The Quest for Drought-Tolerant Crops

Using Agilent instruments and software, Ute Roessner and her colleagues at the University of Melbourne are searching for ways to help vital grains such as wheat and barley stand up to harsh conditions. In the land down under, that means drought and salty soil. So what makes some plants more tolerant of these conditions than others?

Selective breeding has long been used to develop crops with desired traits, but Roessner’s lab is among the first to combine quantitative trait loci analysis with metabolomics. (Her Agilent-equipped lab is part of Metabolomics Australia, a consortium of universities and research institutes that provides high-throughput metabolomics services to life science researchers from all over the country.)

What makes Roessner’s ongoing research uncommonly fertile, she points out, is a suite of Agilent’s precision instruments  (single- and triple-quadrupole GC/MS systems as well as quadrupole time-of-flight and triple-quadrupole LC/MS systems, plus data-processing equipment and data-analysis software), which she and her team rely on for fast, accurate results.

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Agilent Aids Researchers’ Quest for Drought-Tolerant Crops