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Current Breeding News and Events, Breeding News Articles.
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Domesticated chickens have smaller brains
Researchers from Linköping University suggest a process by which the timid junglefowl from the rain forest could have become today's domesticated chicken. When the scientists selectively bred the junglefowl with least fear of humans for 10 generations, the offspring acquired smaller brains and found it easier to become accustomed to frightening but non-hazardous events. The results shed new light over how domestication may have changed animals so much in a relatively short time. (2020-08-26)

Why flat-faced dogs remain popular despite health problems
Owners of bulldogs, French bulldogs and pugs are highly likely to want to own their breed again in the future, and to recommend their breed to other owners, according to a study published August 26, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Rowena Packer of the Royal Veterinary College, UK, and colleagues. The development of breed loyalty toward these so-called brachycephalic (flat-faced) dogs may lead to their continued proliferation and popularity, despite their substantial health risks. (2020-08-26)

Researchers help inform cassava breeding worldwide
Scientists in Cornell University's NextGen Cassava project have uncovered new details regarding cassava's genetic architecture that may help breeders more easily pinpoint traits for one of Africa's key crops. (2020-08-25)

Declining US plant breeding programs impacts food security
Decreasing access to funding, technology, and knowledge in U.S. plant breeding programs could negatively impact our future food security. (2020-08-20)

Species competition and cooperation influence vulnerability to climate change
Organisms need to work together to adapt to climate change, especially in the presence of competitors, suggests a new study published today in eLife. (2020-08-18)

Cormorant predation may reduce perch catches, especially close to breeding areas
The joint study estimated the impact of cormorants breeding and living in Quark on perch populations and catches in the area. A large number of breeding cormorants in the important perch fishing and reproduction areas may reduce perch populations and catches especially in areas affected by breeding. On a larger spatial scale, the impact of cormorant predation is lower. The study was published in the ICES Journal of Marine Science in August 2020. (2020-08-17)

Changes in climate and land cover affecting European migratory bird populations
Changes in climate and habitat on the breeding and non-breeding grounds of migratory birds are both playing an important part in driving their long-term population changes. (2020-08-14)

'Madsen' wheat as source of disease resistance
Researchers show that 'Madsen,' a commonly used wheat variety, is resistant to more pests and diseases than recently thought, making it a good source of genes for breeding better wheat. (2020-08-13)

Analyzing the factors that enable fish to reproduce in the Gulf of Cadiz
The Guadalquivir estuary showed the highest density of early stages fish and also of macro-zooplankton (fish prey). A higher concentration of organic matter (preferential food of the macrozooplanton in the Guadalquivir), provided by a greater flow of fresh water and correlated with total suspended solids, inorganic matter and turbidity, were the most typical characteristics of the Guadalquivir. (2020-08-13)

New USask-led research reveals previously hidden features of plant genomes
An international team led by the Plant Phenotyping and Imaging Research Centre (P2IRC) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) and researchers at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has decoded the full genome for the black mustard plant--research that will advance breeding of oilseed mustard crops and provides a foundation for improved breeding of wheat, canola and lentils. (2020-08-10)

Agtech to the rescue in a pandemic: adapting plant labs for human testing
Just as redeploying a fleet of small British fishing boats helped during the Battle of Dunkirk, marshalling the research equipment and expertise of the many agtech labs around the world could help combat pandemics, say the authors of a just-published article in Nature Biotechnology. Sophisticated agtech labs and equipment used for crop and animal breeding, seed testing, and monitoring of plant and animal diseases could easily be adapted for diagnostic testing and tracing in a human pandemic or epidemic, the article states. (2020-08-10)

Decline in plant breeding programs could impact food security
A team of scientists led by Kate Evans, a Washington State University horticulture professor who leads WSU's pome fruit (apples and pears) breeding program, found that public plant breeding programs are seeing decreases in funding and personnel. (2020-08-07)

Scientists discover new penguin colonies from space
A new study using satellite mapping technology reveals there are nearly 20% more emperor penguin colonies in Antarctica than was previously thought. The results provide an important benchmark for monitoring the impact of environmental change on the population of this iconic bird. (2020-08-04)

Research could save years of breeding for new Miscanthus hybrids
As climate change becomes increasingly difficult to ignore, scientists are working to diversify and improve alternatives to fossil-fuel-based energy. Renewable bioenergy crops, such as the perennial grass Miscanthus, show promise for cellulosic ethanol production and other uses, but current hybrids are limited by environmental conditions and susceptibility to pests and diseases. (2020-07-28)

European maize highlights the hidden differences within a species
Maize is one of our major staple foods and is cultivated around the world, showcasing a broad range of genetic adaptations to different environmental conditions. To date, the best understood maize line is the American dent maize line B73. Scientists have now expanded our knowledge of the maize genome through the analysis of four European flint lines. The found genetic differences between the lines illustrate the importance of looking at the pangenome of a crop, when working with its genetics. (2020-07-27)

European and American maize: Same same, but different
German researchers decoded the European maize genome. In comparison to North American maize lines, they discovered variations that underlie phenotypic differences and may also contribute to the heterosis effect. A better understanding of the effect could impact breeding for higher yields. For cultivation of maize in areas with low yields and for challenges imposed by the climate change these observations might be of particular importance. (2020-07-27)

Shifts seen in breeding times and duration for 73 boreal bird species over 40 years
In a new study out this week, a team including forest ecologist Malcolm Itter at the University of Massachusetts Amherst reports finding ''clear evidence of a contraction of the breeding period'' among boreal birds in Finland over a 43-year span for which good quality data were available. (2020-07-23)

Mitigation of greenhouse gases in dairy cattle through genetic selection
Researchers in Spain propose mitigating methane production by dairy cattle through breeding. In an article appearing in the Journal of Dairy Science, scientists are targeting reduction of enteric methane in the breeding objectives for dairy cattle to select for animals that use feed more efficiently and thus produce less methane. Because livestock farming contributes 13 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, selective breeding can reduce those emissions while increasing milk output. (2020-07-22)

OSU researchers part of international effort to save critically endangered seabird
The global population of the critically endangered Chinese crested tern has more than doubled thanks to a historic, decade-long collaboration among Oregon State University researchers and scientists and conservationists in China, Taiwan and Japan. (2020-07-21)

Site-directed mutagenesis in wheat via haploid induction by maize
Site-directed mutagenesis facilitates the experimental validation of gene function and can speed up plant breeding by producing new biodiversity or by reproducing previously known gene variants in other than their original genetic backgrounds. However, its application is challenging in wheat owing to high genomic redundancy and highly genotype-dependent DNA transfer methods. (2020-07-21)

Cheese making relies on milk proteins to form structure
Cheese production relies on coagulation of milk proteins into a gel matrix after addition of rennet. Milk that does not coagulate (NC) under optimal conditions affects the manufacturing process, requiring a longer processing time and lowering the cheese yield, which, in turn, has economic impact. In an article appearing in the Journal of Dairy Science, scientists from Lund University studied the protein composition of milk samples with different coagulation properties to learn more about why only some milk coagulates with rennet. (2020-07-20)

Breeding new rice varieties will help farmers in Asia
New research shows enormous potential for developing improved short-duration rice varieties. (2020-07-16)

Mystery about cause of genetic disease in horses
Warmblood fragile foal syndrome is a severe, usually fatal, genetic disease that manifests itself after birth in affected horses. Due to the defect, the connective tissue is unstable. Under force, the skin tears from the tissue underneath and the joints can dislocate. Researchers from the Universities of Göttingen and Halle have now been able to prove that the disease did not stem from the English thoroughbred stallion Dark Ronald XX. The results were published in Animal Genetics. (2020-07-15)

Predation by Caspian terns on young steelhead means fewer return as adults
Caspian terns feeding on young fish have a significant impact on runs of steelhead in the Columbia River, new research suggests. (2020-07-14)

Research reveals regulatory features of maize genome during early reproductive development
A team of researchers led by Andrea Eveland, Ph.D., assistant member, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, has mapped out the non-coding, 'functional' genome in maize during an early developmental window critical to formation of pollen-bearing tassels and grain-bearing ears. (2020-07-07)

Why it's no last orders for the Tequila bat
Scientists studying the 'near threatened' tequila bat, best known for its role in pollinating the Blue Agave plant from which the drink of the same name is made from, have analysed its DNA to help inform conservationists on managing their populations. The findings are published in Global Ecology and Conservation. (2020-07-06)

Colony-level genetics predict gentle behavior in Puerto Rican honey bees
Puerto Rico's population of African-European hybrid honey bees (AHB) are famously known for being much gentler than their continental counterparts. Now Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their colleagues have found that this reduced defending of the nest is determined by colony-level genetics as opposed to individual bee's DNA, according to a study just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2020-07-06)

Putting zinc on bread wheat leaves
Applying zinc to the leaves of bread wheat can increase wheat grain zinc concentrations and improve its nutritional content. (2020-07-02)

The mystery of pollen sterility and its reversion in pigeon pea revealed in a new study
The Vienna Metabolomics Centre (VIME), University of Vienna, in collaboration with International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), based in India has made a breakthrough in pigeonpea by resolving the mystery behind fertility-sterility transition in pigeonpea. (2020-07-01)

Cowbirds change their eggs' sex ratio based on breeding time
Brown-headed cowbirds show a bias in the sex ratio of their offspring depending on the time of the breeding season, researchers report in a new study. More female than male offspring hatch early in the breeding season in May, and more male hatchlings emerge in July. (2020-06-24)

Long-tailed tits avoid incest by recognising the calls of relatives
Long-tailed tits actively avoid harmful inbreeding by discriminating between the calls of close family members and non-family members, according to new research from the University of Sheffield. (2020-06-23)

Welfare concerns highlighted over 'institutional hoarding' of cats
The compulsive hoarding of animals is a poorly understood psychiatric disorder in people. Characterised by failure to provide minimum standards of care, it can result in malnourishment, uncontrolled breeding, overcrowding and neglect. (2020-06-23)

Wind beneath their wings: Albatrosses fine-tuned to wind conditions
A new study of albatrosses has found that wind plays a bigger role in their decision to take flight than previously thought, and due to their differences in body size, males and females differ in their response to wind. (2020-06-19)

Scientists unlock secrets of Ethiopia's superfood in race to save it from warming climate
Teff, an ancient grain originally from Ethiopia, is a staple crop for 50 million people in the country. It is also increasingly popular worldwide, touted as a superfood for its gluten-free, high fiber and protein, and low-sugar properties. Yet dramatic temperature increases projected in Ethiopia by 2070, could force farmers to grow it only in mountainous areas at higher altitudes, driving down production. (2020-06-18)

Uncovering the genetic basis of hermaphroditism in grapes, the trait that allowed domestication
Plant experts at UC Davis have defined the genetic basis of sex determination in grapevines, one of the oldest and most valuable crops worldwide. In new research Dario Cantu and Mélanie Massonnet propose a novel model of sex evolution before and during grapevine domestication nearly 8,000 years ago. Their work could have broad application in breeding grapes and other plant species. (2020-06-18)

Tomato's hidden mutations revealed in study of 100 varieties
A new analysis of difficult-to-access genetic variation is the most comprehensive ever conducted in plants. It could guide the improvement of tomatoes and other crops. (2020-06-17)

Chinese scientists construct high-quality graph-based soybean genome
Recently, the research group led by Prof. TIAN Zhixi from the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology (IGDB) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), in cooperation with Profs. LIANG Chengzhi and ZHU Baoge's team, Prof. HAN Bin's team from the Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences of CAS, Prof. HUANG Xuehui's team from Shanghai Normal University, and the Berry Genomics Corporation, individually de novo assembled 26 soybean genomes and constructed a high quality graph-based soybean pan-genome. (2020-06-17)

Unpacking the two layers of bacterial gene regulation during plant infection
A new study has revealed new insights into how pathogenic bacteria regulate gene expression during plant infection as well as the strategies employed by plants to protect themselves from bacterial invaders. (2020-06-15)

Where have the swans gone?
Nearly 13 kilometres per year: that is the rate at which the wintering area of Bewick's swans has shifted east over the past 50 years. It's a discovery with consequences for the conservation of this migratory species, writes a team of researchers led by the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) in Global Change Biology. (2020-06-12)

The best parents: Genetically as divergent as possible with similar preferences
The more diverse in genetics, than better. But only in cases of similar preferences. A team of researchers led by IPK Gatersleben has succeeded in providing answers to a long unsolved question in the breeding of plant hybrids. (2020-06-12)

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