Thursday, November 17, 2016

Aussies open doors to genetic research

An institute in Australia is opening its doors to gene transfer advances desired by researchers in other nations.

One recent result is a salt-tolerant rice variety for Saudi Arabia.

The Plant Accelerator is a state-of-the-art research facility in Adelaide, South Australia, which studies the physical and biochemical traits of various plants.

It claims to be the largest institute of its kind to allow outside access for international organisations and its automated processes speed up studies, monitoring thousands of plants a day.

The rice for Saudi Arabia involved testing hundreds of rice crosses the identify the gene for salt tolerance.

A team of researchers led by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia used the Plant Accelerator for its work.

A number of researchers from the University of Adelaide and University of South Australia were also involved in the study.

The facility studies up to 2400 plants a day and uses a range of different cameras to measure temperature, water absorption, colour, shoot mass, size, health and physical traits of plants.