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News : Advancing rice varieties to feed burgeoning world
webmaster Posted on 2016/6/4 1:30:00 ( 2720 reads )

Lee Allen, Contributing Writer

It’s almost universally agreed that a perfect storm is developing and agriculture faces a gargantuan task - feeding the world’s population expected to approach the 10 billion mark by 2050.

And if that’s doable, the challenge is how to accomplish this while wrestling with variables including less land, water, farmer numbers, plus the impact of climate change.

The Arizona Genomics Institute (AGI) reports, “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.”

The Institute, based in Tucson adds, “Crops will be needed that grow with less water, fertilizer, pesticides, on poorer soils, and with less labor - and still produce high-yielding and highly-nutritious foods.”

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News : The Rice Transposable Element database is available!
webmaster Posted on 2015/7/2 21:44:55 ( 6191 reads )

The Rice Transposable Element database (RiTE-db) collects repeated sequences and transposable elements (TEs) of several species of the Oryza (rice) genus, and the closely-related Leersia perrieri. In the current version, it contains more than 260,000 characterized sequences, of which 110,000 are full-length elements. Sequences can be browsed and downloaded, and all datasets are usable for remote Blast. All sequences can be used for scientific research upon citation of the source; the database is available at

News : UA's Rice Symposium Tackles 'People Question'
webmaster Posted on 2014/11/21 10:23:34 ( 3835 reads )

Rice will remain the primary source of food for half of the world, but the world's population is expected to grow by more than two billion in the next 35 years.
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Rod Wing explains the rice genome for the specific genus Oryza and how this information will lead to better crops and more food production for growing populations. (Photo: Christina Close/BIO5 Institute) ... m-tackles-people-question

News : Generating a Genome to Feed the World: UA-Led Team Decodes African Rice
webmaster Posted on 2014/8/12 15:27:59 ( 3276 reads )

An international team of researchers led by the University of Arizona has sequenced the complete genome of African rice.

The genetic information will enhance scientists' and agriculturalists' understanding of the growing patterns of African rice, as well as enable the development of new rice varieties that are better able to cope with increasing environmental stressors to help solve global hunger challenges.

News : Dawn of a new era in rice improvement
webmaster Posted on 2014/8/12 15:24:41 ( 2815 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.

More details:

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 ( 5221 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 ( 2408 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 ( 4053 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 ( 2885 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 ( 3007 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

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