Gene that helps tomato fight viral infection, heat stress identified

While trying to understand the genetics of stress to make tomatoes and other crops more productive, Indian researchers have identified a gene that helps tomato plant tackle pathogens as well as heat stress.

Scientists at New Delhi-based National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR) have deciphered the critical role of a single gene—SlDEAD35—in tomato plant whose expression controls its response to both heat stress and viral infection.

Milk being widely consumed food, its safety is of prime concern to consumers. More so because it is highly perishable and prone to the action of enzymes and microorganisms inherently present in it. Although pasteurization, freezing, and preservation using additives are widely used to prevent spoilage, perishability of milk is still a concern.

The new method- how it works?

  • A milk enzyme, Alkaline Phosphatase or ALP, is considered an indicator of milk quality because its presence even after pasteurization indicates the presence of microbes that may not have been rendered inactive with pasteurization.
  • Researchers used ordinary filter paper to prepare the detector. The filter paper was cut into small discs and impregnated with chemical probes that preferentially react with ALP. The ‘probes’ used are antibodies that specifically bind to ALP. When ALP comes into contact with the probe, it turns white paper disc into a coloured one.
  • The colour change on paper discs is then photographed by a smartphone camera and images processed to obtain corresponding colour values. These values are then compared with standard data stored in the phone. Thus not only the presence of ALP could be detected but the amount of it in milk could also be measured.
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