In the news...

Engineered molecule could protect key food crops from intensifying droughts as climate changes

October 29th, 2019

An engineered small molecule called opabactin that targets the receptor for the hormone abscisic acid (ABA), which plants release in stressful conditions, limited water loss in Arabidopsis, tomato, and wheat, and improved wheat’s tolerance of drought-like conditions in the lab, according to a study published today (October 24) in Science. It …

Technology hope for African farmers

October 16th, 2019

Precision farming techniques are being scaled down to be usable and affordable.

In Africa, a start-up scene is taking shape, capable of lifting millions out of poverty by transforming the continent’s largest industry: agriculture. The African continent contains more than a quarter of the world’s arable land, and farming contributes 15 …

Why biotechnology is necessary in agriculture

October 14th, 2019

The Federal Government in recent times has been developing a lot of of measures for the application of biotechnology in Nigeria’s agricultural sector.

Prof. Alex Akpa, Director-General of National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) stated at the opening of a 5-day workshop on Basic Laboratory Training on Living Modified Organisms (LMOs) …

With CRISPR and machine learning, startups fast-track crops to consume less, produce more

September 27th, 2019 / Nature, UK

Inari, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, plans to use the total $144 million it has raised so far to develop crops that are more productive and consume less water and fertilizer than those currently produced by seed conglomerates. The company will focus on major crops such as corn, soybean, wheat and …

Drought resistant farming breakthrough: GMO corn survives nearly two months without water thanks to tomato genes

September 27th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The intense desert to the south of the Coquimbo Region in Chile makes molecular biologist Simón Ruiz think about how to take advantage of the more than two million hectares of arid and semi-arid lands that Chile has.

“Many plant species cannot survive salinity, drought and constant temperature changes. We [are …

New research paves way to make more crops resilient to floods

September 26th, 2019 / Live Mint

With the increase in frequency and intensity of extreme rainfall events causing severe damage to crops worldwide, a new study has paved way to enhance flood tolerance of more crops species through genetic engineering.

In a new research published in peer-reviewed journal, Science, scientists studied how other crops behaved when submerged …

The human health benefits from GM crops

September 26th, 2019 / Plant Biotechnology Journal

The Human Health Benefits from GM CropsGenetically modified (GM) crops represent the most rapidly adopted technology in the history of agriculture, having now reached twenty-five years of commercial production. Grown by millions of farmers, many in developing countries, the technology is providing significant economic and environmental benefits, such as reductions …

CRISPR might be the banana’s only hope against a deadly fungus

September 25th, 2019 / Nature, UK

The race to engineer the next-generation banana is on. The Colombian government confirmed last month that a banana-killing fungus has invaded the Americas — the source of much of the world’s banana supply. The invasion has given new urgency to efforts to create fruit that can withstand the scourge.

Scientists are …

Sequenced pea genome aids effort to improve global nutrition, boost sustainable farming

September 13th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

An international team of researchers has assembled the first genome of the field pea, providing insight into how Mendel’s original genetic model evolved and help future improvements of the crop. The study, published in Nature Genetics, has important implications for global nutrition and sustainability of crops. Pea is the second most important grain …

The protection of traditional knowledge in Africa

September 3rd, 2019 / Inventa International

Traditional Knowledge (TK) is, in accordance to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), “a living body of knowledge passed on from generation to generation within a community”. Traditional Knowledge is the know-how, skills and practices developed within a community, forming part of its cultural identity, which is passed through generations.

Despite the …