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Current Breeding News and Events, Breeding News Articles.
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An essential sustainable farming practice faces one big limitation: Land to produce seeds
The growth in cover cropping in the United States may soon hit a ceiling: planting millions of acres of cover crops requires huge extensions of land to produce cover crop seed. Between 3 and 6 percent of the 92 million acres of cropping land currently used for corn (maize) in the U.S. may be required to produce cover crop seed for that land area. (2020-06-11)

New study of endangered pacific pocket mice provides valuable genetic insights
Drawing on genetic data from six generations of Pacific pocket mice in this program, a new study has tracked reproductive success relative to a mouse's ancestral population. The findings, published this month in the journal Conservation Genetics, indicate that genetic diversity should be introduced from the larger, genetically healthier populations of Pacific pocket mice into a smaller, less healthy population -- and not the reverse. (2020-06-10)

Newly identified gene reduces pollen number of plants
Producing less sperm cells can be advantageous in self-fertilizing plants. An international study led by the University of Zurich identified a gene in the model plant Arabidopsis that reduces the number of pollen. In addition to supporting the evolutionary theory, these findings could help to optimize plant breeding and domestication in agriculture. (2020-06-08)

Stanford-led study suggests a new approach to reducing spread of mosquito-borne diseases
Stanford researchers working in rural Kenya have identified the most productive breeding habitats for mosquitoes that spread a range of untreatable viruses. Their findings point to more effective health interventions that focus on the purpose of water-holding containers. (2020-06-08)

Milkweed, only food source for monarch caterpillars, ubiquitously contaminated
New evidence identifies 64 pesticide residues in milkweed, the main food for monarch butterflies in the west. Milkweed samples from all of the locations studied in California's Central Valley were contaminated with pesticides, sometimes at levels harmful to monarchs and other insects. 32% of the samples contained pesticide levels known to be lethal to monarchs, according to a study released today in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. (2020-06-08)

Changes in cropping methods, climate decoy pintail ducks into an ecological trap
After a severe drought gripped the Prairie Pothole Region of the U.S. and Canada in the 1980s, populations of almost all dabbling duck species that breed there have recovered. But not northern pintails. Now, a new study by a team of researchers suggests why -- they have been caught in an ecological trap. (2020-05-28)

Patterns in crop data reveal new insight about plants and their environments
A new study unearthed patterns in datasets collected on rice plants across Asia that allowed researchers to develop a matrix to predict the traits of rice plants depending on their genetics and environment. The approach could lead to better predictability in crop production. (2020-05-27)

Warming climate is changing where birds breed
Spring is in full swing. Trees are leafing out, flowers are blooming, bees are buzzing, and birds are singing. But a recent study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that those birds in your backyard may be changing right along with the climate. (2020-05-26)

First fossil nursery of the great white shark discovered
An international research team led by Jaime A. Villafaña from the Institute of Palaeontology at the University of Vienna discovered the first fossil nursery area of the great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias in Chile. This discovery provides a better understanding of the evolutionary success of the largest top predator in today's oceans in the past and could contribute to the protection of these endangered animals. The study is published in the journal Scientific Reports. (2020-05-22)

Development of heat-tolerant annual ryegrass germplasm
Researchers develop new annual ryegrass for earlier fall planting in the southeastern US. (2020-05-21)

Faster breeding sea urchins: A comeback animal model for developmental biology
University of Tsukuba researchers identified a species of sea urchin with a relatively short breeding cycle of six months. They used CRISPR technology to remove a gene that provides pigment. Male albino sea urchins survived. Crossing these with wild-type sea urchins and then breeding the offspring yielded second-generation albino mutants that matured to adulthood. (2020-05-19)

Lack of insects in cities limits breeding success of urban birds
Urban insect populations would need to increase by a factor of at least 2.5 for urban great tits to have same breeding success as those living in forests according to research published in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Animal Ecology. (2020-05-18)

More than the sum of their genes
Reproducing efficiently in captivity is crucial for the survival of many wildlife species, yet reproductive success is often lower than in the wild. Currently, many zoo population management strategies prioritize the genetic diversity of captive populations. Scientists now argue that a broader perspective is required which also includes behavior, life-history, husbandry and environmental considerations. This would improve breeding success in zoos and the maintenance of the diversity of traits, behaviors, and phenotypes of threatened species. (2020-05-12)

New software supports decision-making for breeding
Researchers at the University of Göttingen have developed an innovative software program for the simulation of breeding programmes. The ''Modular Breeding Program Simulator'' (MoBPS) enables the simulation of complex breeding programmes in animal and plant breeding and is designed to assist breeders in their everyday decisions. In addition to economic criteria in breeding, the research team strives for goals such as sustainability, conservation of genetic diversity and improved animal welfare. The research appeared in G3 Genes, Genomes, Genetics. (2020-05-12)

Plants pass on 'memory' of stress to some progeny, making them more resilient
By manipulating the expression of one gene, geneticists can induce a form of 'stress memory' in plants that is inherited by some progeny, giving them the potential for more vigorous, hardy and productive growth, according to Penn State researchers, who suggest the discovery has significant implications for plant breeding. (2020-05-05)

'We urgently need a renewed public debate about new breeding technologies'
Plant breeding has considerably increased agricultural yields in recent decades and made a major contribution to combating global hunger and poverty. At the same time, however, the intensification of farming has had negative environmental effects. A recent study by the University of Göttingen shows that new plant breeding technologies - such as genetic engineering and gene editing - can help increase food production whilst being more environmentally friendly. Results were published in Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy. (2020-04-27)

Training instance segmentation neural network with synthetic datasets for seed phenotyping
A team of scientists led by Yosuke Toda, Designated Assistant Professor at the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (WPI-ITbM), Nagoya University, and Fumio Okura, Assistant Professor at the Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research, Osaka University, have developed a system which utilizes image analysis and artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze the shape of large numbers of seeds from a single image. (2020-04-24)

Recurrent genomic selection for wheat grain fructans
Development of Climate-Resilient, Nutritionally Improved Wheat (2020-04-23)

Conservation research on lynx
Scientists at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) and the Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology (Leibniz-FMP) discovered that selected anti-oxidative enzymes, especially the enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD2), may play an important role to maintain the unusual longevity of the corpus luteum in lynxes. It is highly likely that SOD2 not only detoxifies the reactive oxygen radicals in the cells, but also inhibits programmed cell death. (2020-04-23)

Rare video captures humpback whale nursing behaviors in UH Mānoa research
UH Mānoa Marine Mammal Research Program captures rare video of humpback whales nursing off of Maui. (2020-04-20)

Revealed: the secret life of godwits
To find out more about birds such as the black-tailed godwit, ecologists have been conducting long-term population studies using standardized information on reproductive behaviour--such as dates of egg-laying or hatching and levels of chick survival. New information gathered using geolocators on godwits in the Netherlands shows that traditional observation methods can lead to inaccurate data. The study was published in the April-issue of the Journal of Avian Biology. (2020-04-20)

Male ring-tail lemurs exude fruity-smelling perfume from their wrists to attract mates
Humans aren't the only primates who like smelling nice for their dates. In the journal Current Biology on April 16, scientists report that male ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) become more attractive to females by secreting a fruity and floral aroma from their wrists. Using detailed chemical analysis, the researchers identified three compounds responsible for this sweet scent, marking the first time that pheromones have been identified in a primate. (2020-04-16)

Odor experts uncover the smelly chemistry of lemur love
Three chemicals with floral, fruity scents are likely essential ingredients in the natural cologne male ring-tailed lemurs use to attract a mate. Experts in odor communication say these chemicals could be the first fully identified sex pheromones in primates. (2020-04-16)

How did an ancient plant from Latin America become Asia's second-most-important cash crop?
In recent decades, cassava yields in Asia have increased dramatically and industry is growing bitter varieties for starch, biofuels and a variety of other ingredients. In Southeast Asia, only sugarcane and rice surpass cassava in total tonnage produced. Some 8 million farmers from India to China depend on the crop for food and income. (2020-04-16)

Earth Day alert to save our frogs
With climate action a theme of Earth Day 2020 (April 22, 2020), a new research paper highlights the plight of some of the most at-risk amphibian species - and shortfalls in most conservation efforts. More than birds and most mammals, amphibians (frogs, salamander, worm-like caecilians, anurans, etc) are on the front line of extinction in a hotter, dryer climate conditions. (2020-04-16)

Breeding a hardier, more nutritious wheat
High-fructan wheat provides benefits for growers and consumers. (2020-04-15)

First complete German shepherd DNA offers new tool to fight disease
The DNA sequencing of a healthy German shepherd offers scientists new insight into the evolution of the domestic dog while also enabling dogs to be screened for hip and other diseases much more accurately. (2020-04-01)

Big brains or many babies: How birds can thrive in urban environments
Having bigger brains isn't the only strategy for success for birds adapting to urban habitats. Smaller-brained birds, like pigeons, thrive by reproducing more often. This prioritizes their future reproductive success over their present survival. These two distinct strategies represent ways of thriving within urban environments, and unsurprisingly, both strategies are less common in natural environments. Understanding which birds do well in cities, and which cannot tolerate these environments, is important for conservation efforts. (2020-03-25)

Weedy rice is unintended legacy of Green Revolution
Weedy rice is a feral form of rice that infests paddies worldwide and aggressively outcompetes cultivated varieties. A new study led by biologists at Washington University in St. Louis shows that weed populations have evolved multiple times from cultivated rice, and a strikingly high proportion of contemporary Asian weed strains can be traced to a few Green Revolution cultivars that were widely grown in the late 20th century. (2020-03-25)

6000-8000 km round trip flight of migratory wading birds tracked
Plovers winter and migrate utilizing rice paddy fields along their annual route. Little ringed plovers breeding in Nagano, Japan were tracked along their 6000 to 8000km round trip journey to gather previously unknown data regarding their course and preferred fueling sites. (2020-03-18)

Scientists optimize prime editing for rice and wheat
Recently, a research team led by Prof. GAO Caixia of the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences reported the optimization of a prime editing system (PPE system) for creating desired point mutations, insertions and deletions in two major cereal crops, namely, rice and wheat. The main components of a PPE system are a Cas9 nickase-RT fusion protein and a pegRNA. (2020-03-16)

Birds of a feather better not together
A new study of North American birds from Washington University in St. Louis finds that the regional stability of ecosystems over time depends on both the total number of species present in a locality and on the variation in species identities among localities. (2020-03-04)

Monogamous female sea turtles? Yes, thanks to sperm storage
Female sea turtles mate multiply to ensure fertilization. A study of nesting loggerhead female sea turtles in southwest Florida used genotyping to uncover how many fathers were represented in their nests. Surprisingly, scientists found that 75 percent of the female sea turtles had mated singly. No male was represented in more than one female's clutches. Findings provide insights into the relative numbers of males present in the breeding population, which are hard to get because males never come ashore. (2020-02-27)

Baldness gene discovery reveals origin of hairy alpine plants
Scientists have solved a puzzle that has long baffled botanists -- why some plants on high mountainsides are hairy while their low-lying cousins are bald. (2020-02-27)

Genetic resistance to lethal virus found in key farmed fish species
Resistance to a deadly disease that is affecting the second most farmed fish in the world has been found to be mainly due to differences in genes between families of the same fish. The breakthrough could help protect stocks of Tilapia fish, which is an important food source in Africa, Asia and South America and worth nearly $10 billion to the global economy. (2020-02-25)

A genetic map for maize
Researchers have decoded the genetic map for how maize from tropical environments can be adapted to the temperate US summer growing season. They believe that if they can expand the genetic base by using exotic varieties, they might be able to counter stresses such as emerging diseases and drought associated with growing corn in a changing climate. (2020-02-21)

Fifty years of data show new changes in bird migration
A growing body of research shows that birds' spring migration has been getting earlier and earlier in recent decades. New research from The Auk: Ornithological Advances on Black-throated Blue Warblers, a common songbird that migrates from Canada and the eastern US to Central America and back every year, uses fifty years of bird-banding data to add another piece to the puzzle, showing that little-studied fall migration patterns have been shifting over time as well. (2020-02-20)

Social networks reveal dating in blue tits
Blue tits that are already associated in winter are more likely to have young together in the spring. (2020-02-20)

USask study reveals origin of endangered Colombian poison frog hybrids
The origin of an understudied hybrid population of poisonous frogs -- highly endangered colorful animals that live deep in the Colombian jungle -- is the result of natural breeding and not caused by wildlife traffickers moving them, a University of Saskatchewan (USask) study shows. (2020-02-18)

University of Toronto biologists develop new defense in fight against crop infections
Biologists at the University of Toronto have successfully tested a new strategy for identifying genetic resources critical for the ongoing battle against plant pathogens such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses that infect and destroy food crops worldwide. By focusing on the disease-associated genes available to pathogens, and the defenses available to plants, they have developed a new approach for identifying plant immune receptors, which is a genetic resource in short supply in agricultural breeding. (2020-02-18)

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