Showing posts with label varieties. Show all posts
Showing posts with label varieties. Show all posts

New Food Varieties From Plant Enbryo Culture

Natural pollination was used for years in plant research. it was thought to be the only way that a "pure" line could be preserved. Plants vary in characteristics depending on altitude and longitude. Crossing plants from different geographical region was the method put forward by Nobel Prize Laureate Dr Norman Borlaug who led the way in the Green Revolution.

This method only produced three generations of new varieties each year. A different system was needed. Embryo culture is the result. This is used in combination with changes in water, temperature, humidity, light and potting mix and is much more productive. Plant embryos are like stem cells. The neutral "baby" plants are nurtured and placed onto a media culture that determines what type of plant they will become.;

Pure-line plant genotypes are obtained in a shorter period. This is a major change in the creation of new crops that will feed the world's growing population. It will obviously take several decades to achieve the higher growth rates of the new food crops. However, scientists are optimistic.
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Conservation by Ty Buchanan
     Australian Blog                         

Sweet Potato Is Being Improved

The sweet potato is a hotel counter-lunch filling. It is something you have when there is no other vegetable left. Most people eat it because it is on the plate. It's flavour can be described as sugary. The only vegetable anything like it is fresh baby peas that can be quite sweet. The sweet potato, however, is far too "sickly" for most palates. This humble vegetable is being revamped.

Researchers in Queensland are trying to find varieties that can be grown more economically and which are more suitable for consumers - diametrically opposed goals one would assume. They are looking for more brilliantly coloured kinds, a silly aspiration considering people don't eat colour. It is the taste that is the problem. Seeing pretty red, purple, orange and white skin while you are peeling them is hardly, well, "appealing". Scientists are saying the colours are exciting. Wow! They are also saying that there are interesting flavours. This claim is not soundly based because no formal taste tests have been done.

A fatter kind is being worked on. A quick perusal of the local greengrocer would indicate that size is not really an issue. There are some monsters out there already. Like giant pumpkins such monstrosities are usually only fit for the rubbish bin.

Those doing the study admit that the sweet potato being produced is of very high quality. If that is the case why bother working on improvements? Surely, research on more main-stream vegetables like the standard potato is more logical than trying to improve a vegetable that is at best only a fill-in on the dinner plate.
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