Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Discovery of anti-freeze gene may be boon for crops

`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.’

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