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Researchers Provide Genetic Explanations for Shade-Induced Biomass Allocation in Wheat

Practices such as tillage, fertilizing the soil, and regulating the water supply can reduce competition for water and nutrients, but they amplify competition for light. "These observations suggest that studying the genetic basis of plant responses to changes in the intensity and spectrum of light due to competition from neighboring plants will advance our understanding of adaptation to the crop environment," says Dr. Guy Golan, first author of a new study published in the journal New Phytologist

In their study, the research team applied a new approach that combines principles from  and quantitative genetics for dissecting light-dependent and size-dependent allocation and identifying genes that regulate allocation to the leaves, stems, spikes, and grains when plants are shaded by neighbors.

One stimulating example comes from the known 'Green Revolution' gene Reduced Height-B1, which has two gene forms. On the one hand, the wild version leads plants to put much of their resources into growing tall stems. When these plants are in the shade, they grow even taller to compete for more sunlight. On the other hand, plants with the 'Green Revolution' mutation allocate more resources to the spike, especially in shady conditions, making them more adaptable to low light.

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AJ Armstrong Takes the Helm as Manitoba Seed Growers President

Video: AJ Armstrong Takes the Helm as Manitoba Seed Growers President

The Manitoba Seed Growers Association (MSGA) held its first annual SeedLink Conference in Brandon last week, where a new president was appointed to take the helm of the organization.

A.J. Armstrong of Armstrong Seeds in Boissevain took the gavel from Past-President Tom Greaves. In a sit-down interview, Armstrong shared insights into his personal journey within the seed industry. Born into a family deeply rooted in seed cultivation, he took the reins of the family business in 2003, building on a legacy initiated by his father in 1980.

Regulatory modernization emerged as a significant focus of the conversation. While acknowledging the complexities of the process, Armstrong expressed optimism about the potential benefits for seed growers once the regulatory framework is finalized.

Discussing the dynamics of working with family in a business setting, he stressed the importance of open communication.

Operating with a streamlined team that includes his mom as the bookkeeper, his father as the “gopher” handling specific tasks, and a dedicated employee for day-to-day operations, the Armstrong family has successfully navigated the intricate balance of personal and professional relationships.

Open discussions about roles, responsibilities, and business plans contribute significantly to the smooth functioning of a family-operated seed business,” he said.

SeedLink is a new event; the decision to explore a return to a two-day annual meeting format sparked enthusiasm among industry partners, including key players and sponsors like SeCan, FP Genetics, Canterra Seeds, and numerous others.