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Crops Biotech Update


SPEED BREEDING AND GENOME EDITING TO FEED 10 BILLION

Speed breeding, together with other state-of-the art technologies such as gene editing, is the best way to develop a pipeline of new crops. This is according to an article in Nature Biotechnology authored by geneticists from the University of Queensland, Australia.   "We face a grand challenge in terms of feeding the world. If you look at...

GENOME REVEALS HOW ALMONDS WENT FROM DEADLY TO DELICIOUS

An international team of researchers from Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, and Italy has sequenced the first complete almond genome. The sequence represents almost 95 percent of the genes, or nearly 28,000 genes and roughly 246 million base pairs. The sequencing project sought to find the genetic differences between bitter and sweet almonds.   Almonds produced nowadays are sweet,...

CHINESE SCIENTISTS COMPLETE WHOLE GENOME SEQUENCING OF ANCIENT WHEAT SEEDS

Scientists from four research institutes in China have sequenced the whole genome of 3,800-year-old wheat seeds unearthed from Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, decoding the food crop's spreading route into China. The results of the study are published in The Plant Journal.   The research team extracted DNA from seven ancient wheat seeds discovered from Xiaohe and Gumugou...

FEDERAL OFFICE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT APPROVES GM BARLEY FIELD TRIAL IN SWITZERLAND

The Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) of Switzerland has given permission to the University of Zurich to conduct field trials of genetically modified (GM) barley under strict conditions on June 12, 2019.   The FOEN approved the application and set out the measures that the university had to take to prevent GM material from spreading outside...

OSBZIP62 IMPROVES DROUGHT AND OXIDATIVE STRESS TOLERANCE IN RICE

Drought is one of the abiotic factors that affect the yield of crops. Studies have shown that basic leucine zipper motif (bZIP) transcription factors play an important regulatory function in plant drought stress responses. However, the functions of bZIP transcription factors in rice are still mysterious. Scientists from Shanghai Agrobiological Gene Center identified and characterized a...

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VEGETABLE BREEDER SIMON GROOT IS THE 2019 WORLD FOOD PRIZE LAUREATE

  Simon N. Groot, vegetable breeder from the Netherlands and founder of East-West Seed is the 2019 World Food Prize Laureate. The announcement was made at a ceremony at the U.S. Department of Agriculture on June 10, 2019. Mr. Groot won the award for empowering millions of smallholder farmers in more than 60 countries to earn...

USDA REVISES BIOTECH REGULATIONS TO SECURE AGRI INNOVATIONS

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that they are proposing to modernize biotechnology regulations in such a way that the efficient agricultural production to address sustainability is incorporated while also considering the responsible and predictable regulatory oversight to protect the ecology and plant health.   USDA made the proposal based on the following principles: *S*ustainable, *E*cological,...

MISINFORMATION AND OVER-REGULATION KEEPING GM FOODS FROM CONSUMERS

Professor Johnathan Napier, a leading pioneer in plant biotechnology who led the development of plants that produce heart-healthy omega-3 fish oils, says that "misinformation and over-regulation are stopping or slowing several GM foods with the potential to save lives from making it to consumers."   In a paper published in Nature Plants, Professor Napier and fellow authors wrote...

EFFECT OF A NANOPARTICLE ON THE EXPRESSION OF PHOTOSYNTHESIS-RELATED GENES IN SOYBEAN

Photosynthesis is an important physiological process in plants. It plays a crucial role in plant growth and development. Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology reports the impact of zerovalent cobalt nanoparticles on the expression of genes linked to photosynthesis in soybean leaves at different growth stages.   The results showed that treatment of zerovalent cobalt nanoparticles made in...

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SABC KICKS OFF "MEGA AWARENESS" CAMPAIGN ON FALL ARMYWORM IN INDIA

The South Asia Biotechnology Centre (SABC), in collaboration with the University of Agriculture and Horticulture Sciences (UAHS), has started a "mega campaign" on fall armyworm under the project Safeguarding Agriculture and Farmers against Fall Armyworm (Project SAFFAL) at Shivamogga, Karnataka, India on June 8, 2019. The UAHS Shivamogga was first to report the fall armyworm infestation...

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