Discovery of anti-freeze gene may be boon for crops – Yahoo! News

Discovery of anti-freeze gene may be boon for crops – Yahoo! News

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian scientists have discovered an “anti-freeze gene” that allows Antarctic grass to survive at minus 30 Celsius (minus 22 Fahrenheit), saying it could prevent multi-million-dollar crop losses from frost.

“It’s a gene from the saltgrass that managed to colonise the Antarctic peninsula called Antarctic Hairgrass,” said Professor German Spangenberg from La Trobe University in Victoria state.

“We identified a novel class of a gene protein which binds twice and that prevents ice crystal growth. It has the capacity to survive being frozen rock solid and then thawing. It prevents the damage from ice crystals,” Spangenberg told Reuters.

The scientists implanted the “ice recrystallisation inhibition gene” into a host plant in Australia and replicated the anti-freeze properties.
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I knew about the anti-freeze protein in fish and that one frog. The cryogenics people will soon be in business.

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