Mystery Surrounding Sea Grapes Decoded

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Sea grapes are a popular delicacy in Japan and many other parts of Asia Pacific. However, farmers in Japan faced recurring problems while cultivating seaweeds. Scientists from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology graduate school (OIST) have finally weeded out the cultivation and environmental mysteries surrounding the plant.

Earlier, many Japanese farmers experienced poor growth of seaweed. These plants are commonly known as sea grapes. They present lucrative commercial opportunities for farmers in Japan.

Seaweeds go well with sashimi, rice, and a traditional beer in Japan. OIST Scientists have helped the farmer’s cause significantly by discovering the plant’s morphology and unique structure. It is is expected to result in much healthier cultivation in the near future.

According to the leading author of the research report, Dr. Asuka Arimoto, the study will provide insights into genome data. Consequently, it will help identify the troublesome genes in this plant. Additionally, this would not only stop the cultivation of deficient plants, but also control invasive species of seaweed in the near future.

Research to Boost Seaweed Plantation

The team of researchers decoded the complete sea grape genealogy and compared it with 15 other plant genomes. Afterwards, the research identified key genes which provide a unique shape to seaweeds. The researchers used algae for identifying the evolutionary processes in green plants.

The study published in DNA Resarch on 28th of February, 2019.   

According to the team, the seaweed plantation is gaining increased prominence in recent times. The research promises new opportunities for new farmers across the pacific. The study points to specific homeobox genomes which are prominent in pollens and eggs of land plants. This will open new strategies for cultivation for farmers.

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