Recently I came across a lab doing some valuable work on plant genomics, and I began to look around their site and found some interesting tools. In this Tip of the Week I’m going to show you the Rice Kinase Database (http://phylomics.ucdavis.edu/kinase/index.shtml ) and some of the features it offers. If you are interested in kinases you might discover some valuable relationships in the database, or you might follow the interaction maps for interesting connections, and examine the locations of kinases in the rice genome. There are links to the Rice Genome Annotation project (http://rice.plantbiology.msu.edu/ ) that offer additional information as well. Their Rice Genome Browser relies on GBrowse, I see. For help on using GBrowse more effectively you could view our free full tutorial on it.
I came across the Roland lab’s work from blog coverage and the media it’s been getting lately on a GM rice plant they have worked on. It is a flood-tolerant strain that looks to be quite useful to farmers in Bangladesh. There was a story on CNN just recently, and another story on NPR describes the work as well: Waterproof Rice May Help Asia Cope with Flooding
CNN Story: Water-proof rice fights hunger (in case the embed doesn’t work, this is the direct link: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/tech/2009/02/02/waterproof.rice.cnn?iref=videosearch
Pamela Roland’s blog is here Tomorrow’s Table . It turns out she’s married to an organic grower, and they have written a book together also called “Tomorrow’s Table” to make the case for genetically modified plants and organic methods to help us meet the challenges of feeding a whole lot of people on this planet with a changing climate.
I know some people object to plant genomics, but it appears the plants themselves don’t. I just saw this article come across my desk: Genome Duplication May Have Helped Plants Survive Mass Extinction. They just lacked the precision we have today ;) Plants are cool. And yummy.