Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Energy News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



FARM NEWS
Genetically boosting the nutritional value of corn could benefit millions
by Staff Writers
Brunswick NJ (SPX) Oct 10, 2017


illustration only

Rutgers scientists have found an efficient way to enhance the nutritional value of corn - the world's largest commodity crop - by inserting a bacterial gene that causes it to produce a key nutrient called methionine, according to a new study.

The Rutgers University-New Brunswick discovery could benefit millions of people in developing countries, such as in South America and Africa, who depend on corn as a staple. It could also significantly reduce worldwide animal feed costs.

"We improved the nutritional value of corn, the largest commodity crop grown on Earth," said Thomas Leustek, study co-author and professor in the Department of Plant Biology in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. "Most corn is used for animal feed, but it lacks methionine - a key amino acid - and we found an effective way to add it."

The study, led by Jose Planta, a doctoral student at the Waksman Institute of Microbiology, was published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Methionine, found in meat, is one of the nine essential amino acids that humans get from food, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. It is needed for growth and tissue repair, improves the tone and flexibility of skin and hair, and strengthens nails. The sulfur in methionine protects cells from pollutants, slows cell aging and is essential for absorbing selenium and zinc.

Every year, synthetic methionine worth several billion dollars is added to field corn seed, which lacks the substance in nature, said study senior author Joachim Messing, a professor who directs the Waksman Institute of Microbiology. The other co-author is Xiaoli Xiang of the Rutgers Department of Plant Biology and Sichuan Academy of Agricultural Sciences in China.

"It is a costly, energy-consuming process," said Messing, whose lab collaborated with Leustek's lab for this study. "Methionine is added because animals won't grow without it. In many developing countries where corn is a staple, methionine is also important for people, especially children. It's vital nutrition, like a vitamin."

Chicken feed is usually prepared as a corn-soybean mixture, and methionine is the sole essential sulfur-containing amino acid that's missing, the study says.

The Rutgers scientists inserted an E. coli bacterial gene into the corn plant's genome and grew several generations of corn. The E. coli enzyme - 3?-phosphoadenosine-5?-phosphosulfate reductase (EcPAPR) - spurred methionine production in just the plant's leaves instead of the entire plant to avoid the accumulation of toxic byproducts, Leustek said. As a result, methionine in corn kernels increased by 57 percent, the study says.

Then the scientists conducted a chicken feeding trial at Rutgers and showed that the genetically engineered corn was nutritious for them, Messing said.

"To our surprise, one important outcome was that corn plant growth was not affected," he said.

In the developed world, including the U.S., meat proteins generally have lots of methionine, Leustek said. But in the developing world, subsistence farmers grow corn for their family's consumption.

"Our study shows that they wouldn't have to purchase methionine supplements or expensive foods that have higher methionine," he said.

Research paper

FARM NEWS
Climate change, population growth may lead to open ocean aquaculture
Corvallis OR (SPX) Oct 06, 2017
A new analysis suggests that open-ocean aquaculture for three species of finfish is a viable option for industry expansion under most climate change scenarios - an option that may provide a new source of protein for the world's growing population. This modeling study found that the warming of near-shore surface waters would shift the range of many species toward the higher latitudes - wher ... read more

Related Links
Rutgers University
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

FARM NEWS
Public Invited to Analyze Photos Taken by International Space Station Astronauts

Global Airborne Mission to Make Ozone Hole Detour

New Radar Sensor Provides Clear Vision in Any Weather

Scientists monitor Silicon Valley's underground water reserves - from space

FARM NEWS
exactEarth Announces Agreement with Alltek Marine to Expand Small Vessel Tracking Service Offering

BeiDou navigation to cover Belt and Road countries by 2018

China's BeiDou-3 satellites get new chips

US Air Force Awards Lockheed Martin GPS M-Code Early Use Ground System Upgrade Contract

FARM NEWS
Predicting insect feeding preferences after deforestation

DNA barcoding technology helping monitor health of all-important boreal forest

Poland rejects EU evidence on primeval forest dispute

Forest loss means tropics emit more carbon than they trap: study

FARM NEWS
Breakthrough in direct activation of CO2 and CH4 into liquid fuels and chemicals

Surrounded by potential: New science in converting biomass

Olive mill wastewater transformed: From pollutant to bio-fertilizer, biofuel

Bioreactors on a chip renew promises for algal biofuels

FARM NEWS
Saudi Arabia opens bid for 'utility scale' solar project

Scientists propose new way of increasing the efficiency of solar batteries

Governor Brown Sends SCE to CEC Investigation and ABC Solar Files CPUC Petition to Censor SCE

India gets lending support for a greener grid

FARM NEWS
Germany gets economic lift with wind energy

French energy company to build wind power sector in India

Finding better wind energy potential with the new European Wind Atlas

Last of the 67 turbines for a British wind farm installed

FARM NEWS
Rio in massive share buyback after coal mines sale

First-ever U.S. coal shipment arrives in Ukraine

Rio completes Australia coal mines sale to China's Yancoal

In a first, U.S. ships coal to Ukraine

FARM NEWS
Former Hong Kong leader appears in court over sandwich 'attack'

Hong Kong democracy activist in court for throwing 'smelly' sandwich

Hong Kong migrant mothers sing for their distant children

The making of Hong Kong's famous 'fire dragon'




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement