Tuesday, October 23, 2012

ARS Newslink

Web links to stories issued October 15-19, 2012 ___________________________________________

ARS News Service
USDA Agricultural Research Service
October 19, 2012

Protecting potato quality:
Preventing activity of a key enzyme in potatoes could help boost potato quality by putting an end to cold-induced sweetening, according to USDA scientists. Cold-induced sweetening, which occurs when potatoes are put in long-term cold storage, causes flavor changes and unwanted dark colors in fried and roasted potatoes. (10/15) http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2012/121015.htm

Boosting sorghum's cold tolerance:
Sorghum was originally a tropical plant, but USDA scientists are looking to Asia to increase sorghum's cold tolerance and expand its production range. Researchers have found cold-tolerance genes in Chinese cultivars and are using them to develop lines that breeders can use to produce hardy commercial varieties. (10/17) http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2012/121017.htm

Safeguarding crops from aflatoxin:
Aflatoxins are highly toxic carcinogens produced by several species of Aspergillus fungi. But not all Aspergillus produce aflatoxin. Some, in fact, are considered beneficial. One such strain, dubbed K49, is now being recruited to battle these harmful Aspergillus relatives, preventing them from contaminating host crops like corn with the carcinogen. (10/19) http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2012/121019.htm

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