Innovation Friday: Biotechnology


By definition, biotechnology is the use of biological processes, organisms or systems to manufacture new products.

Today we are looking at three ways agricultural biotechnology has the potential to change our lives, food and flowers for the better.


Breakthrough dual fungicide technology could help prevent crop failures

An expert in environmental toxins at The University of Nottingham in the U.K. has developed a new antifungal technology, which has the potential to play a major role in securing future food supplies.

Professor Simon Avery has discovered that two agents, when combined, affect the process of protein synthesis, and have the potential to effectively block fungal growth in certain types of fungi that cause disease in crops. This could save enough food to feed up to 4 billion people a year.


Scientists pinpoint gene for better rice

Researchers from China discovered that mutations in a specific rice gene resulted in longer, more slender grains with less chalkiness and better harvests.

The research team crossed two rice varieties — one a widely-grown but mediocre hybrid variety and the other a better but less prolific type — to locate the genetic variant responsible for the difference in quality. They then used this to develop experimental high-yield, better rice strains.


Heaven scent: Finding may help restore fragrance to roses

French scientists have discovered a chemical process in rose petals that might allow them to restore a pleasing scent to rose varieties that have lost it because of breeding for traits like color or longevity.

The scientists identified a gene that is far more active in a heavily scented kind of rose than in a type with little odor. This gene, which produces an enzyme, revealed the odor-producing process.

What did we miss? Share links to your favorite innovative finds in the comment section below and don’t forget to check out last week’s Innovation Friday.

Disclosure: Lexmark is not endorsing any products or features shared in this Innovation Friday blog post. It’s just stuff we think is really, really cool and innovative.