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Unearthing the sweet potato proteome

“Proteomics and Proteogenomics Analysis of Sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas) Leaf and Root” Journal of Proteome Research   The sweet, starchy orange sweet potatoes are tasty and nutritious ingredients for fries, casseroles and pies. Although humans have been cultivating sweet potatoes for thousands of years, scientists still don’t know much about the protein makeup of these tubers. In ACS’Journal of Proteome...

USDA Proposes New SECURE Biotechnology Regulations to Protect Plant Health and Promote Agricultural Innovation

Washington, D.C., June 5, 2019 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of a proposed rule titled “Movement of Certain Genetically Engineered Organisms.” In preparing this proposal, we were guided by the following principles: Sustainable, Ecological, Consistent, Uniform, Responsible, Efficient, or SECURE for short. The SECURE rule will modernize the Department’s biotechnology regulations...

FOODS ENHANCED WITH PROVEN HEALTH BENEFITS NOT MAKING IT TO CONSUMERS QUICKLY ENOUGH

Professor Johnathan Napier, who pioneered the development of plants that produce heart healthy omega-3 fish oils, says that misinformation and over-regulation is stopping or slowing several GM foods with the potential to save lives from making it to consumers.   He points to the example of Golden Rice, which has been genetically modified to provide more Vitamin...

Scientists stack algorithms to improve predictions of yield-boosting crop traits

Hyperspectral data comprises the full light spectrum; this dataset of continuous spectral information has many applications from understanding the health of the Great Barrier Reef to picking out more productive crop cultivars. To help researchers better predict high-yielding crop traits, a team from the University of Illinois have stacked together six high-powered, machine learning algorithms that are...

Ghana farmer groups demand accelerated approval of GMO crops

Farmer groups in Ghana are asking the government to speed up the process of commercializing genetically modified (GM) crops as an alternative to pesticide use.   They want Ghana’s Parliament and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to “heed the cry of farmers concerning difficulties we face with pest and diseases, and push for the availability of...

BTI Scientists Create New Genomic Resource for Improving Tomatoes

Tomato breeders have traditionally emphasized traits that improve production, like larger fruits and more fruits per plant. As a result, some traits that improved other important qualities, such as flavor and disease resistance, were lost.   Researchers from Boyce Thompson Institute and colleagues from partnering institutions have created a pan-genome that captures all of the genetic information of...

A Plant Hormone that Speeds Root Growth Could Be a New Agricultural Tool

A molecule sold as a food additive has an underground role, too: helping roots grow faster.   When added to soil, the molecule, called beta-cyclocitral, speeds root growth in rice and tomato plants, scientists report May 8, 2019, in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It also makes rice plants resistant to salty soil,...

GM FIELD TRIALS APPROVED

Defra has given Rothamsted permission to run a series of trials using genetically modified Camelina plants.   The successful application follows previous GM Camelina trials carried out last year by Rothamsted across two sites in Hertfordshire and Suffolk.   The first part of the proposed research will determine performance in the field, and the seed oil yield, of transgenic...

Canola blackleg breakthrough

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) researchers have identified genetic regions which could be used to develop new canola varieties with durable resistance to blackleg disease.   A three-year international study under field and glasshouse conditions led by DPI molecular scientist, Harsh Raman, found multiple genes throughout the canola genome can control resistance to blackleg.   “Eight regions on the...

‘Exotic’ genes may improve cotton yield and quality

Cotton breeders face a “Catch-22.” Yield from cotton crops is inversely related to fiber quality. In general, as yield improves, fiber quality decreases, and vice-versa. “This is one of the most significant challenges for cotton breeders,” says Peng Chee, a researcher at the University of Georgia.   To overcome the yield vs quality challenge, Chee and colleagues turned...

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