Scientists Unlock Secrets Of China’s Bak Choi, With Aim Of Cross-vegetable Breeding And Disease Resi

Posted: Feb 03, 2023

A research team says it has found a way to cross bak choi – also called bok choy – with other vegetables such as mustard greens.

The new technology could lead to cross-species vegetable breeding, they said in a paper published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature on Wednesday.

When a bee collects nectar in the wild, its body is covered with pollen that comes from rapeseeds, timothy grasses or various flowers. But when it stops at a bak choi flower, only the pollen from another bak choi can bind with the flower and produce seeds.

The question of how plants choose a mate has puzzled scientists for a long time.

The international team, led by professors Duan Qiaohong of Shandong Agricultural University in China and Alice Cheung at the University of Massachusetts in the United States, revealed the molecular mechanisms of the reproductive barrier in Brassicaceae, a big plant family that includes bak choi.

Based on that, they developed a breeding technology that breaks the barrier, opening up a new approach to breeding between distant species.

By Zhang Tong
Date: February 3, 2023

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