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Genetic study may make ancient Inca’s quinoa a grain of the future

The findings could pave the way to breeding out the bitter saponins that must currently be washed off post-harvest

Quinoa, the sacred “mother grain” of the ancient Inca civilization suppressed by Spanish conquistadors, could become an increasingly important food source in the future thanks to genetic secrets revealed in a new study. Scientists on Feb. 7 said they have mapped the genome of quinoa and identified a gene that could be manipulated to get […] Read more

Unlocking pineapple’s genetic secrets

Engineering crops like wheat to use the pineapple’s method of photosynthesis could dramatically boost its drought tolerance

The pineapple, the tropical fruit enjoyed by people worldwide in slices, chunks, juice, upside-down cakes, piña coladas, glazed ham and pizza, is finally giving up its genetic secrets. Scientists say they have sequenced the genome of the pineapple, learning about the genetic underpinning of the plant’s drought tolerance and special form of photosynthesis. The genome […] Read more

Crop researchers in a field

Rising CO2 levels may cut nutrient levels in crops, study finds

Wheat and rice were lower in zinc, iron and protein at higher levels of CO2

Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may cut the nutritional quality of some of the world’s most important food crops, researchers reported May 7 after conducting experiments simulating conditions expected by mid-century. The amounts of two important nutrients, zinc and iron, were found to be lower in wheat, rice, soybeans and field peas […] Read more

Sorghum gene map could lead to improved crops

Scientists have deciphered the genetic makeup of sorghum, a drought-tolerant crop and important food and biofuel source, and said the breakthrough could help develop better crops for arid regions. Sorghum is one of the world’s leading cereals, along with corn, wheat, oats and barley, and can thrive in hot, dry conditions other crops cannot tolerate. […] Read more