Study points the way to more nutritious animal feed

US - Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have traced the biochemical pathway by which plants build a compound that compromises the quality of corn and soybeans as an animal feed.

Their studies indicate that it is feasible to engineer such plants to significantly improve their quality as animal feeds -- a potentially important boon to the hog and poultry industries, said the researchers

The researchers, led by Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator John York, published their findings the week of August 15 in the online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Lead author on the paper was Jill Stevenson-Paulik in the York laboratory. Their research was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

In their studies, the researchers sought to understand the biochemical pathway that leads to the synthesis in plants of the chemical called phytate. In the plant, this molecule is a regulator of signaling in the cell; and in seeds, it acts as a phosphate storage molecule.

Source: Innovations-Report
calendar icon 17 August 2005
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