Whither now for jute wither? Emergence of a new pathogen

Being sessile, plants face a number of threats, in the form of changing climate and microbes that cause disease. Plant diseases can wipe out entire fields of crops, leading to huge economic losses. In the jute fields in Bangladesh, there have been incidences of wilting of the plants, leading to their ultimate death. Scientists at the Bangladesh Jute Research Institute […]

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Cellular decoding via jute CDPKs

Cellular decoding via jute CDPKs

Plants grow and survive by cellular responses to various signals from the environment, other organisms, or from within themselves. The cellular machinery to decode these signals in plants is highly complex and consists of several specialised proteins. One such protein family is the calcium-dependent protein kinase (CDPK) group of proteins that decode developmental and environmental stimuli-induced calcium changes into physiological […]

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Getting retting better by bacterial blending

jute undergoes the retting process

Jute is the second most important fibre crop after cotton. Harvesting of jute is followed by retting, where the fibres are separated from stems. This is performed in open waters where natural microorganisms decompose the plant material. The fibre quality depends on retting efficiency. Given the water scarcity in Bangladesh and the resulting delays in harvest, the quality of fibres […]

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Pure and sound: Isolating the finest RNA from jute

products made from jute fibre

Jute is an important crop grown for human usage of its fibres in everyday materials. There has been an increasing interest to study the behaviour of this crop in the field, to maximise its yield. Detailed studies of this plant at the molecular level involves several techniques that require isolation of cellular material such as nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) […]

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Searching TILL high yielding jute is unearthed

A field of jute.

Jute fibres are sustainable, biodegradable alternatives to non-degradable plastic fibres. The cultivation of jute is hindered by the presence of only two cultivated varieties in Corchorus sp and their incompatibility for cross-breeding. Increasing the genetic diversity of jute is a priority, to increase the tolerance of this crop towards environmental stresses, as well as improving the quality of the fibres. […]

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Understanding plant pathogens using optical mapping

a scientist in a lab looks at data

Macrophomina phaseolina MS-6 is a fungal pathogen responsible for causing a plethora of despairing diseases in more than 500 host plants, such as jute. A detailed study of the organism is vital for understanding mechanisms of infection in these plants. Whole-genome sequencing can aid this process and provide a better understanding of MS-6. Previously used sequencing methods like next-generation sequencing […]

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Transcription factors regulate stress resistance in jute

Jute plant

Dark jute is an increasingly valued bast fibre-yielding plant with a diversity of uses. However, there is a need for varieties that can tolerate challenging environmental conditions. Scientists of Basic and Applied Research on Jute Project at the Bangladesh Jute Research Institute used molecular genetics methods to study the role of the transcription factor superfamily AP2/ERF in the adaptation of […]

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Housekeeping rules: Why reference genes matter in jute plants

a pencil makes marks upon a page

Jute is a commercially grown fibre plant that provides a natural resource for modern day fibre usage. With the lack of diversity in jute plants, the recent sequencing of the jute genome offers a wide range of gene targets for crop breeding. In parallel, the use of quantitative approaches to study the expression pattern of jute genes has taken precedent. […]

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Tools to not rot jute: Solving a fungal problem

a row of petri dish

Jute is grown in Bangladesh for its fibres to manufacture various goods for everyday use. Along with environmental challenges, jute faces a devastating threat from the fungal pathogen Macrophomina phaseolina, which causes stem rot. Jute yields can be reduced by 30% with this disease. The long life of the fungus in the soil and seeds prevents the efficient control of […]

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Is faster better? Towards development of quick-growing jute

field of jute

Jute is an important fibre cash crop grown in Bangladesh alongside food crops. With limited land availability, maximising the timing of crop growth is critical for the farmer. To avoid long overlaps in the cultivation period, farmers benefit from faster-growing crops. Jute is in great demand, yet there are no fast-growing varieties available. With the completed sequencing of its genome, […]

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