Mining for better millet

first_imgCat Holmes is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. By Cat HolmesUniversity of GeorgiaYears of research have gone into America’s “amber waves of grain.” Genetic advances are responsible for crop yields up to five times higher than 50 years ago. But little has been done for staple grains in developing countries.As a result, some of the world’s poorest farmers grow the least amount of grain. A University of Georgia researcher is out to change that.Katrien Devos, a UGA plant geneticist, is studying finger millet, a staple crop in the East African countries of Uganda and Kenya, as well as Southern India.“The problem with these crops is that nobody has put the resources into them,” Devos said.“Any [research] work that is done will have a major impact on the farmers in these countries,” she said. “These crops are producing nowhere near their yield potential. There is a lot of room for improvement.”Devos recently received two grants to fund critical genetic work to improve the yield of finger millet, a highly nutritious grain that feeds millions of people.For one project, funded by the McKnight Foundation, she’s developing tools to be able to take advantage of the research lavished on other crops, such as corn and rice.Working with other researchers at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and the University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK, in Bangalore, India, she will use information already gathered about disease and drought resistence in other grains to identify similar genes in finger millet.“For example, a fungus called blast is a major problem for finger millet,” she said. “A very similar fungus also effects rice and has been extensively studied.”Devos will look at whether the same regions that confer blast resistance in rice correspond to the location of blast genes in finger millet. “Extrapolation from rice will help us understand the resistance mechanism in finger millet,” she said.Plants with improved blast resistance can then be bred with varieties that farmers prefer to create hardier plants. The second project will provide a rudimentary “library” of the genetic markers scientists need to evaluate germ plasm and mine various traits. To put such a ‘library’ together, scientists must first survey finer millet cultivars, landraces (old varieties that are farmer-selected in areas where local subsistence agriculture has long prevailed) and wild relatives.Substantial finger millet collections are held in the USDA’s Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit at UGA’s Griffin, Ga.,campus and in Kenya and Ethiopia. But little study has been made of these materials. This project, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, is a pilot study that will allow scientists to make a beginning. Devos is working with other scientists in Kenya and Uganda on the project.The information will allow scientists to both improve finger millet crops and integrate finger millet into the cereal comparative genetics community, she said.“Research on ‘orphan’ crops lacks the glamour of the human genome project so it has been largely neglected by the research community. There’s been a lack of funding,” Devos said. “The beauty of researching finger millet,” she said, “is that we can make a real difference to the rural poor and subsistence farmers who rely on this crop for their daily food. We’re making a start, but more efforts and resources are needed.”last_img read more


Yacht racing millionaire flicks massive Riparian unit

first_img4602/71 Eagle Street, towers above the Brisbane River in the iconic Riparian building.A renowned Sydney-Hobart millionaire yacht owner and skipper has sold his stunning Brisbane “double” apartment in the coveted Harry Seidler-designed Riparian building.Peter Harburg, owner and skipper of Black Jack the Sydney-Hobart yacht that has broken speed records, is a very savvy commercial property investor, with multiple buildings having sold for profit in recent times.But his luxurious Brisbane home base — which has sold for an undisclosed sum — has been more of an escape. The apartment, created by “amalgamation of two apartments”, has had a wide range of price tags over the years from $7m in 2011 to $6m in 2015 $4.32m in mid-2015 to a price guide of $5.2 to 5.6m in May this year. It was then put out to tender with a deal sealed November 23. Black Jack owned Peter Harburg during day two of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race off the coast of Tasmania last year. Peter Harburg put $150m worth of commercial real estate on the market in Brisbane earlier this year. The views seem to go on forever. The veranda look to the Story Bridge and over the popular Eagle Street precinct. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:46Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:46 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenChoosing an apartment to invest in01:47 MORE: Thousands fall for tiny home scam MORE: How much would you pay for a shed?center_img More than enough room for a butler’s pantry too in the large kitchen.It also has two living rooms, a library, a boardroom and an office.The building is favoured among elite Queensland families with 24/7 security, a 25 metre lap pool, a gym, steam room, sauna and spa, as well as a large function room that where residents or family members have had everything from birthdays to launches to wedding receptions.The exclusive apartments sit directly above the popular Eagle Street and all its restaurants, bars and shopping. FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON TWITTER Jawdropping views all around the home. It covers a whopping 647 sqm, bigger than most residential blocks of land, with breathtaking views across the Brisbane River, city and surrounding suburbs.Mr Harburg spared no expense doing up the property with a Nuvo Home Audio system, Liebherr and Gaggenau appliances, American walnut cabinetry, a light up Onyx benchtop and features, and retractable panelling separating living zones. Skipper Mark Bradford and owner Peter Harburg in front of the victorious crew after Black Jack broke the race record during the 70th Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus15 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market15 hours ago MORE: Interest rates to hold at 1.5 per cent Two apartments were merged to create this large sky home.last_img read more


COVID-19 update for Wednesday

first_imgStatewide — The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) has reported that 506 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 on Wednesday.  A total of 82,336 Indiana residents have tested positive for the coronavirus. To date, 934,033 individual tests have been reported to ISDH at an 8.8% positive rate and 14 new deaths were reported for a total of 2,968 Hoosier deaths.Dearborn County has a total of 541 cases and 28 deaths reported (up 2 new cases), Decatur County has a total of 360 positive cases and 32 deaths (up 1 new case), Franklin County has 254 positive cases and 22 deaths (up 1 new case), and Ripley County has 227 positive cases and 8 deaths (up 6 new cases). Locally, this is an increase of 10 new positive cases.last_img


Water sports dominate Irish Olympic interest

first_imgIn Sailing, Annalise Murphy is in second place overall ahead of Races 5 and 6 in the Women’s Laser Radial, which will get underway at five fifteen.Carlows Finn Lynch is back in 24th place in the Men’s Laser class ahead of his two races this evening. Two Irish crews are in semi final action in rowing today.Limerick’s Sinead Jennings and Dublin’s Claire Lambe perform in their Lightweight Double Sculls semi-final at around 1 while after that Cork brothers Gary and Paul O’Donovan are back on the water.In Swimming this evening, Fiona Doyle goes in the heats of the Women’s 200m Breaststroke at around ten to sixlast_img