News FocusPlant Research

Can Genetically Modified Crops Go 'Greener'?

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Science  13 Oct 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5490, pp. 253-254
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5490.253

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A flood of new information from projects such as the sequencing of the genome of the mustard plant Arabidopsis has pinpointed genes involved in key processes such as speeding up flowering, changing a plant's basic architecture, or improving pest resistance. One example appears on page 344 of this issue; researchers report the cloning of an Arabidopsis gene called FRIGIDA and show that natural mutations leading to loss of FRIGIDA function are associated with early flowering, a helpful adaptation in some cold climates. Such work could allow researchers to enhance the traits they want by introducing one or a few genes from another plant, or by modifying the regulation of genes in their original settings.