In the news...

Scientists use CRISPR-Cas9 technology to improve drought and salt tolerance in rice

January 11th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

The ∆ 1 -pyrroline-5-carboxylate synthetase (P5CS) is the rate-limiting enzyme in proline (Pro) synthesis and is involved in drought and salt stress tolerance in plants. An OsP5CS gene was isolated from a stress-treated commercial rice variety, BC15.
The length of rice OsP5CS was 2173 nucleotides, containing an ORF encoding for …

Researchers find genetic mechanism that could enhance cereal yields

January 11th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

A research team from the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center led by Andrea Eveland has identified a genetic mechanism that could increase the yields of cereal crops. The team performed the research in Setaria viridis, a grass that is closely related to economically important cereal crops and bioenergy feed stocks …

GM potato: Variety could deflate GMO myths’ bubble in Uganda

January 10th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Uganda is steadily progressing towards having a potato that will not require chemical spraying. This is because scientists at National Agricultural Research Organisation (Naro) and International Potato Centre have developed Late Blight resistant variety, Vic 1 from the popularly grown susceptible Victoria variety.
According to Dr Alex Barekye, who is the …

Introducing groundnut varieties more tolerant to Rosette disease in Tanzania

January 9th, 2018 / ICRISAT

Groundnut researchers are striving to introduce superior options to a popular early-maturing groundnut variety, Pendo (ICGMS 33), in Tanzania. Although Pendo has many strengths compared to other varieties, it is highly susceptible to rosette disease. Efforts are on, under the Tropical Legumes III project, to develop and disseminate varieties that …

Herbicide-resistant ‘super weeds’? Don’t blame GMO crops

January 9th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Genetically engineered (GE) herbicide-resistant crops have been widely adopted by farmers in the United States and other countries around the world, and these crops have caused significant changes in herbicide use patterns.
GE crops have been blamed for increased problems with herbicide-resistant weeds (colloquially called by the misnomer “superweeds”); however, there …

… on B4FA.org

January 9th, 2018

New on B4FA.org:

No discussion about the history of science, technology and innovation policy in Africa is complete without mentioning Calestous Juma. He championed the use of technological innovation to tackle sustainable development challenges like food insecurity, climate change, poverty and disease – especially in African countries. This is how we should …

Gene editing: The key to food security in a warmer world?

January 8th, 2018 / Deutsche Welle, Germany

At the Justus Liebig University in Gießen, Germany, scientist Karl-Heinz Kogler is fighting diseases that affect wheat and other crops. His new weapon is the gene-editing technique CRISPR-cas9. It allows him to literally edit organisms, removing bits of DNA responsible for undesirable outcomes.
Recently, he and his team edited the wheat …

A peace plan for resolving GMO conflict

January 8th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Five years ago, environmentalist Mark Lynas stood before the UK Oxford Farming Conference and offered a public apology for his earlier anti-GMO activism. In the years since, he’s devoted himself pretty much full time to the GM issue, visiting numerous countries in Africa and Asia and meeting farmers, scientists, activists …

Ugandan president refuses to sign biosafety bill into law

January 5th, 2018 / Xinhua, China

In a letter to the speaker last week, Museveni said the use of the GMO crops will contaminate the indigenous ones which Ugandan farmers have developed for years.
“This law apparently talks of giving monopoly of patent rights to its adder and forgets about the communities that developed original material. This …

New technologies are re-engineering traditional plant breeding to meet global food security challenges

January 5th, 2018 / Nature Plants, UK

Breeding crops with a high yield and superior adaptability is vital to maintaining global food security. New technologies on multiple scales are re-engineering traditional plant breeding to meet these challenges. Read more …