Blog Archives

Southeastern Grocers reveals innovative store concept

Southeastern Grocers, the parent company of BI-LO, Harveys and Winn-Dixie stores, unveiled its new Harveys Supermarket store concept July 20. With a focus on great value, stunning quality food and serving with personality, this store has been tailored to the Charlotte, NC, community and continues Southeastern Grocers’ extensive store remodel program for 2016.harvey

Despite the fact that Harveys has more than 90 years of heritage in the Southeast, this will be the first Harveys store to open in North Carolina. The store reflects the supermarket’s commitment to meeting the unique tastes and needs of the communities in which it operates.

“Charlotte is a vibrant city that is growing and changing quickly, and we recognized an opportunity to provide a fresh store for this community,” Ian McLeod, president and chief executive officer of Southeastern Grocers, said in a press release. “While our store is undergoing dramatic changes and improvements, our commitment to providing great value and service to our customers will remain our top priority, as we continue to invest in lower prices and new jobs for Charlotte.”

The refreshed Charlotte location offers enhancements throughout the new and improved Harveys store, including a refreshed produce department featuring quality produce from farmers throughout North Carolina.

The new Harveys store will also unveil a new pricing campaign called Low and Staying Low. Similar to the Down Down campaign known by the BI-LO shoppers in Charlotte, prices have been marked down on the products that customers shop the most — and the prices are staying low for at least six months.

Any products that were on the Down Down pricing have been converted into the Low and Staying Low program, and shoppers at the new Harveys will actually benefit from an additional 350 products being marked down, for a total of more than 850 products offered at reduced price for at least six months.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Reshaping the horse through millennia: Sequencing reveals genes selected by humans in domestication

Whole genome sequencing of modern and ancient horses unveils the genes that have been selected by humans in the process of domestication through the latest 5,500 years, but also reveals the cost of this domestication. A new study led by the Centre for GeoGenetics at the University of Copenhagen, in collaboration with scientists from 11 international universities, reports that a significant part of the genetic variation in modern domesticated horses could be attributed to interbreeding with the descendants of a now extinct population of wild horses. This population was distinct from the only surviving wild horse population, that of the Przewalski’s horses. The study has been published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The domestication of the horse some 5,500 years ago ultimately revolutionized human civilization and societies. Horses facilitated transportation as well as the circulation of ideas, languages and religions. Horses also revolutionized warfare with the advent of chariotry and mounted cavalry and beyond the battlefield horses greatly stimulated agriculture. However, the domestication of the horse and the subsequent encroachment of human civilization also resulted in the near extinction of wild horses.

The only surviving wild horse population, the Przewalski’s horses from Mongolia, descends from mere 13 individuals, preserved only through a massive conservation effort. As a consequence of this massive loss of genetic diversity, the effects of horse domestication through times have been difficult to unravel on a molecular level. Says Dr. Ludovic Orlando, Associate Professor at the Centre for GeoGenetics, who led this work

“The classical way to evaluate the evolutionary impact of domestication consists of comparing the genetic information present amongst wild animals and their living domesticates. This approach is ill suited to horses as the only surviving population of wild horses has experienced a massive demographic decline in the 20th century. We therefore decided to sequence the genome of ancient horses that lived prior to domestication to directly assess how pre-domesticated horses looked like genetically.”

Recent advances in ancient DNA research have opened the door for reconstructing the genomes of ancient individuals. In 2013, Ludovic Orlando and his team succeeded in decoding the genome of a ~700,000 year-old horse, which represents the oldest genome sequenced to date. This time, the researchers focused on much more recent horse specimens, dating from ~16,000 and ~43,000 years ago. These were carefully selected to unambiguously predate the beginning of domestication, some 5,500 years ago. The bone fossils were excavated in the Taymyr Peninsula, Russia, where arctic conditions favor the preservation of DNA.

The human reshaping of the horse

While the horse contributed to reshaping human civilization, humans in turn reshaped the horse to fit their diverse needs and the diverse environments they lived in. This transformation left specific signatures in the genomes of modern horses, which the ancient genomes helped reveal. The scientists were able to detect a set of 125 candidate genes involved in a wide range of physical and behavioral traits, by comparing the genomes of the two ancient horses with those of the Przewalski’s horse and five breeds of domesticated horses. Says Dr. Dan Chang, post-doctoral researcher at the UCSC Paleogenomics Lab and co-leading author of the study:

“Our selection scans identified genes that were already known to evolve under strong selection in horses. This provided a nice validation of our approach.”

Dr. Beth Shapiro, head of the UCSC Paleogenomics Lab continues: “We provide the most extensive list of gene candidates that have been favored by humans following the domestication of horses. This list is fascinating as it includes a number of genes involved in the development of muscle and bones. This probably reveals the genes that helped utilizing horses for transportation.”

And Dr. Ludovic Orlando from the Centre for GeoGenetics at the University of Copenhagen concludes: “Perhaps even more exciting as it represents the hallmark of animal domestication, we identify genes controlling animal behavior and the response to fear. These genes could have been the key for turning wild animals into more docile domesticated forms.”

The ‘cost of domestication’ in horses

However, the reshaping of the horse genome during their domestication also had significant negative impacts. This was apparent in the increasing levels of inbreeding found amongst domesticates, but also through an enhanced accumulation of deleterious mutations in their genomes relative to the ancient wild horses. This finding supports an earlier theory coined ‘the cost of domestication’, which predicted increasing genetic loads in domesticates compared to their wild ancestors. Says Professor Laurent Excoffier, University of Bern and group leader at the Swiss Institute for Bioinformatics:

“Domestication is generally associated with repeated demographic crashes. Yet, mutations that negatively impact genes are not eliminated by selection and can even increase in frequency when populations are small. Domestication thus generally comes at a cost, as deleterious mutations can accumulate in the genome. This had already been shown for rice and dogs. Horses now provide another example of this phenomenon.”

This is something that was only detectable in the horse in comparison to the ancient genomes, as Przewalski’s horses were found to show a proportion of deleterious mutations similar to domesticated horses. Says Hákon Jónsson, PhD-student at the Centre for GeoGenetics, co-leading author of the study: “The recent near extinction of the Przewalski’s horse population resulted in the persistence of deleterious mutations in the population, following the same mechanism that once led to the accumulation of deleterious mutations in the genomes of domesticated horses. What is striking is that a similar order of magnitude was reached even though this occurred in a much shorter time scale than domestication.”

An ancient contribution to the present

In addition, comparison of the ancient and modern genomes revealed that the ancient individuals contributed a significant amount of genetic variation to the modern population of domesticated horses, but not to the Przewalski’s horses. This suggests that restocking from a wild population descendant from the ancient horses occurred during the domestication processes that ultimately led to the modern domesticated horses. Mikkel Schubert, PhD- student at the Centre for GeoGenetics, co-leading author of the study concludes:

“This confirms previous findings that wild horses were used to restock the population of domesticated horses during the domestication process. However, as we sequenced whole genomes, we can estimate how much of the modern horse genome has been contributed through this process. Our estimate suggests that at least 13%, and potentially up to as much as 60%, of the modern horse genome has been acquired by restocking from the extinct wild population. That we identified the population that contributed to this process demonstrates that it is possible to identify the ancestral genetic sources that ultimately gave rise to our domesticated horses.”

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Reshaping the horse through millennia: Sequencing reveals genes selected by humans in domestication

Whole genome sequencing of modern and ancient horses unveils the genes that have been selected by humans in the process of domestication through the latest 5,500 years, but also reveals the cost of this domestication. A new study led by the Centre for GeoGenetics at the University of Copenhagen, in collaboration with scientists from 11 international universities, reports that a significant part of the genetic variation in modern domesticated horses could be attributed to interbreeding with the descendants of a now extinct population of wild horses. This population was distinct from the only surviving wild horse population, that of the Przewalski’s horses. The study has been published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The domestication of the horse some 5,500 years ago ultimately revolutionized human civilization and societies. Horses facilitated transportation as well as the circulation of ideas, languages and religions. Horses also revolutionized warfare with the advent of chariotry and mounted cavalry and beyond the battlefield horses greatly stimulated agriculture. However, the domestication of the horse and the subsequent encroachment of human civilization also resulted in the near extinction of wild horses.

The only surviving wild horse population, the Przewalski’s horses from Mongolia, descends from mere 13 individuals, preserved only through a massive conservation effort. As a consequence of this massive loss of genetic diversity, the effects of horse domestication through times have been difficult to unravel on a molecular level. Says Dr. Ludovic Orlando, Associate Professor at the Centre for GeoGenetics, who led this work

“The classical way to evaluate the evolutionary impact of domestication consists of comparing the genetic information present amongst wild animals and their living domesticates. This approach is ill suited to horses as the only surviving population of wild horses has experienced a massive demographic decline in the 20th century. We therefore decided to sequence the genome of ancient horses that lived prior to domestication to directly assess how pre-domesticated horses looked like genetically.”

Recent advances in ancient DNA research have opened the door for reconstructing the genomes of ancient individuals. In 2013, Ludovic Orlando and his team succeeded in decoding the genome of a ~700,000 year-old horse, which represents the oldest genome sequenced to date. This time, the researchers focused on much more recent horse specimens, dating from ~16,000 and ~43,000 years ago. These were carefully selected to unambiguously predate the beginning of domestication, some 5,500 years ago. The bone fossils were excavated in the Taymyr Peninsula, Russia, where arctic conditions favor the preservation of DNA.

The human reshaping of the horse

While the horse contributed to reshaping human civilization, humans in turn reshaped the horse to fit their diverse needs and the diverse environments they lived in. This transformation left specific signatures in the genomes of modern horses, which the ancient genomes helped reveal. The scientists were able to detect a set of 125 candidate genes involved in a wide range of physical and behavioral traits, by comparing the genomes of the two ancient horses with those of the Przewalski’s horse and five breeds of domesticated horses. Says Dr. Dan Chang, post-doctoral researcher at the UCSC Paleogenomics Lab and co-leading author of the study:

“Our selection scans identified genes that were already known to evolve under strong selection in horses. This provided a nice validation of our approach.”

Dr. Beth Shapiro, head of the UCSC Paleogenomics Lab continues: “We provide the most extensive list of gene candidates that have been favored by humans following the domestication of horses. This list is fascinating as it includes a number of genes involved in the development of muscle and bones. This probably reveals the genes that helped utilizing horses for transportation.”

And Dr. Ludovic Orlando from the Centre for GeoGenetics at the University of Copenhagen concludes: “Perhaps even more exciting as it represents the hallmark of animal domestication, we identify genes controlling animal behavior and the response to fear. These genes could have been the key for turning wild animals into more docile domesticated forms.”

The ‘cost of domestication’ in horses

However, the reshaping of the horse genome during their domestication also had significant negative impacts. This was apparent in the increasing levels of inbreeding found amongst domesticates, but also through an enhanced accumulation of deleterious mutations in their genomes relative to the ancient wild horses. This finding supports an earlier theory coined ‘the cost of domestication’, which predicted increasing genetic loads in domesticates compared to their wild ancestors. Says Professor Laurent Excoffier, University of Bern and group leader at the Swiss Institute for Bioinformatics:

“Domestication is generally associated with repeated demographic crashes. Yet, mutations that negatively impact genes are not eliminated by selection and can even increase in frequency when populations are small. Domestication thus generally comes at a cost, as deleterious mutations can accumulate in the genome. This had already been shown for rice and dogs. Horses now provide another example of this phenomenon.”

This is something that was only detectable in the horse in comparison to the ancient genomes, as Przewalski’s horses were found to show a proportion of deleterious mutations similar to domesticated horses. Says Hákon Jónsson, PhD-student at the Centre for GeoGenetics, co-leading author of the study: “The recent near extinction of the Przewalski’s horse population resulted in the persistence of deleterious mutations in the population, following the same mechanism that once led to the accumulation of deleterious mutations in the genomes of domesticated horses. What is striking is that a similar order of magnitude was reached even though this occurred in a much shorter time scale than domestication.”

An ancient contribution to the present

In addition, comparison of the ancient and modern genomes revealed that the ancient individuals contributed a significant amount of genetic variation to the modern population of domesticated horses, but not to the Przewalski’s horses. This suggests that restocking from a wild population descendant from the ancient horses occurred during the domestication processes that ultimately led to the modern domesticated horses. Mikkel Schubert, PhD- student at the Centre for GeoGenetics, co-leading author of the study concludes:

“This confirms previous findings that wild horses were used to restock the population of domesticated horses during the domestication process. However, as we sequenced whole genomes, we can estimate how much of the modern horse genome has been contributed through this process. Our estimate suggests that at least 13%, and potentially up to as much as 60%, of the modern horse genome has been acquired by restocking from the extinct wild population. That we identified the population that contributed to this process demonstrates that it is possible to identify the ancestral genetic sources that ultimately gave rise to our domesticated horses.”

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Reshaping the horse through millennia: Sequencing reveals genes selected by humans in domestication

Whole genome sequencing of modern and ancient horses unveils the genes that have been selected by humans in the process of domestication through the latest 5,500 years, but also reveals the cost of this domestication. A new study led by the Centre for GeoGenetics at the University of Copenhagen, in collaboration with scientists from 11 international universities, reports that a significant part of the genetic variation in modern domesticated horses could be attributed to interbreeding with the descendants of a now extinct population of wild horses. This population was distinct from the only surviving wild horse population, that of the Przewalski’s horses. The study has been published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The domestication of the horse some 5,500 years ago ultimately revolutionized human civilization and societies. Horses facilitated transportation as well as the circulation of ideas, languages and religions. Horses also revolutionized warfare with the advent of chariotry and mounted cavalry and beyond the battlefield horses greatly stimulated agriculture. However, the domestication of the horse and the subsequent encroachment of human civilization also resulted in the near extinction of wild horses.

The only surviving wild horse population, the Przewalski’s horses from Mongolia, descends from mere 13 individuals, preserved only through a massive conservation effort. As a consequence of this massive loss of genetic diversity, the effects of horse domestication through times have been difficult to unravel on a molecular level. Says Dr. Ludovic Orlando, Associate Professor at the Centre for GeoGenetics, who led this work

“The classical way to evaluate the evolutionary impact of domestication consists of comparing the genetic information present amongst wild animals and their living domesticates. This approach is ill suited to horses as the only surviving population of wild horses has experienced a massive demographic decline in the 20th century. We therefore decided to sequence the genome of ancient horses that lived prior to domestication to directly assess how pre-domesticated horses looked like genetically.”

Recent advances in ancient DNA research have opened the door for reconstructing the genomes of ancient individuals. In 2013, Ludovic Orlando and his team succeeded in decoding the genome of a ~700,000 year-old horse, which represents the oldest genome sequenced to date. This time, the researchers focused on much more recent horse specimens, dating from ~16,000 and ~43,000 years ago. These were carefully selected to unambiguously predate the beginning of domestication, some 5,500 years ago. The bone fossils were excavated in the Taymyr Peninsula, Russia, where arctic conditions favor the preservation of DNA.

The human reshaping of the horse

While the horse contributed to reshaping human civilization, humans in turn reshaped the horse to fit their diverse needs and the diverse environments they lived in. This transformation left specific signatures in the genomes of modern horses, which the ancient genomes helped reveal. The scientists were able to detect a set of 125 candidate genes involved in a wide range of physical and behavioral traits, by comparing the genomes of the two ancient horses with those of the Przewalski’s horse and five breeds of domesticated horses. Says Dr. Dan Chang, post-doctoral researcher at the UCSC Paleogenomics Lab and co-leading author of the study:

“Our selection scans identified genes that were already known to evolve under strong selection in horses. This provided a nice validation of our approach.”

Dr. Beth Shapiro, head of the UCSC Paleogenomics Lab continues: “We provide the most extensive list of gene candidates that have been favored by humans following the domestication of horses. This list is fascinating as it includes a number of genes involved in the development of muscle and bones. This probably reveals the genes that helped utilizing horses for transportation.”

And Dr. Ludovic Orlando from the Centre for GeoGenetics at the University of Copenhagen concludes: “Perhaps even more exciting as it represents the hallmark of animal domestication, we identify genes controlling animal behavior and the response to fear. These genes could have been the key for turning wild animals into more docile domesticated forms.”

The ‘cost of domestication’ in horses

However, the reshaping of the horse genome during their domestication also had significant negative impacts. This was apparent in the increasing levels of inbreeding found amongst domesticates, but also through an enhanced accumulation of deleterious mutations in their genomes relative to the ancient wild horses. This finding supports an earlier theory coined ‘the cost of domestication’, which predicted increasing genetic loads in domesticates compared to their wild ancestors. Says Professor Laurent Excoffier, University of Bern and group leader at the Swiss Institute for Bioinformatics:

“Domestication is generally associated with repeated demographic crashes. Yet, mutations that negatively impact genes are not eliminated by selection and can even increase in frequency when populations are small. Domestication thus generally comes at a cost, as deleterious mutations can accumulate in the genome. This had already been shown for rice and dogs. Horses now provide another example of this phenomenon.”

This is something that was only detectable in the horse in comparison to the ancient genomes, as Przewalski’s horses were found to show a proportion of deleterious mutations similar to domesticated horses. Says Hákon Jónsson, PhD-student at the Centre for GeoGenetics, co-leading author of the study: “The recent near extinction of the Przewalski’s horse population resulted in the persistence of deleterious mutations in the population, following the same mechanism that once led to the accumulation of deleterious mutations in the genomes of domesticated horses. What is striking is that a similar order of magnitude was reached even though this occurred in a much shorter time scale than domestication.”

An ancient contribution to the present

In addition, comparison of the ancient and modern genomes revealed that the ancient individuals contributed a significant amount of genetic variation to the modern population of domesticated horses, but not to the Przewalski’s horses. This suggests that restocking from a wild population descendant from the ancient horses occurred during the domestication processes that ultimately led to the modern domesticated horses. Mikkel Schubert, PhD- student at the Centre for GeoGenetics, co-leading author of the study concludes:

“This confirms previous findings that wild horses were used to restock the population of domesticated horses during the domestication process. However, as we sequenced whole genomes, we can estimate how much of the modern horse genome has been contributed through this process. Our estimate suggests that at least 13%, and potentially up to as much as 60%, of the modern horse genome has been acquired by restocking from the extinct wild population. That we identified the population that contributed to this process demonstrates that it is possible to identify the ancestral genetic sources that ultimately gave rise to our domesticated horses.”

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Reshaping the horse through millennia: Sequencing reveals genes selected by humans in domestication

Whole genome sequencing of modern and ancient horses unveils the genes that have been selected by humans in the process of domestication through the latest 5,500 years, but also reveals the cost of this domestication. A new study led by the Centre for GeoGenetics at the University of Copenhagen, in collaboration with scientists from 11 international universities, reports that a significant part of the genetic variation in modern domesticated horses could be attributed to interbreeding with the descendants of a now extinct population of wild horses. This population was distinct from the only surviving wild horse population, that of the Przewalski’s horses. The study has been published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The domestication of the horse some 5,500 years ago ultimately revolutionized human civilization and societies. Horses facilitated transportation as well as the circulation of ideas, languages and religions. Horses also revolutionized warfare with the advent of chariotry and mounted cavalry and beyond the battlefield horses greatly stimulated agriculture. However, the domestication of the horse and the subsequent encroachment of human civilization also resulted in the near extinction of wild horses.

The only surviving wild horse population, the Przewalski’s horses from Mongolia, descends from mere 13 individuals, preserved only through a massive conservation effort. As a consequence of this massive loss of genetic diversity, the effects of horse domestication through times have been difficult to unravel on a molecular level. Says Dr. Ludovic Orlando, Associate Professor at the Centre for GeoGenetics, who led this work

“The classical way to evaluate the evolutionary impact of domestication consists of comparing the genetic information present amongst wild animals and their living domesticates. This approach is ill suited to horses as the only surviving population of wild horses has experienced a massive demographic decline in the 20th century. We therefore decided to sequence the genome of ancient horses that lived prior to domestication to directly assess how pre-domesticated horses looked like genetically.”

Recent advances in ancient DNA research have opened the door for reconstructing the genomes of ancient individuals. In 2013, Ludovic Orlando and his team succeeded in decoding the genome of a ~700,000 year-old horse, which represents the oldest genome sequenced to date. This time, the researchers focused on much more recent horse specimens, dating from ~16,000 and ~43,000 years ago. These were carefully selected to unambiguously predate the beginning of domestication, some 5,500 years ago. The bone fossils were excavated in the Taymyr Peninsula, Russia, where arctic conditions favor the preservation of DNA.

The human reshaping of the horse

While the horse contributed to reshaping human civilization, humans in turn reshaped the horse to fit their diverse needs and the diverse environments they lived in. This transformation left specific signatures in the genomes of modern horses, which the ancient genomes helped reveal. The scientists were able to detect a set of 125 candidate genes involved in a wide range of physical and behavioral traits, by comparing the genomes of the two ancient horses with those of the Przewalski’s horse and five breeds of domesticated horses. Says Dr. Dan Chang, post-doctoral researcher at the UCSC Paleogenomics Lab and co-leading author of the study:

“Our selection scans identified genes that were already known to evolve under strong selection in horses. This provided a nice validation of our approach.”

Dr. Beth Shapiro, head of the UCSC Paleogenomics Lab continues: “We provide the most extensive list of gene candidates that have been favored by humans following the domestication of horses. This list is fascinating as it includes a number of genes involved in the development of muscle and bones. This probably reveals the genes that helped utilizing horses for transportation.”

And Dr. Ludovic Orlando from the Centre for GeoGenetics at the University of Copenhagen concludes: “Perhaps even more exciting as it represents the hallmark of animal domestication, we identify genes controlling animal behavior and the response to fear. These genes could have been the key for turning wild animals into more docile domesticated forms.”

The ‘cost of domestication’ in horses

However, the reshaping of the horse genome during their domestication also had significant negative impacts. This was apparent in the increasing levels of inbreeding found amongst domesticates, but also through an enhanced accumulation of deleterious mutations in their genomes relative to the ancient wild horses. This finding supports an earlier theory coined ‘the cost of domestication’, which predicted increasing genetic loads in domesticates compared to their wild ancestors. Says Professor Laurent Excoffier, University of Bern and group leader at the Swiss Institute for Bioinformatics:

“Domestication is generally associated with repeated demographic crashes. Yet, mutations that negatively impact genes are not eliminated by selection and can even increase in frequency when populations are small. Domestication thus generally comes at a cost, as deleterious mutations can accumulate in the genome. This had already been shown for rice and dogs. Horses now provide another example of this phenomenon.”

This is something that was only detectable in the horse in comparison to the ancient genomes, as Przewalski’s horses were found to show a proportion of deleterious mutations similar to domesticated horses. Says Hákon Jónsson, PhD-student at the Centre for GeoGenetics, co-leading author of the study: “The recent near extinction of the Przewalski’s horse population resulted in the persistence of deleterious mutations in the population, following the same mechanism that once led to the accumulation of deleterious mutations in the genomes of domesticated horses. What is striking is that a similar order of magnitude was reached even though this occurred in a much shorter time scale than domestication.”

An ancient contribution to the present

In addition, comparison of the ancient and modern genomes revealed that the ancient individuals contributed a significant amount of genetic variation to the modern population of domesticated horses, but not to the Przewalski’s horses. This suggests that restocking from a wild population descendant from the ancient horses occurred during the domestication processes that ultimately led to the modern domesticated horses. Mikkel Schubert, PhD- student at the Centre for GeoGenetics, co-leading author of the study concludes:

“This confirms previous findings that wild horses were used to restock the population of domesticated horses during the domestication process. However, as we sequenced whole genomes, we can estimate how much of the modern horse genome has been contributed through this process. Our estimate suggests that at least 13%, and potentially up to as much as 60%, of the modern horse genome has been acquired by restocking from the extinct wild population. That we identified the population that contributed to this process demonstrates that it is possible to identify the ancestral genetic sources that ultimately gave rise to our domesticated horses.”

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Dental plaque reveals key plant in prehistoric Easter Island diet

A University of Otago, New Zealand, PhD student analysing dental calculus (hardened plaque) from ancient teeth is helping resolve the question of what plant foods Easter Islanders relied on before European contact.

Known to its Polynesian inhabitants as Rapa Nui, Easter Island is thought to have been colonized around the 13th Century and is famed for its mysterious large stone statues or moai.

Otago Anatomy PhD student Monica Tromp and Idaho State University’s Dr John Dudgeon have just published new research clearing up their previous puzzling finding that suggested palm may have been a staple plant food for Rapa Nui’s population over several centuries.

However, no other line of archaeological or ethnohistoric evidence supports palm having a dietary role on Easter Island; in fact evidence points to the palm becoming extinct soon after colonization.

Nevertheless, the researchers had found that the vast majority of phytoliths (plant microfossils) embedded within the calculus were from palm trees.

The teeth were from burials excavated in the early 1980s from multiple coastal archaeological sites around the island.

To clear up the mystery, the pair undertook further analysis, newly published in the Journal of Archaeological Science. This included identifying starch grains in the dental calculus removed from 30 teeth.

After removing and decalcifying the plaque from each tooth, Ms Tromp and Dr Dudgeon identified starch grains that were consistent with modern sweet potato. None of the recovered grains showed any similarities to banana, taro or yam, other starchy plants that are hypothesised to be part of the diet.

The researchers went on to test modern sweet potato skins grown in sediment similar to that of Rapa Nui’s and found that as tubers grow, their skins seem to incorporate palm phytoliths from the soil.

“So this actually bolsters the case for sweet potato as a staple and important plant food source for the Islanders from the time the island was first colonised,”Ms Tromp says.

She and Dr Dudgeon are the first biological anthropologists to study dental calculus in the Pacific.

“It is an excellent target for looking at the plant component of ancient diets as microfossils become embedded in dental calculus throughout a person’s life. You can get a good idea of some of the plant foods people were eating, which is not an easy task.

This research also shows that the plant foods you find evidence for in dental calculus can come from the environment that foods are grown in and not necessarily from the food itself — this finding has the potential to impact dental calculus studies worldwide. “

Determining plants’ role in ancient Oceanic diets is extremely difficult due to the scarcity of plant remains, but this research of microscopic plant remains is providing one more piece of the dietary puzzle.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Otago. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

New research reveals how wild rabbits were genetically transformed into tame rabbits

The genetic changes that transformed wild animals into domesticated forms have long been a mystery. An international team of scientists has now made a breakthrough by showing that many genes controlling the development of the brain and the nervous system were particularly important for rabbit domestication. The study is published today in Science and gives answers to many genetic questions.

The domestication of animals and plants, a prerequisite for the development of agriculture, is one of the most important technological revolutions during human history. Domestication of animals started as early as 9,000 to 15,000 years ago and initially involved dogs, cattle, sheep, goats and pigs. The rabbit was domesticated much later, about 1,400 years ago, at monasteries in southern France. It has been claimed that rabbits were domesticated because the Catholic Church had declared that young rabbits were not considered meat, but fish, and could therefore be eaten during lent! When domestication occurred, the wild ancestor, the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), was confined to the Iberian Peninsula and southern France.

There are several reasons why the rabbit is an outstanding model for genetic studies of domestication: its domestication was relatively recent, we know where it happened, and this region is still densely populated with wild rabbits, explains Miguel Carneiro, from CIBIO/Inbio-University of Porto, one of the leading authors on the paper. Wild rabbits also serve as an excellent model for genetic studies of the early stages of species formation, as shown in an accompanying study we publish today in PLoS Genetics, adds Miguel Carneiro.

The scientists first sequenced the entire genome of one domestic rabbit to develop a reference genome assembly. Then they resequenced entire genomes of domestic rabbits representing six different breeds and wild rabbits sampled at 14 different places across the Iberian Peninsula and southern France.

No previous study on animal domestication has involved such a careful examination of genetic variation in the wild ancestral species. This allowed us to pinpoint the genetic changes that have occurred during rabbit domestication, says Leif Andersson, Uppsala University, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Texas A&M University.

In contrast to domestic rabbits, wild rabbits have a very strong flight response because they are hunted by eagles, hawks, foxes and humans, and therefore must be very alert and reactive to survive in the wild. In fact, Charles Darwin wrote in On the Origin of Species that “…no animal is more difficult to tame than the young of the wild rabbit; scarcely any animal is tamer than the young of the tame rabbit.” Darwin used domestic animals as a proof-of-principle that it is possible to change phenotypes by selection. The scientists involved in the current study have now been able to reveal the genetic basis for this remarkable change in behaviour and the study has given important new insights about the domestication process.

Rabbit domestication has primarily occurred by altering the frequencies of gene variants that were already present in the wild ancestor. Our data shows that domestication primarily involved small changes in many genes and not drastic changes in a few genes, states Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, co-senior author, Director of Vertebrate Genome Biology at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, professor at Uppsala University and Co-Director of Science for Life Laboratory.

The team observed very few examples where a gene variant common in domestic rabbits had completely replaced the gene variant present in wild rabbits; it was rather shifts in frequencies of those variants that were favoured in domestic rabbits.

An interesting consequence of this is that if you release domestic rabbits into the wild, there is an opportunity for back selection at those genes that have been altered during domestication because the ‘wild-type’ variant has rarely been completely lost. In fact, this is what we plan to study next, comments Miguel Carneiro.

The scientists found no example where a gene has been inactivated during rabbit domestication and there were many more changes in the non-coding part of the genome than in the parts of the genome that codes for protein.

The results we have are very clear; the difference between a wild and a tame rabbit is not which genes they carry but how their genes are regulated i. e. when and how much of each gene is used in different cells, explains Miguel Carneiro.

The study also revealed which genes that have been altered during domestication. The researchers were amazed by the strong enrichment of genes involved in the development of the brain and the nervous system, among the genes particularly targeted during domestication.

But that of course makes perfect sense in relation to the drastic changes in behaviour between wild and domestic rabbits, concludes Kerstin Lindblad-Toh.

The study shows that the wild rabbit is a highly polymorphic species that carries gene variants that were favourable during domestication, and that the accumulation of many small changes led to the inhibition of the strong flight response — one of the most prominent phenotypic changes in the evolution of the domestic rabbit

We predict that a similar process has occurred in other domestic animals and that we will not find a few specific “domestication genes” that were critical for domestication. It is very likely that a similar diversity of gene variants affecting the brain and the nervous system occurs in the human population and that contributes to differences in personality and behaviour, says Leif Andersson.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

New research reveals how wild rabbits were genetically transformed into tame rabbits

The genetic changes that transformed wild animals into domesticated forms have long been a mystery. An international team of scientists has now made a breakthrough by showing that many genes controlling the development of the brain and the nervous system were particularly important for rabbit domestication. The study is published today in Science and gives answers to many genetic questions.

The domestication of animals and plants, a prerequisite for the development of agriculture, is one of the most important technological revolutions during human history. Domestication of animals started as early as 9,000 to 15,000 years ago and initially involved dogs, cattle, sheep, goats and pigs. The rabbit was domesticated much later, about 1,400 years ago, at monasteries in southern France. It has been claimed that rabbits were domesticated because the Catholic Church had declared that young rabbits were not considered meat, but fish, and could therefore be eaten during lent! When domestication occurred, the wild ancestor, the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), was confined to the Iberian Peninsula and southern France.

There are several reasons why the rabbit is an outstanding model for genetic studies of domestication: its domestication was relatively recent, we know where it happened, and this region is still densely populated with wild rabbits, explains Miguel Carneiro, from CIBIO/Inbio-University of Porto, one of the leading authors on the paper. Wild rabbits also serve as an excellent model for genetic studies of the early stages of species formation, as shown in an accompanying study we publish today in PLoS Genetics, adds Miguel Carneiro.

The scientists first sequenced the entire genome of one domestic rabbit to develop a reference genome assembly. Then they resequenced entire genomes of domestic rabbits representing six different breeds and wild rabbits sampled at 14 different places across the Iberian Peninsula and southern France.

No previous study on animal domestication has involved such a careful examination of genetic variation in the wild ancestral species. This allowed us to pinpoint the genetic changes that have occurred during rabbit domestication, says Leif Andersson, Uppsala University, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Texas A&M University.

In contrast to domestic rabbits, wild rabbits have a very strong flight response because they are hunted by eagles, hawks, foxes and humans, and therefore must be very alert and reactive to survive in the wild. In fact, Charles Darwin wrote in On the Origin of Species that “…no animal is more difficult to tame than the young of the wild rabbit; scarcely any animal is tamer than the young of the tame rabbit.” Darwin used domestic animals as a proof-of-principle that it is possible to change phenotypes by selection. The scientists involved in the current study have now been able to reveal the genetic basis for this remarkable change in behaviour and the study has given important new insights about the domestication process.

Rabbit domestication has primarily occurred by altering the frequencies of gene variants that were already present in the wild ancestor. Our data shows that domestication primarily involved small changes in many genes and not drastic changes in a few genes, states Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, co-senior author, Director of Vertebrate Genome Biology at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, professor at Uppsala University and Co-Director of Science for Life Laboratory.

The team observed very few examples where a gene variant common in domestic rabbits had completely replaced the gene variant present in wild rabbits; it was rather shifts in frequencies of those variants that were favoured in domestic rabbits.

An interesting consequence of this is that if you release domestic rabbits into the wild, there is an opportunity for back selection at those genes that have been altered during domestication because the ‘wild-type’ variant has rarely been completely lost. In fact, this is what we plan to study next, comments Miguel Carneiro.

The scientists found no example where a gene has been inactivated during rabbit domestication and there were many more changes in the non-coding part of the genome than in the parts of the genome that codes for protein.

The results we have are very clear; the difference between a wild and a tame rabbit is not which genes they carry but how their genes are regulated i. e. when and how much of each gene is used in different cells, explains Miguel Carneiro.

The study also revealed which genes that have been altered during domestication. The researchers were amazed by the strong enrichment of genes involved in the development of the brain and the nervous system, among the genes particularly targeted during domestication.

But that of course makes perfect sense in relation to the drastic changes in behaviour between wild and domestic rabbits, concludes Kerstin Lindblad-Toh.

The study shows that the wild rabbit is a highly polymorphic species that carries gene variants that were favourable during domestication, and that the accumulation of many small changes led to the inhibition of the strong flight response — one of the most prominent phenotypic changes in the evolution of the domestic rabbit

We predict that a similar process has occurred in other domestic animals and that we will not find a few specific “domestication genes” that were critical for domestication. It is very likely that a similar diversity of gene variants affecting the brain and the nervous system occurs in the human population and that contributes to differences in personality and behaviour, says Leif Andersson.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

New research reveals how wild rabbits were genetically transformed into tame rabbits

The genetic changes that transformed wild animals into domesticated forms have long been a mystery. An international team of scientists has now made a breakthrough by showing that many genes controlling the development of the brain and the nervous system were particularly important for rabbit domestication. The study is published today in Science and gives answers to many genetic questions.

The domestication of animals and plants, a prerequisite for the development of agriculture, is one of the most important technological revolutions during human history. Domestication of animals started as early as 9,000 to 15,000 years ago and initially involved dogs, cattle, sheep, goats and pigs. The rabbit was domesticated much later, about 1,400 years ago, at monasteries in southern France. It has been claimed that rabbits were domesticated because the Catholic Church had declared that young rabbits were not considered meat, but fish, and could therefore be eaten during lent! When domestication occurred, the wild ancestor, the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), was confined to the Iberian Peninsula and southern France.

There are several reasons why the rabbit is an outstanding model for genetic studies of domestication: its domestication was relatively recent, we know where it happened, and this region is still densely populated with wild rabbits, explains Miguel Carneiro, from CIBIO/Inbio-University of Porto, one of the leading authors on the paper. Wild rabbits also serve as an excellent model for genetic studies of the early stages of species formation, as shown in an accompanying study we publish today in PLoS Genetics, adds Miguel Carneiro.

The scientists first sequenced the entire genome of one domestic rabbit to develop a reference genome assembly. Then they resequenced entire genomes of domestic rabbits representing six different breeds and wild rabbits sampled at 14 different places across the Iberian Peninsula and southern France.

No previous study on animal domestication has involved such a careful examination of genetic variation in the wild ancestral species. This allowed us to pinpoint the genetic changes that have occurred during rabbit domestication, says Leif Andersson, Uppsala University, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Texas A&M University.

In contrast to domestic rabbits, wild rabbits have a very strong flight response because they are hunted by eagles, hawks, foxes and humans, and therefore must be very alert and reactive to survive in the wild. In fact, Charles Darwin wrote in On the Origin of Species that “…no animal is more difficult to tame than the young of the wild rabbit; scarcely any animal is tamer than the young of the tame rabbit.” Darwin used domestic animals as a proof-of-principle that it is possible to change phenotypes by selection. The scientists involved in the current study have now been able to reveal the genetic basis for this remarkable change in behaviour and the study has given important new insights about the domestication process.

Rabbit domestication has primarily occurred by altering the frequencies of gene variants that were already present in the wild ancestor. Our data shows that domestication primarily involved small changes in many genes and not drastic changes in a few genes, states Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, co-senior author, Director of Vertebrate Genome Biology at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, professor at Uppsala University and Co-Director of Science for Life Laboratory.

The team observed very few examples where a gene variant common in domestic rabbits had completely replaced the gene variant present in wild rabbits; it was rather shifts in frequencies of those variants that were favoured in domestic rabbits.

An interesting consequence of this is that if you release domestic rabbits into the wild, there is an opportunity for back selection at those genes that have been altered during domestication because the ‘wild-type’ variant has rarely been completely lost. In fact, this is what we plan to study next, comments Miguel Carneiro.

The scientists found no example where a gene has been inactivated during rabbit domestication and there were many more changes in the non-coding part of the genome than in the parts of the genome that codes for protein.

The results we have are very clear; the difference between a wild and a tame rabbit is not which genes they carry but how their genes are regulated i. e. when and how much of each gene is used in different cells, explains Miguel Carneiro.

The study also revealed which genes that have been altered during domestication. The researchers were amazed by the strong enrichment of genes involved in the development of the brain and the nervous system, among the genes particularly targeted during domestication.

But that of course makes perfect sense in relation to the drastic changes in behaviour between wild and domestic rabbits, concludes Kerstin Lindblad-Toh.

The study shows that the wild rabbit is a highly polymorphic species that carries gene variants that were favourable during domestication, and that the accumulation of many small changes led to the inhibition of the strong flight response — one of the most prominent phenotypic changes in the evolution of the domestic rabbit

We predict that a similar process has occurred in other domestic animals and that we will not find a few specific “domestication genes” that were critical for domestication. It is very likely that a similar diversity of gene variants affecting the brain and the nervous system occurs in the human population and that contributes to differences in personality and behaviour, says Leif Andersson.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

New research reveals how wild rabbits were genetically transformed into tame rabbits

The genetic changes that transformed wild animals into domesticated forms have long been a mystery. An international team of scientists has now made a breakthrough by showing that many genes controlling the development of the brain and the nervous system were particularly important for rabbit domestication. The study is published today in Science and gives answers to many genetic questions.

The domestication of animals and plants, a prerequisite for the development of agriculture, is one of the most important technological revolutions during human history. Domestication of animals started as early as 9,000 to 15,000 years ago and initially involved dogs, cattle, sheep, goats and pigs. The rabbit was domesticated much later, about 1,400 years ago, at monasteries in southern France. It has been claimed that rabbits were domesticated because the Catholic Church had declared that young rabbits were not considered meat, but fish, and could therefore be eaten during lent! When domestication occurred, the wild ancestor, the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), was confined to the Iberian Peninsula and southern France.

There are several reasons why the rabbit is an outstanding model for genetic studies of domestication: its domestication was relatively recent, we know where it happened, and this region is still densely populated with wild rabbits, explains Miguel Carneiro, from CIBIO/Inbio-University of Porto, one of the leading authors on the paper. Wild rabbits also serve as an excellent model for genetic studies of the early stages of species formation, as shown in an accompanying study we publish today in PLoS Genetics, adds Miguel Carneiro.

The scientists first sequenced the entire genome of one domestic rabbit to develop a reference genome assembly. Then they resequenced entire genomes of domestic rabbits representing six different breeds and wild rabbits sampled at 14 different places across the Iberian Peninsula and southern France.

No previous study on animal domestication has involved such a careful examination of genetic variation in the wild ancestral species. This allowed us to pinpoint the genetic changes that have occurred during rabbit domestication, says Leif Andersson, Uppsala University, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Texas A&M University.

In contrast to domestic rabbits, wild rabbits have a very strong flight response because they are hunted by eagles, hawks, foxes and humans, and therefore must be very alert and reactive to survive in the wild. In fact, Charles Darwin wrote in On the Origin of Species that “…no animal is more difficult to tame than the young of the wild rabbit; scarcely any animal is tamer than the young of the tame rabbit.” Darwin used domestic animals as a proof-of-principle that it is possible to change phenotypes by selection. The scientists involved in the current study have now been able to reveal the genetic basis for this remarkable change in behaviour and the study has given important new insights about the domestication process.

Rabbit domestication has primarily occurred by altering the frequencies of gene variants that were already present in the wild ancestor. Our data shows that domestication primarily involved small changes in many genes and not drastic changes in a few genes, states Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, co-senior author, Director of Vertebrate Genome Biology at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, professor at Uppsala University and Co-Director of Science for Life Laboratory.

The team observed very few examples where a gene variant common in domestic rabbits had completely replaced the gene variant present in wild rabbits; it was rather shifts in frequencies of those variants that were favoured in domestic rabbits.

An interesting consequence of this is that if you release domestic rabbits into the wild, there is an opportunity for back selection at those genes that have been altered during domestication because the ‘wild-type’ variant has rarely been completely lost. In fact, this is what we plan to study next, comments Miguel Carneiro.

The scientists found no example where a gene has been inactivated during rabbit domestication and there were many more changes in the non-coding part of the genome than in the parts of the genome that codes for protein.

The results we have are very clear; the difference between a wild and a tame rabbit is not which genes they carry but how their genes are regulated i. e. when and how much of each gene is used in different cells, explains Miguel Carneiro.

The study also revealed which genes that have been altered during domestication. The researchers were amazed by the strong enrichment of genes involved in the development of the brain and the nervous system, among the genes particularly targeted during domestication.

But that of course makes perfect sense in relation to the drastic changes in behaviour between wild and domestic rabbits, concludes Kerstin Lindblad-Toh.

The study shows that the wild rabbit is a highly polymorphic species that carries gene variants that were favourable during domestication, and that the accumulation of many small changes led to the inhibition of the strong flight response — one of the most prominent phenotypic changes in the evolution of the domestic rabbit

We predict that a similar process has occurred in other domestic animals and that we will not find a few specific “domestication genes” that were critical for domestication. It is very likely that a similar diversity of gene variants affecting the brain and the nervous system occurs in the human population and that contributes to differences in personality and behaviour, says Leif Andersson.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

New research reveals how wild rabbits were genetically transformed into tame rabbits

The genetic changes that transformed wild animals into domesticated forms have long been a mystery. An international team of scientists has now made a breakthrough by showing that many genes controlling the development of the brain and the nervous system were particularly important for rabbit domestication. The study is published today in Science and gives answers to many genetic questions.

The domestication of animals and plants, a prerequisite for the development of agriculture, is one of the most important technological revolutions during human history. Domestication of animals started as early as 9,000 to 15,000 years ago and initially involved dogs, cattle, sheep, goats and pigs. The rabbit was domesticated much later, about 1,400 years ago, at monasteries in southern France. It has been claimed that rabbits were domesticated because the Catholic Church had declared that young rabbits were not considered meat, but fish, and could therefore be eaten during lent! When domestication occurred, the wild ancestor, the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), was confined to the Iberian Peninsula and southern France.

There are several reasons why the rabbit is an outstanding model for genetic studies of domestication: its domestication was relatively recent, we know where it happened, and this region is still densely populated with wild rabbits, explains Miguel Carneiro, from CIBIO/Inbio-University of Porto, one of the leading authors on the paper. Wild rabbits also serve as an excellent model for genetic studies of the early stages of species formation, as shown in an accompanying study we publish today in PLoS Genetics, adds Miguel Carneiro.

The scientists first sequenced the entire genome of one domestic rabbit to develop a reference genome assembly. Then they resequenced entire genomes of domestic rabbits representing six different breeds and wild rabbits sampled at 14 different places across the Iberian Peninsula and southern France.

No previous study on animal domestication has involved such a careful examination of genetic variation in the wild ancestral species. This allowed us to pinpoint the genetic changes that have occurred during rabbit domestication, says Leif Andersson, Uppsala University, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Texas A&M University.

In contrast to domestic rabbits, wild rabbits have a very strong flight response because they are hunted by eagles, hawks, foxes and humans, and therefore must be very alert and reactive to survive in the wild. In fact, Charles Darwin wrote in On the Origin of Species that “…no animal is more difficult to tame than the young of the wild rabbit; scarcely any animal is tamer than the young of the tame rabbit.” Darwin used domestic animals as a proof-of-principle that it is possible to change phenotypes by selection. The scientists involved in the current study have now been able to reveal the genetic basis for this remarkable change in behaviour and the study has given important new insights about the domestication process.

Rabbit domestication has primarily occurred by altering the frequencies of gene variants that were already present in the wild ancestor. Our data shows that domestication primarily involved small changes in many genes and not drastic changes in a few genes, states Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, co-senior author, Director of Vertebrate Genome Biology at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, professor at Uppsala University and Co-Director of Science for Life Laboratory.

The team observed very few examples where a gene variant common in domestic rabbits had completely replaced the gene variant present in wild rabbits; it was rather shifts in frequencies of those variants that were favoured in domestic rabbits.

An interesting consequence of this is that if you release domestic rabbits into the wild, there is an opportunity for back selection at those genes that have been altered during domestication because the ‘wild-type’ variant has rarely been completely lost. In fact, this is what we plan to study next, comments Miguel Carneiro.

The scientists found no example where a gene has been inactivated during rabbit domestication and there were many more changes in the non-coding part of the genome than in the parts of the genome that codes for protein.

The results we have are very clear; the difference between a wild and a tame rabbit is not which genes they carry but how their genes are regulated i. e. when and how much of each gene is used in different cells, explains Miguel Carneiro.

The study also revealed which genes that have been altered during domestication. The researchers were amazed by the strong enrichment of genes involved in the development of the brain and the nervous system, among the genes particularly targeted during domestication.

But that of course makes perfect sense in relation to the drastic changes in behaviour between wild and domestic rabbits, concludes Kerstin Lindblad-Toh.

The study shows that the wild rabbit is a highly polymorphic species that carries gene variants that were favourable during domestication, and that the accumulation of many small changes led to the inhibition of the strong flight response — one of the most prominent phenotypic changes in the evolution of the domestic rabbit

We predict that a similar process has occurred in other domestic animals and that we will not find a few specific “domestication genes” that were critical for domestication. It is very likely that a similar diversity of gene variants affecting the brain and the nervous system occurs in the human population and that contributes to differences in personality and behaviour, says Leif Andersson.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Canola genome sequence reveals evolutionary ‘love triangle’

An international team of scientists including researchers from the University of Georgia recently published the genome of Brassica napus-commonly known as canola — in the journal Science. Their discovery paves the way for improved versions of the plant, which is used widely in farming and industry.

Canola is grown across much of Canada and its native Europe, but the winter crop is increasingly cultivated in Georgia. Canola oil used for cooking is prized for its naturally low levels of saturated fat and rich supply of omega-3 fatty acids, but the plant is also used to produce feed for farm animals and as an efficient source for biodiesel.

“This genome sequence opens new doors to accelerating the improvement of canola,” said Andrew Paterson, Regents Professor, director of UGA’s Plant Genome Mapping Laboratory and co-corresponding author for the study. “We can use this knowledge to tailor the plant’s flowering time, make it more resistant to disease and improve a myriad of other traits that will make it more profitable for production in Georgia and across the country.”

Canola has one of the most complex genomes among flowering plants, forming thousands of years ago during the Neolithic Era when two plant species-Brassica rapa and Brassica oleracea-combined in the wild. Plants in the B. rapa family include turnips and cabbages, while B. oleracea encompasses cauliflower, cabbage, collards, broccoli, kale and other common vegetables.

The Plant Genome Mapping Laboratory played prominent roles in the sequencing both B. rapa and B. oleracea in 2011 and 2014, respectively.

“Understanding the genomes of B. rapa and B. oleracea was key to piecing together the canola genome,” Paterson said. “It’s like a genetic love triangle between the three species, with canola sometimes favoring genes from B. rapa or B. oleracea or sometimes both.”

While much the world’s canola is used to make cooking oil and protein-rich animal feed, it is also used in the production of lipstick, lip gloss, soap, lotion, printing ink and de-icing agents.

The growing interest in carbon reduction and more environmentally friendly fuel alternatives is also good news for canola growers, as this genome sequence may ultimately help researchers develop feedstocks that are suited to more sustainable biofuel production.

Global canola production has grown rapidly over the past 40 years, rising from the sixth largest oil crop to the second largest, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Much of the production in America is concentrated along the northern plains, but the recent construction of a canola processing plant near the South Carolina-Georgia border has spurred interest for growers in the Southeast.

Additional UGA researchers for the project include Xiyin Wang, assistant research scientist and co-first author for the paper; Tae-ho Lee and Yupeng Wang, former postdoctoral researchers; and current and former graduate students Hui Guo, Huizhe Jin, Jingping Li, Xu Tan, Haibao Tang, and Yupeng Wang.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Georgia. The original article was written by James Hataway. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

PMA reveals finalists for Impact Award

The Produce Marketing Association revealed the PMA Impact Award finalists for 2014. PMA’s Impact Award: Excellence in Packaging is a global program recognizing companies that use innovation and excellence in packaging to maximize the selling of fresh produce and floral. This award recognizes trendsetters that create and deliver bold new concepts for produce and floral packaging.

The award attracted 67 entries submitted by 56 companies. Twenty of those submissions have been identified as program finalists. Winners will be announced Oct. 17 at Fresh Summit in Anaheim, CA.

  • Apio Inc.
  • A-ROO Co.
  • Clear Lam Packaging Inc.
  • Columbia Marketing International
  • Del Monte Fresh Produce
  • Earthbound Farm
  • Fresh Solutions Network
  • Mann Packing Co. Inc.
  • Mastronardi Produce
  • Mucci Farms
  • NatureSweet LTD
  • Naturipe Farms LLC
  • Ruby Fresh
  • Sage Fruit Co.
  • Snap Fresh Foods
  • Wholly Guacamole

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

PMA reveals finalists for Impact Award

PMA reveals finalists for Impact Award

PMA revealed the PMA Impact Award finalist for 2014. PMA’s Impact Award: Excellence in Packaging is a global program recognizing companies that use innovation and excellence in packaging to maximize the selling of fresh produce and floral. This notable award recognizes trendsetters that create and deliver bold new concepts for produce and floral packaging.

The award attracted 67 entries submitted by 56 companies. Twenty of those submissions have been identified as program finalists.  Winners will be announced at Fresh Summit on Friday, October 17th.

  •  Apio, Inc.
  •  A-ROO Compant
  •  Clear Lam Packaging, Inc.
  •  CMI Columbia Marketing Intl.
  •  Del Monte Fresh Produce
  •  Earthbound Farm
  •  Fresh Solutions Network
  •  Mann Packing Co., Inc.
  •  Mastronardi Produce/SUNSET®
  •  Mucci Farms
  •  NatureSweet, LTD
  •  Naturipe Farms, LLC
  •  Ruby Fresh
  •  Sage Fruit Company
  •  Snap Fresh Foods
  •  Wholly Guacamole

Publication date: 8/15/2014


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