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Breakthrough Genome Analysis by Devos Lab Promotes Food Security Advancements

Dr. Devos examines a finger millet plant in a greenhouse

An international team of researchers, led by Distinguished Research Professor in Plant Biology, Dr. Katrien Devos, and Senior Research Associate Dr. Peng Qi, recently published a breakthrough genome analysis for finger millet in the journal Nature Communications. The team also included the Department of Plant Biology’s Senior Research Associate Dr. Thomas Pendergast, Dr. Liliam Martinez-Bello, Research Technician Gurjot S. Sidhu, and Post-doctoral Research Associate Dr. Jianxin Zhao. This research could help ensure food security for millions of food-insecure people in Eastern Africa, India, and Nepal. Using insights from this research, crop breeders can now target specific traits that make finger millet more nutritionally valuable, as well as more resistant to drought and extreme heat. Finger millet has long been considered a low-value subsistence crop, however, this work could change that viewpoint and result in finger millet being the future of agriculture in parts of Africa and Asia.

This paper was featured on the Nature Communications Editors’ Highlights page (see here), where editors select a small number of articles recently published in Nature Communications that they believe are particularly interesting or important.

This work was also highlighted by the International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics. Read the press release here.

To read the original article click here.

Photos courtesy of Dr. Katrien Devos and Dr. Thomas Pendergast



Distinguished Research Professor, Plant Biology; Crop & Soil Sciences; Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics & Genomics
Senior Research Associate, Devos Lab

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