.

He and researcher Qifa Zhang, of Huazhong Agricultural University in Wuhan, China, are heading an effort to raise $9 billion from philanthropists and governments to establish research centers in six areas of the globe.

The goal is to map and sequence multiple varieties of rice, aiming for a catalog of "green super rice" species that would grow in various climates and adverse conditions around the world.

News : Recap: UofA Genomics Institute Game 25
webmaster Posted on 2012/12/21 10:48:41 ( 1811 reads )


This first ever chess event at the absolutely amazing hall at U of A Genomics Institute was a success.
Close to 30 players competed in 3 different sections.There were many unique highlights about this tournament that we would like to mention here.
1. The AZ reigning State Champion International Master Levon Atounian played in the open section.
2. Several public schools chose this event as their first try in the chess arena and liked it so much that they registered immediately for the upcoming events too.
3. The SACA President Troy Oberg give a small speech and even played a serious house game.
4. 2 high ranked players got back to playing tournament chess after more than 20 years of chess hiatus!

News : UA Geneticists Help Solve Barley Genome Puzzle
webmaster Posted on 2012/10/17 13:23:07 ( 1721 reads )

As part of an international consortium, scientists led by UA plant sciences professor Rod Wing have helped decipher the genetic alphabet of the barley plant. This is the largest plant genome to be sequenced and paves the way for tackling the wheat genome, the last frontier in the world's most important cereal crops.

Higher yields, improved pest and disease resistance and enhanced nutritional value are among potential benefits of an international scientific research effort that has resulted in an integrated physical, genetical and functional sequence assembly of the barley genome, as described in a paper published in the journal Nature.

“If you think of all the barley genes as a giant puzzle, you could say we can now see what picture the puzzle shows, how many pieces there are, what they look like and where they go,” explained Rod Wing, Regents’ Professor of Plant Sciences in the University or Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of the UA Arizona Genomics Institute.

Wing and several members of his lab are part of the International Barley Sequencing Consortium, or IBSC, a consortium comprised of many researchers at many institutions across the world. Wing's group is part of the UA BIO5 Institute.

According to the IBSC, the new resource will facilitate the development of new and better barley varieties able to cope with the demands of climate change. It should also help in the fight against cereal crop diseases, which cause millions in losses every year.

"The barley genome will help us in our quest to help solve the ‘9 billion-people’ question: How to feed two more billion mouths in less than 40 years,” Wing said.

News : Can the World Feed 9 Billion People in 20 Years?
webmaster Posted on 2012/10/2 9:48:08 ( 1412 reads )

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A portion of AGI's material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 102620.