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VOA慢速[农业]科学家发现西红柿稻米的基因奥秘

2014-10-31    来源:普特英语听力    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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From VOA Learning English, this is the Agriculture Report.

Scientists have discovered the genetic secrets of two unpopular members of two favorite food families. They hope the discoveries will produce tastier tomatoes and stronger rice.

The scientists discovered the complete set of genetic rules of African rice and wild tomatoes. They published their studies in two reports in the journal Nature Genetics.

There are good reasons African rice and wild tomatoes have not been popular. Asian rice is more productive and easier to process than African rice. The wild tomato is poisonous.

Rod Wing is a plant biologist at Arizona State University. He helped map the African rice genes. And there is some good news to report.

“There are some varieties that have been kinda well-adapted to grow in kind of mangrove areas, which are quite a bit more salty than you would experience for Asian rice.”

Mr. Wing says African rice can grow in salty and even poisonous soil. And it can grow around weeds and in extremely dry conditions. He says this strength is increasingly important as climate change makes crop production more difficult. He says that this is important because the Earth’s population is growing quickly.

“There’s gonna be two-to two-and-a-half-billion more people on the planet in less than 40 years, and that’s a pretty scary scenario.”

Scientists will be able to make better rice faster. They can now identify the genes that control what is good about African rice and combine those genes with Asian rice.

The wild tomato also has some good qualities. Scientists found that it can grow in salty as well as very dry conditions, like the African rice. Bjorn Usadel of Germany’s RWTH Aachen University is one of the scientists who published the genetic maps of the two plants. The map identifies the genes that may be responsible for these qualities.

“The tomatoes are green and potentially there’s something inside that’s just not healthy; but there’s also other interesting things inside.”

The new map could also help improve the quality of tomatoes sold in food stores. Many people say these tomatoes do not taste very good. Mr. Usadel says researchers found differences in the genes of wild and farm-grown tomatoes that affect how they taste and smell.

“So, even though these wild tomatoes definitely don’t taste better, this population gives us actually an indication where the taste is coming from.”

The scientist says there is another use for the map. He says it will permit scientists to make sure that any new kinds of tomatoes developed from wild tomato do not carry any of its poisonous genes. 

I’m Caty Weaver.

文本来源于普特论坛[report整理] SENEWS-2014-09-09


科学家们发现两种最受人们喜爱的食物家族中两个不常见成员的遗传奥秘。他们希望这些发现将生产出更美味的西红柿和更为饱满的稻米。

科学家们发现了非洲稻和野生西红柿的完整遗传规律。他们在《自然遗传学》杂志的两篇报道中发表了他们的研究结果。
 
非洲稻和野生西红柿不常见是有理由的。因为亚洲稻相比更加多产,且容易加工。而野生西红柿是有毒的。
 
Rod Wing是亚利桑那州国立大学的植物生物学家。他帮忙绘制了非洲稻基因图。这里还要报道些好消息。
 
“一些品种已经有些适应红树林地区的生长环境,对于亚洲稻来说,这种土壤生长环境太咸了。”
 
Wing先生说非洲稻不仅可以生长在盐分多的甚至有毒的土壤中,还可以生长在杂草中以及极度干燥的环境中。并称,随着气候变化的越来越恶劣,使得农作物的生长变得越来越困难,所以非洲稻的优势也显得越来越重要,因为世界人口正处于急速速增长中。
 
“预计在未来40年以内,世界人口将会新增20亿到25亿人,这将是一个相当可怕的场景。”
 
科学家们很快就会研发出更优质的稻米,他们现在已经能够识别出使得非洲稻优质的基因,并将这些优良基因与亚洲稻相结合。
 
野生西红柿也有一些优点,科学家们发现它可以像非洲稻一样生长在盐分较多及非常干燥的环境中。德国亚深工业大学的Bjorn Usadel是公布这两种植物遗传图的科学家之一。该图谱可确定能够使它们具有这些特点的基因。
 
“这种西红柿是绿色的,可能里面存在些什么不健康的东西,但可能也一些有趣的东西。”
 
这个遗传图谱也有助于改善食品商店里出售的西红柿的质量。有很多人说,这些西红柿不好吃。Usadel先生称,研究人员发现野生西红柿和农田里种植的西红柿的基因差异是影响味道和气味的原因。
 
“因此,尽管这些野生西红柿并不好吃,但是事实上这些西红柿品种给予我们这种味道来自何处的提示。”
 
科学家称,这种遗传图谱还有别的用途,这种西红柿能使科学家们确保任何由野生西红柿研制出的新品种不携带任何有毒基因。
 
以上是VOA学英语农业报道。更多农业报道,请关注我们的网站learningenglish.voanews.com.我是Caty Weaver。


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