In the news...

“Anti-GMO campaigners ‘play politics’ with food security and poverty, delaying sustainable farming”

April 20th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Prof. Benjamin Ubi, [president of the Biotechnology Society of Nigeria] says the adoption of biotechnology will facilitate sustainable agricultural production in the country. He said that the adoption of biotechnology applications was the panacea to the current food challenges facing the country.
“Biotechnology, including genetic engineering and production of Genetically Modified …

Soil microbiome – research into practice

April 17th, 2017 / Claudia Canales, B4FA

The previous blog looked at the extraordinary complexity of life supported by soils, in particular healthy, productive soils. This is especially true in the rhizosphere, the soils directly affected by plant root secretions. Key functions modulated by microbes include plant nutrition through the release of inorganic phosphorous in soils, the …

How ‘human bees’, biotechnologists and Gates Foundation are rescuing the African cassava staple

April 14th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

In the developed world, most people eat the root vegetable cassava only in tapioca pudding or bubble tea. But in sub-Saharan Africa, it’s the primary staple for half a billion people and is the continent’s most popular crop. It has gained prominence due to its tolerance to extreme weather conditions, …

Study shows natural genetic engineering in grafted plants

April 13th, 2017 / IAAAS, US

Rutgers University researchers led by Pal Maliga reported that grafted plants exchange mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cells which contain their own genomes. Furthermore, when the whole mitochondria from one plant get into the cells of another, they combine their DNA with that of the existing mitochondria. These findings, published …

Microbiomes could help plants grow, resist disease and make agriculture more sustainable

April 12th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Feeding a growing world population amidst climate change requires optimizing the reliability, resource use, and environmental impacts of food production.
One way to assist in achieving these goals is to integrate beneficial plant microbiomes—i.e., those enhancing plant growth, nutrient use efficiency, abiotic stress tolerance, and disease resistance—into agricultural production. Read …

Genetically engineered microbes make their own fertiliser

April 11th, 2017 / Science, US

Industrial fertilizers help feed billions of people every year, but they remain beyond the reach of many of the world’s poorest farmers. Now, researchers have engineered microbes that, when added to soil, make fertilizer on demand, producing plants that grow 1.5 times larger than crops not exposed to the bugs …

Drought resistant, higher-yielding GM rice developed by Japanese researchers

April 10th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Scientists at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science have developed strains of rice that are resistant to drought in real-world situations. Published in Plant Biotechnology Journal, the study reports that transgenic rice modified with a gene from the Arabidopsis plant yield more rice than unmodified rice when subjected to …

Empowering rural farmers with technologies for improved yields

April 10th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
Smallholder farms dominate African agriculture, and most of them continue to employ traditional cultivation techniques but experts from the Sasakawa Global 2000 ask farmers to employ better farm technologies to solve the problem of food security by looking at the full length of the value chain. …

Parliamentary journalists support dialogue on the biotech and biosafety bill passage in UGANDA

April 6th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Journalists ascribed to the Uganda Parliamentary Press Association (UPPA), and members of the Uganda Agribusiness Alliance (UAA) have expressed their willingness to help readers and listeners to better understand biotechnology research work done in Uganda and the need for biosafety regulation. This was during a sensitization seminar on Biotechnology and …

Kenyan youth farmers call for adoption of WEMA BT maize

April 6th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Kenyan youth farmers have rallied behind researchers in urging government to allow commencement of National Performance Trials (NPTs) for the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) Bt maize. The farmers were speaking during the 2017 agri-biotech forum held at University of Embu, eastern Kenya on March 29-30, 2017.
While expressing his …