Laminar Flow CabinetsLaminar Flow Cabinets Utilised to Improve Wheat Yields
A team of international researchers has discovered a way to produce higher quality wheat. The scientists from the UK’s John Innes Centre, using Monmouth Scientific Horizontal Laminar Flow Cabinets (HLFT1800), and the University of Adelaide continue to develop their studies in plant science and microbiology by identifying a genetic driver that improves yield traits in wheat, which unexpectedly can also lead to increasing protein content by up to 25 percent.
“Little is known about the mechanism behind drivers of yields and protein content in wheat production,” said the University of Adelaide’s Dr. Scott Boden, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine who led the research.
“Discovering a gene that controls these two factors has the potential to help generate new wheat varieties that produce higher quality grain.
“As wheat accounts for nearly 20 percent of protein consumed worldwide, the impact of this research can significantly benefit society by providing grains with a higher protein content, which could therefore help produce more nutritious food, such as bread and breakfast cereals.”
The work is the first known example where a forward-genetics screen of a mutant population has been used to identify a gene that controls reproductive development in wheat and insights from this research has the potential to help improve the nutritional and economic value of wheat.
“The genetic variation we identified provides a 15–25 percent increase in protein content for plants grown in the field.
“The increase in protein content occurs without the trade-off of a reduced yield so this discovery has even better potential to provide economic benefit to breeders and growers than just the increased nutritional value by itself.”
The team expects that the new wheat varieties will be available to breeders in two–three years’ time, which could then translate to benefits for farmers in seven–10 years’ time.
How does a Laminar Flow Cabinet help scientists to understand Wheat Gene Biology?
Tissue cultures are an important tool for the study of the biology of cells from multicellular organisms. They provide a model of the tissue in a well-defined environment which can be easily manipulated and analysed. Laminar Flow Cabinets provide a contaminant- free environment for these cultures to be tested and analysed.
Air is drawn through a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter, removing 99.9998% of all particles >0.12 μm in size, and a streamline flow is propelled in a unidirectional manner (vertically or horizontally) across the worksurface. This guarantees an ISO Class 4, particle free working environment.
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The team’s findings were published in the journal Science Advances. This project was funded by the Royal Society (UK), the Biological and Biotechnology Sciences Research Council (UK), the Australian Research Council (ARC), the South Australian Grain Industry Trust (SAGIT), and the University of Adelaide’s Waite Research Institute.
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