Genomics applied to plant breeding, helping farmers hit by Japan’s tsunami

Plant breeding is a tricky, laborious process, in most circumstances.  You cross two plants with qualities you want, and then you have to wait for the seedlings to grow to the maturity in order to find out whether all your hard work has paid off.  Being able to tell, at a very early age, whether the things are what you want them to be would really speed up the process, and that’s what scientists are trying to do – by better understanding the markers in the rice genome, they’re helping to develop strains of salt-resistant rice in areas hit by the Japanese tsunami last year.

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