Current Sorghum News and Events

Current Sorghum News and Events, Sorghum News Articles.
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Early breeding reduced harmful mutations in sorghum
A new Cornell University study found that harmful mutations in sorghum landraces - early domesticated crops - decreased compared to their wild relatives through the course of domestication and breeding. (2021-01-20)

Energy sorghum may combine best of annual, perennial bioenergy crops
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation (CABBI) found that energy sorghum, an annual crop, behaves more like the perennial grass miscanthus in the way it efficiently captures light and uses water to produce abundant biomass. The findings highlight energy sorghum's potential as a sustainable bioenergy crop and provide critical data for biogeochemical and ecological models used to forecast crop growth, productivity, and sustainability. (2021-01-07)

Researcher boosts vegetable oil production in plant leaves
Jay Thelen, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Missouri, has found a way to boost the production of triacylglycerol -- the main component of vegetable oil -- in plant leaves, a technique that could allow producers to harvest oil from large, leafy plants that also have other uses. Sorghum, for example -- a global source of grain prized for its drought-resistant qualities -- could serve a dual role as a source of vegetable oil, creating a more efficient and valuable crop. (2020-12-17)

Microbes and plants: A dynamic duo
The unique partnership between root-dwelling microbes and the plants they inhabit can reduce drought stress. (2020-12-09)

New cost-effective technique facilitates study of non-bacterial plant microbiomes
Thanks to a new technique developed by plant pathologists in Connecticut, scientists now have access to an affordable and effective tool to facilitate the study of the entire non-bacterial microbiomes of any plant species. (2020-12-08)

Surprising trove of sorghum diversity discovered in Australia -- but it's disappearing fast
New research found that wild cousins of sorghum, the fifth-most important cereal crop globally, are most concentrated in Australia, despite having been domesticated in Africa. But with 12 of the total 23 wild relative species possibly endangered, four vulnerable, and four near threatened, these economically important wild plants are in peril. (2020-11-30)

C4 rice's first wobbly steps towards reality
An international long-term research collaboration aimed at creating high yielding and water use efficient rice varieties, has successfully installed part of the photosynthetic machinery from maize into rice. (2020-11-12)

Research reveals infertile spikelets contribute to yield in sorghum and related grasses
A team of scientists at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, in laboratories led by Elizabeth (Toby) Kellogg PhD, member and Robert E. King Distinguished Investigator, and Doug Allen, PhD, associate member and USDA research scientist, set out to answer the questions; could this apparently useless floral structure capture and move photosynthetic carbon to the seed? And, ultimately, if removed, would we notice a difference in yield? (2020-11-05)

Corn and other crops are not adapted to benefit from elevated carbon dioxide levels
Although rising carbon dioxide levels can boost plant growth, a new review from the University of Illinois shows that some crops, including corn, are adapted to a pre-industrial environment and cannot distribute their resources effectively to take advantage of extra CO2. (2020-11-05)

Bioenergy research team sequences miscanthus genome
An international research team has sequenced the full genome of an ornamental variety of miscanthus, a wild perennial grass emerging as a prime candidate for sustainable bioenergy crops. The genome project -- led by scientists at the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation (CABBI), a Department of Energy (DOE) bioenergy research center -- provides a road map for researchers exploring new avenues to maximize the plant's productivity and decipher the genetic basis for its desirable traits. (2020-10-28)

Extruded grains may be better for pigs
Extrusion is the norm in the pet and aqua feed industries, yet it remains unusual for swine feed in the United States. But the technology can improve energy and protein digestibility in pigs, according to research from the University of Illinois. (2020-10-23)

IPK scientists discover gene that ensures slim inflorescence shape of barley
The inflorescences of grasses often have very different shapes. An international research team led by IPK has now succeeded in identifying a gene that plays a decisive role in ensuring that barley develops its characteristic slender inflorescences, called spikes. Compared to other grasses, the COMPOSITUM1 (COM1) gene has acquired a new function during grass evolution. The results have today been published in Nature Communications magazine. (2020-10-12)

Plasma scientists optimize plant growth and yield
At the American Physical Society's Gaseous Electronics Conference, researchers described techniques for delivering plasma to seeds and plants and identifying which plants are most likely to respond. (2020-10-06)

Plant droplets serve as nutrient-rich food for insects
Small watery droplets on the edges of blueberry bush leaves are loaded with nutrients for many insects, including bees, wasps and flies, according to a Rutgers-led study, the first of its kind. The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, suggests that these droplets are an important but underexplored feature in plants, with profound implications for insects in agricultural and natural ecosystems. (2020-09-29)

A red future for improving crop production?
Researchers have found a way to engineer more efficient versions of the plant enzyme Rubisco by using a red-algae-like Rubisco from a bacterium. For 50 years scientists have strived to boost the activity of Rubisco, a promising target to increase crop production, as it controls how much and how fast plants fix carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into sugars and energy during photosynthesis. (2020-09-28)

Successful improvement of the catalytic activity of photosynthetic CO2 fixing enzyme Rubisco
A research group consisting of Associate Professor FUKAYAMA Hiroshi (Kobe University) and Professor MATSUMURA Hiroyoshi (Ritsumeikan University) et al. have succeeded in greatly increasing the catalytic activity of Rubisco, the enzyme which fixes carbon from CO2 in plant photosynthesis. The research team also hypothesized the mechanism which determines the enzyme's catalytic activity. In the future, it is hoped that increasing the photosynthetic ability of agricultural crops will lead to improved yields. (2020-09-14)

Parasitic plants attack crops when defending themselves from microbes
Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS) in Japan have discovered a link between defensive responses in plants and the beautiful but devastating crop parasite witchweed. Published in Nature, the new study shows that both parasitic and non-parasitic plants can detect and react to a class of organic compounds called quinones. While parasitic plants sense quinones in their prey and use it to invade, quinones trigger defensive responses in non-parasitic plants that can protect them from bacteria and other microbes. (2020-09-02)

Improving protein digestibility in sorghum
Improving protein digestibility in sorghum (2020-08-19)

Flavonoids' presence in sorghum roots may lead to frost-resistant crop
Flavonoid compounds -- produced by the roots of some sorghum plants -- positively affect soil microorganisms, according to Penn State researchers, who suggest the discovery is an early step in developing a frost-resistant line of the valuable crop for North American farmers. (2020-08-13)

Research underscores importance of global surveillance of plant pathogens
First spotted in the United States in 2014, bacterial leaf streak of corn is an emerging disease of corn that has now spread to ten states, including the top three corn-producing states of Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska. (2020-07-17)

Back to the future: new study could lead to bumper crops
Research led by scientists at The Australian National University (ANU) could lead to major improvements in crop production. The study shows a new way to help study and ramp up photosynthesis. (2020-07-14)

Water-saving alternative forage crops for Texas livestock
With increasing drought conditions in the Texas High Plains, researchers test sorghum and pearl millet as alternatives to corn. (2020-07-09)

Undergrad-led study suggests light environment modifications could maximize productivity
Crops form canopies with overlapping leaves. Typically, the sun leaves at the top of the canopy photosynthesize at maximum efficiency at high light, while shade leaves at the bottom photosynthesize at maximum efficiency at low light. However, this is not the case for maize (corn) and the bioenergy crop Miscanthus. Researchers have published a study that looked into the cause for this maladaptation and found that altered light conditions, not leaf age, were these crops' Achilles' Heel. (2020-06-24)

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 Midwest conditions may result in corn, soybean production moving north
If warming continues unabated in the Midwest, in 50 years we can expect the best conditions for corn and soybean production to have shifted from Iowa and Illinois to Minnesota and the Dakotas, according to Penn State researchers. (2020-05-04)

No time to waste to avoid future food shortages
Plant scientists are working on improving photosynthesis on different fronts, from finding crop varieties that need less water, to tweaking parts of the process in order to capture more carbon dioxide and sunlight to ensure future global food security. These solutions have been highlighted in a recent Food Security Special issue of the Journal of Experimental Botany. (2020-04-23)

Relying on 'local food' is a distant dream for most of the world
A recent study from Aalto University shows that less than one-third of the world's population could currently meet their demand for food produced in their local vicinity. (2020-04-17)

Overcoming carbon loss from farming in peatlands
Miscanthus, willow found as good biomass crops to add carbon to vulnerable soils. (2020-04-01)

Local genetic adaption helps sorghum crop hide from witchweed
Sorgum crops in areas where the parasite witchweed is common have locally adapted to have mutations in a particular gene, which helps the plant resist the parasite. A new study led by researchers at Penn State reveals the effects of this mutation, as well as other genes that might confer parasite resistance. (2020-02-11)

Organic crop practices affect long-term soil health
Prior organic farming practices and plantings can have lasting outcomes for future soil health, weeds and crop yields, according to new Cornell University research. (2019-12-20)

Switching cereals in India for improved nutrition, sustainability
A new study offers India a pathway to improve nutrition, climate resilience and the environment by diversifying its crop production. And it also offers global insights into the need to consider sustainable approaches to agriculture. (2019-12-18)

Sorghum study illuminates relationship between humans, crops and the environment in domestication
A new study illustrates the concept of a domestication triangle, in which human genetics interact with sorghum genetics and the environment to influence the traits farmers select in their crops. The concept gives a more complete systemic picture of domestication. (2019-12-10)

Less rice, more nutritious crops will enhance India's food supply
India can sustainably enhance its food supply if its farmers plant less rice and more nutritious and environmentally-friendly crops, including finger millet, pearl millet, and sorghum, according to a new study from the Data Science Institute at Columbia University. (2019-12-04)

Anthracnose alert: How bacteria prime fifth-biggest global grain crop against deadly fungus
Sorghum anthracnose devastates crops of the drought- and heat-resistant cereal worldwide. Priming with rhizobacteria can boost the plant's resistance against a range of microbial attacks. University of Johannesburg researchers decoded how priming enhances the 'security system' of plants for a much stronger, faster defence. Using metabolomics and machine learning algorithms, they identified changes in the sorghum plant's chemical response to fungal attack. The low-cost approach can counter other pathogens in economically important food crops. (2019-12-02)

Genomic gymnastics help sorghum plant survive drought
A new study provides the first detailed look at how the sorghum plant exercises exquisite control over its genome -- switching some genes on and some genes off at the first sign of water scarcity, and again when water returns -- to survive when its surroundings turn harsh and arid. (2019-12-02)

Beyond the green revolution
There has been a substantial increase in food production over the last 50 years, but it has been accompanied by a narrowing in the diversity of cultivated crops. New research shows that diversifying crop production can make food supply more nutritious, reduce resource demand and greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance climate resilience without reducing calorie production or requiring more land. (2019-11-19)

Too much sugar doesn't put the brakes on turbocharged crops
Plants make sugars to form leaves to grow and produce grains and fruits through the process of photosynthesis, but sugar accumulation can also slow down photosynthesis. Researching how sugars in plants control photosynthesis is therefore an important part of finding new ways of improving crop production. Recent research into highly productive turbocharged crops such as maize and sorghum, show the secret to their productivity could lie in their sugar-sensing responses which regulate photosynthesis inside their leaves. (2019-11-11)

Researchers double sorghum grain yield to improve food supply
A set of genes that make up the biosynthetic pathway controlling hormone production in sorghum plants can influence the number of flowers and seeds produced per plant. The gene has implications in plant breeding, where it could potentially double crop yield. (2019-10-30)

Photosynthesis olympics: can the best wheat varieties be even better?
Scientists have put elite wheat varieties through a sort of 'Photosynthesis Olympics' to find which varieties have the best performing photosynthesis. This could ultimately help grain growers to get more yield for less inputs in the farm. (2019-10-17)

Discovery of sorghum gene that controls bird feeding could help protect crops
A single gene in sorghum controls bird feeding behavior by simultaneously regulating the production of bad-tasting molecules and attractive volatiles, according to a study publishing Sept. 23 in the journal Molecular Plant. This gene, called Tannin1, controls the synthesis of bird-deterring astringent polyphenols called tannins, as well as bird-attracting fatty-acid-derived volatile organic compounds. The authors suggest that the findings could lead to novel control strategies to protect major cereal crops worldwide. (2019-09-23)

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