Local cooking preferences drove acceptance of new crop staples in prehistoric China

The food preparation preferences of Chinese cooks — such as the technological choice to boil or steam grains, instead of grinding or processing them into flour — had continental-scale consequences for the adoption of new crops in prehistoric China, according to research from Washington University in St. Louis. A new study in PLOS ONE led by Xinyi Liu, associate professor of archaeology in Arts & Sciences, focuses on the ancient history of staple cereals across China, a country well known for its diverse food products and early adoption of many domesticated plants.

Regulators Classify Gene-Edited Rice Varieties with Disease Resistance as Equivalent to Conventional Varieties

The Healthy Crops team, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, have used gene editing tools to develop new varieties of disease-resistant rice that regulators in the United States and Colombia have determined are equivalent to what could be accomplished with conventional breeding.

Grain traits traced to ‘dark matter’ of rice genome

Domesticated rice has fatter seed grains with higher starch content than its wild rice relatives — the result of many generations of preferential seed sorting and sowing. But even though rice was the first crop to be fully sequenced, scientists have only documented a few of the genetic changes that made rice into a staple food for more than half the world’s population.