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Max Planck researchers urge more prominent role for zoos
Zoological gardens breed animals from threatened populations and can thus make a greater contribution towards biodiversity conservation. (2011-03-17)

Female birds -- acting just like the guys -- become sexual show-offs in cooperative breeding species
Female birds in species that breed in groups can find themselves under pressure to sexually show off and evolve the same kinds of embellishments -- like fanciful tail feathers or chest-puffing courtship dances -- as males, according to new research in the latest issue of Nature. (2009-12-09)

Climate change affects breeding birds
The breeding seasons of wild house finches are shifting due to climate change, a Washington State University researcher has found. (2018-12-19)

Climate change has mixed effects on migratory geese
Climate change improves the breeding chances of migratory geese in the Arctic -- but puts mother geese at more risk of death, according to a new study. (2017-01-05)

Taming wild wheat
When you eat your pasta, bread, or cake, think how much you owe to endless fields of grain. But wheat genetics are poorly understood compared to rice and other cereal crops. In the October issue of Genome Research, Eviatar Nevo and colleagues (University of Haifa) explore the genome of wild emmer wheat, a progenitor of modern cultivated wheat and a potential resource for breeding better wheat crops. (2000-10-12)

Music with dinner: Whales sing during foraging season, not just while breeding
Humpback whales might be expected to take their food seriously given their enormous size, but a new study shows that they may multi-task as they eat, singing mating or breeding songs as they forage in their Antarctic feeding grounds. The research, published Dec. 19 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Alison Stimpert from the Naval Postgraduate School and colleagues, sheds new light on the whales' singing habits in different seasons, which are still a mystery. (2012-12-19)

Identifying mega-targets for high-yield plant breeding
Genetic diversity in a breeding program is essential as an insurance against unforeseeable changes in the environment and to maintain genetic progress, and the incorporation of diversity should be planned carefully. A recent study proposed data-driven methods to group breeding programs likely to be compatible for germplasm exchange. (2009-02-16)

Critically endangered species should be left to breed in the wild
Research from the University of East Anglia shows that critically endangered species should be left to breed in the wild -- rather than in captivity. Captive breeding programs offer a last resort to guard against extinction of critically endangered species such as Sumatran tigers and Arabian oryx. But the new study, which focuses on the critically endangered Great Indian Bustard, shows more should be done to prevent extinction in the wild. (2015-06-04)

Shorebirds more likely to divorce after successful breeding
Research led by the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath found that a range of factors affected the fidelity and parenting behaviour of plovers, rather than being defined by the species. (2020-09-28)

Burying beetles hatch survival plan to source food, study shows
Young beetles pick up sensory signals from adult insects to increase their chances of being fed -- and shorten the odds of being killed instead. (2015-01-20)

ARS researchers develop method to speed up breeding of scab-resistant barley cultivars
Agricultural Research Service scientists have developed an efficient and cost-effective method to speed up the breeding of scab-resistant barley cultivars, thus improving crop quality for small-grain breeders in the Northern Plains. (2010-02-02)

Breeding trouble: Meta-analysis identifies fishy issues with captive stocks
A meta-analysis has found patterns that may be jeopardising the long-term success of worldwide animal breeding programs, which increasingly act as an insurance against extinction in conservation, and for food security. Captive-born animals had, on average, almost half the odds of reproductive success compared to their wild-born counterparts in captivity; in aquaculture, the effects were particularly pronounced. The Sydney-based scientists were surprised by how universal the patterns were across the animal kingdom. (2018-03-13)

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)

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

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

Costly breeding programs for endangered species pay off
New findings from a comparison of the long-term implications of zoo breeding programs bolster the case for so-called (2005-06-29)

First come, first bred
Arriving early in the breeding area is crucial for successful reproduction also in non-migratory birds. (2020-01-13)

Small molecules to help make SMARTER cereals
University of Adelaide researchers are rethinking plant breeding strategies to improve the development of new high-yielding, stress-tolerant cereal varieties. (2016-08-08)

Breeding benefits when love bites wombats on the butt
Monitoring wombats for behaviors such as pacing and rump biting could help conservation efforts by increasing the success of captive breeding. (2018-05-09)

Dog DNA tests alone not enough for healthy pedigree, experts say
Breeding dogs on the basis of a single genetic test carries risks and may not improve the health of pedigree lines, experts warn. Only a combined approach that makes use of DNA analysis, health screening schemes and pedigree information will significantly reduce the frequency of inherited diseases, according to a review of the practice by researchers at the University of Edinburgh's Roslin Institute. (2015-03-04)

Mom's reward: Female Galápagos seabird has a shorter lifespan than males
The male Nazca booby, a large seabird of the Galápagos Islands, often outlives the domineering female of the species, according to new research from Wake Forest University published today in the Journal of Animal Ecology. Why? It's a story of rotating sex partners, the cost of being a parent and how the body falls apart in old age. (2019-02-12)

Iron Age breeding practices likely influenced lack of stallion lineages in modern horses
Selective breeding just before and during the Iron Age nearly 3,000 years ago is likely the reason for the lack of variability in modern domestic horses' paternally inherited DNA, a trait unique among livestock animals. (2018-04-18)

Salamanders that breed in the fall are less likely to disperse
With changing environments, pond-breeding salamanders face increasingly hazardous treks as the space between breeding ponds and their non-breeding habitat widens or is degraded. A study from the University of Missouri suggests that a salamander's success may depend more on when it breeds than on the landscape obstacles it might face. Scientists believe that knowing the patterns in which salamanders move back and forth could lead to better forest management and conservation strategies. (2017-08-09)

Plant breeders balance shared innovation, revenue
Crop breeding research and innovation requires funding. But funding--and revenue from the crops developed--is increasingly hard to obtain. In response, a group of plant breeders met to discuss best practices. A recent paper summarizes their recommendations. (2018-05-02)

'Super Broccoli' takes brassica family to Chelsea Flower Show
Warwick HRI, the University of Warwick's plant research Department, has created a stand at the world famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show with a range of (2006-05-19)

Arctic ducks combine nutrients from wintering and breeding grounds to grow healthy eggs
It takes a lot of nutrients to build an egg. One of the big questions among researchers who study the eggs of migratory birds is where those nutrients come from -- does the mother make the egg directly out of what she eats during the breeding season, or does she save up nutrients consumed on her wintering grounds? The answer appears to be both for Common Eiders, large, sea-going ducks that breed in the Arctic. (2015-05-20)

Breeding in the crowns of coconut palms
Control of coconut rhinoceros beetles is problematic on the island of Guam. (2015-10-26)

2008 giant panda mating season at National Zoo
The 2008 giant panda mating season began Tuesday, March 18, at the Smithsonian's National Zoo. Female Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) and male Tian Tian (tee-YEN tee-YEN) attempted to mate throughout the day Tuesday. Zoo staff carefully observed each mating and, because satisfactory mating did not occur, Zoo scientists and veterinarians performed a nonsurgical artificial insemination Wednesday morning. Both pandas were anesthetized, allowing Zoo scientists to collect sperm from Tian Tian and insert it directly into Mei Xiang's uterus. (2008-03-20)

Overcrowding forces pheasants to cooperate in Hawaii
'Survival of the fittest' usually means that animals put their own needs first, but occasionally it pays to work together. A new study in The Auk: Ornithological Advances describes an unusual example of cooperative breeding in an introduced pheasant population in Hawaii, where young males help care for chicks and defend against intruders rather than striking out on their own. (2016-09-07)

Climate-adapted plant breeding
Securing plant production is a global task. Using a combination of new molecular and statistical methods, a research team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) was able to show that material from gene banks can be used to improve traits in the maize plant. Old varieties can thus help to breed new varieties adapted to current and future climates. (2020-11-11)

Alaska's shorebirds exposed to mercury
Shorebirds breeding in Alaska are being exposed to mercury at levels that could put their populations at risk, according to new research from The Condor: Ornithological Applications. (2016-07-13)

Cichlid male nannies help out, especially if they've been sneaking
Subordinate male cichlid fish who help with the childcare for the dominant breeding pair are occasionally actually the fathers of some of the offspring they help to rear, according to new research from the University of Bristol published today in PLoS ONE. This sneaky paternity increases the subordinate fish's investment in the offspring in their care. (2011-10-13)

Behavioral ecology: Personalities promote adaptability
Bold great tits lay their eggs earlier when under threat, the shy ones put it off. Such personality differences help maintain the biological variation essential for the survival of populations, as Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich biologists have now shown. (2019-04-08)

Unmanned aerial vehicles help wheat breeders
Usually, breeders pick the best wheat lines by hand, but unmanned aerial vehicles that record certain measures of plant health can help breeders select wheat lines more efficiently. (2020-09-03)

Devotion to rearing chicks can come at a cost for migratory birds
Birds that have to work harder during breeding season will feel the effects of their exertions the following year, according to research by Oxford University scientists. A new study published in the Journal of Animal Ecology found that migratory seabirds suffered negative repercussions when they had to spend more time rearing chicks, including decreased breeding success when they returned to the colony the following spring. (2016-08-30)

Can returning crops to their wild states help feed the world?
To feed the world's growing population -- expected to reach nine billion by the year 2050 -- we will have to find ways to produce more food on less farmland, without causing additional harm to the remaining natural habitat. A Trends in Plant Science review points the way to intensifying agriculture sustainably by fixing weaknesses that have sprung up quite by accident in the process of traditional crop breeding over the course of thousands of years. (2014-12-16)

New Texas A&M gene study aimed at enhanced cotton fiber breeding, toolkits
A new study by Texas A&M University cotton researchers and breeders will take advantage of new high-throughput sequencing technology to rapidly advance cotton genetics research and breeding. The three-year, $500,000 National Institute for Food and Agriculture-funded study will be conducted by Dr. Hongbin Zhang. Their goal: maintain US cotton's competitiveness in the world cotton market, according to Dr. Hongbin Zhang, professor of plant genomics and systems biology and director of the Laboratory for Plant Genomics and Molecular Genetics in College Station. (2013-10-29)

Striped mice -- the neighbors from hell
Fighting, paternity tests and infidelity. No, not a daytime talk show, but the results of new research examining why the fur will fly if a four-striped grass mouse (Rhabdomys pumilio) wanders into his neighbor's territory. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Frontiers in Zoology investigated aggression in the mammalian species, finding that breeding males are much more concerned with repelling their neighbors than with defending their partners from complete strangers. (2010-06-22)

Dingo skull resistant to change from cross breeding with dogs, research shows
Australia's largest predator, the dingo, is resistant to one of the main threats to its survival as a species -- changes to skull shape brought about by cross breeding (hybridization) with dogs, research shows. (2016-03-09)

BP Biofuels, Texas AgriLife Research sign agreement to advance biofuel feedstock development
BP Biofuels and Texas AgriLife Research, part of The Texas A&M University System, have signed a three-year agreement to develop and commercialize cellulosic feedstocks for the production of advanced biofuels. The collaboration will utilize AgriLife Research's diverse high biomass energy crop breeding program and BP Biofuels' position as one of the few global energy companies growing commercial-scale biomass crops for liquid fuels. (2012-08-14)

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