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Crops Biotech Update


Hybrid Corn: High Yields and Nitrogen Efficient

Purdue University in their study emphasized that over the past 70 years, yield and nitrogen efficiency of hybrid corn varieties have increased significantly. The study's purpose is to identify how corn plant utilized nitrogen throughout the years to guide breeders in their decision making involving future hybrids. According to Tony Vyn, a professor at Purdue's Department...

Four Companies Receive Permit to Import GM Products in Zambia

The National Biosafety Authority (NBA) of Zambia released permits to four companies to import products that may contain genetically modified crops.   According to NBA Chairperson, Dr. Paul Zambezi, the permits were granted to Gatbro Distributors, Pick n Pay, Southern National Import and Export Limited and Choppies Super Stores market, following the decision of the Board on...

Gene Identified that Will Help Develop Plants to Fight Climate Change

Underground networks of roots forage for nutrients and water for plants sustenance. Yet, the genetic and molecular mechanisms that govern which parts of the soil roots explore remain largely unknown. In a breakthrough that will help reduce atmospheric carbon from plants, researchers from Salk Institute have discovered a gene that determines the depth of root growth...

GM Crops Aid Transition of Pakistan from Subsistence to Commercial Farming

At a recent CropLife Pakistan Association event, local farmers expressed their support for GM crops as the performance of GM maize hybrids in the field was displayed. They demonstrated their sentiments about biotechnology, particularly how it helped improve their profitability through reduced input cost and improved yields.   The National Uniform Yield Trials (NUYT) conducted by the Pakistan...

Zero-Waste Plants Being Developed

Large proportions of crops are discarded during or after harvest, including plant parts containing proteins, fats, and fiber. Professor Luisa Trindade, professor at the Department of Plant Sciences at Wageningen University and Research (WUR) said this has to change. "The world needs plants that can be used fully, to the last molecule," she said.   Trindade wants to...

Maize Promoter Induces Cellulase Enzyme Expression in Maize Kernels

Researchers from Arkansas State University and partners tested three endosperm promoters for expression of a cellulase gene. The results are reported in Transgenic Research.   Expression of recombinant proteins in plants is used in the development of vaccines, pharmaceuticals, and industrial enzymes. In a previous study, the researchers produced recombinant proteins in maize kernels using only the embryo, which...

Nigeria Needs More Community Engagement on GM Cotton from Agricultural Extension Workers

In 2018, two Bt cotton varieties have been approved for commercialization by the Nigerian federal government. The GM cotton varieties, developed by Mahyco Nigeria Private Ltd. in collaboration with the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR) at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, were designed to address the major yield losses in cotton caused by the bollworm insect...

Researchers Map Vegetable Family Tree

A team of scientists from different institutions led by the University of Missouri has mapped the genetic family of three vegetables — canola, rutabaga, and Siberian kale — to identify the genes selected for by early farmers.   To identify the genes that were selected during domestication, J. Chris Pires, a professor of biological sciences with the...

Breakthrough Finds Plant Nutrient Detector

Findings of a study from La Trobe University led by Dr. Ricarda Jost have provided a deeper understanding of the mechanisms whereby plants sense how much and when to take in the essential nutrient, phosphorus, for optimal growth.   The team found a protein called SPX4 senses the nutrient status – the ‘amount of fuel in...

Change Needed for Europe's Assessment and Approval Process for Genome‐Edited Crops

The use and release of genetically modified (GM) crops are under the regulation of the European Commission. However, after two decades of GM crops being sold commercially in the US, the European Union (EU) only approved two GM crop varieties licensed to be cultivated: MON810 and Amflora potato.   According to a perspective article written by Nigel...

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