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How fruit's genes make everything seem peachy

By RJ Whitehead

Chinese scientists have uncovered how a peach appears “peachy” after identifying genes involved in 12 key qualities of the fruit, from hairiness of the skin to the tartness of the fruit. 

Vanilla shenzhenica is a species of vanilla orchid

China

Scientists sequence the vanilla genome

By RJ Whitehead

Chinese scientists have completed the genome sequencing of Vanilla shenzhenica, giving way to hopes that a synthetic version of the world’s second most expensive spice.

Keeping it clean: 3 botanical chiefs pull adulteration weeds

Dispatches from Vitafoods Europe 2014

Keeping it clean: 3 botanical chiefs pull adulteration weeds

By Shane STARLING

Botanical adulteration, like doping in sports, is a problem that can be controlled but never totally resolved, but what is being done about it? Here the world’s biggest botanical players debate their attacks on the problem.

India-led team decodes genome sequence of the chickpea

'Scientific breakthrough'

India-led team decodes genome sequence of the chickpea

By RJ Whitehead

A global research project led by a Hyderabad institute claims to have sequenced 90 genomes of the chickpea, paving the way for improved grain yields, greater drought tolerance and enhanced genetic diversity.

DNA amplification on microspheres for safer food. Picture couresty of the University of Queensland

Technology allows faster screening for bacteria on food

By Joe Whitworth

Australian researchers have claimed a breakthrough that will allow them to use DNA amplification on “microspheres” to rapidly detect and identify large numbers of different bacteria at once.

Sweeter, more blight-resistant watermelon on the cards

Science

Sweeter, more blight-resistant watermelon on the cards

By RJ Whitehead

Evidence from a significant study now suggests that watermelon is a vital species for genetic research on account of its small genome size, and its diverse genetic mutants and variants. The findings also pave the way for research into genetic improvement...

Genomics are unlocking salt-ready rice potential, say researchers

Salt tolerant rice for Tsunami soils ready within two years

By Kacey Culliney

A method for marker-assisted breeding, conceived in 2009 through a collaborative research project between the UK and Japan, is now focused on developing rice breeds tolerant to salt-sodden Japanese soils following the Tsunami last year.

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