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Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a soil bacterium that forms spores during the stationary phase of its growth cycle. The spores contain crystals, predominantly comprising one or more Cry and/or Cyt proteins (also known as δ-endotoxins) that have potent and specific insecticidal activity. Different strains of Bt produce different types of toxin, each of which(More)
The genomics revolution has taught us that a great deal of information can be derived from studying many genes or proteins at the same time. We are beginning to see this approach blossoming in applied research. Instead of attempting to generate useful transgenic plants by introducing single genes, we now see an increasing number of researchers embracing(More)
In order to gain further insight into the partly-characterized carotenoid biosynthetic pathway in corn (Zea mays L.), we cloned cDNAs encoding the enzymes carotenoid isomerase (CRTISO) and β-carotene hydroxylase (BCH) using endosperm mRNA isolated from inbred line B73. For both enzymes, two distinct cDNAs were identified mapping to different chromosomes.(More)
Carotenoids fulfill many processes that are essential for normal growth and development in plants, but they are also responsible for the breathtaking variety of red-to-yellow colors we see in flowers and fruits. Although such visual diversity helps to attract pollinators and encourages herbivores to distribute seeds, humans also benefit from the aesthetic(More)
The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are international development targets for the year 2015 that aim to achieve relative improvements in the standards of health, socioeconomic status and education in the world's poorest countries. Many of the challenges addressed by the MDGs reflect the direct or indirect consequences of subsistence agriculture in(More)
Antioxidants are protective molecules that neutralize reactive oxygen species and prevent oxidative damage to cellular components such as membranes, proteins and nucleic acids, therefore reducing the rate of cell death and hence the effects of ageing and ageing-related diseases. The fortification of food with antioxidants represents an overlap between two(More)
Malnutrition is a prevalent and entrenched global socioeconomic challenge that reflects the combined impact of poverty, poor access to food, inefficient food distribution infrastructure, and an over-reliance on subsistence mono-agriculture. The dependence on staple cereals lacking many essential nutrients means that malnutrition is endemic in developing(More)
Genetically engineered (GE) crops can be used as part of a combined strategy to address food insecurity, which is defined as a lack of sustainable access to safe and nutritious food. In this article, we discuss the causes and consequences of food insecurity in the developing world, and the indirect economic impact on industrialized countries. We dissect the(More)
Metabolic engineering in plants can be used to increase the abundance of specific valuable metabolites, but single-point interventions generally do not improve the yields of target metabolites unless that product is immediately downstream of the intervention point and there is a plentiful supply of precursors. In many cases, an intervention is necessary at(More)
Combinatorial nuclear transformation is used to generate populations of transgenic plants containing random selections from a collection of input transgenes. This is a useful approach because it provides the means to test different combinations of genes without the need for separate transformation experiments, allowing the comprehensive analysis of(More)