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A crop that feeds billions freed from blight by CRISPR

November 6th, 2019

Bacteria that infect rice are thwarted by changes to rice genes involved in sugar transport.

Genome editing has made one of the world’s most important crops resistant to a devastating bacterial infection.

Bacterial blight, which is caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pathovar oryzae (Xoo), can slash farmers’ yields of rice, which is a staple food for billions …

CRISPR pigs can survive deadly disease, but regulatory uncertainty slows development

October 15th, 2019

Cutting-edge gene-editing techniques such as Crispr-Cas9 will enable scientists to make precise genetic changes to pig physiology, they say, leading to animals impervious to common maladies such as porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, a virus that costs the U.S. pork industry hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

“It has the …

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 …

Advanced breeding paves the way for disease-resistant beans

September 12th, 2019 / Phys.org

ETH researchers are involved in the development and implementation of a method to efficiently breed for disease-resistant beans in different regions of the world. Their work will help to improve the livelihood and food security of smallholders in developing countries. Read more … …

GM cassava research progresses in Uganda

September 2nd, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

As Ugandan researchers progress in breeding genetically modified (GM)  disease-resistant cassava, they are requesting permission to create permanent demonstration gardens of the improved crops. The goal is to ensure continuous documentation of the ongoing cassava research and also provide a place where people can see GM plants. However, the request …

Biotech crops continue to help meet the challenges of increased population and climate change

August 22nd, 2019 / ISAAA, US

A total of 70 countries adopted biotech crops through cultivation and importation in 2018, the 23rd year of continuous biotech crop adoption, according to the Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops in 2018(ISAAA Brief 54) released by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) today. Twenty-six countries (21 …

Plant breeding innovation can help solve global challenges

August 12th, 2019

Plant breeding innovations must play a role to address the global challenges such as climate change, a growing population, and the need for resource efficient farming systems. This is according to the Transgenic Research article by Petra Jorasch of the International Seed Federation.

Improved plant varieties that can withstand pests and diseases using fewer resources, plants exhibiting stable yield …

How farmers can control cassava diseases

February 27th, 2019 / AllAfrica.com

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports

Farmers across Africa are engaged in growing cassava which is considered as food security and industrial crop but the plant is vulnerable to a broad range of diseases as well as less known viral strains.

In East Africa the most common are Cassava Brown Streak Virus (CBSV), …

Why do we need to keep breeding new crop varieties?

February 26th, 2019 / Sustainable, Secure Food Blog

Global warming and changes in the amount – and location – of water, are key factors in the need to continue crop breeding programs. In addition, there are many diseases that affect crop yield and quality. We need to continue breeding new disease resistant crop varieties to ensure a healthy, …

Virus lurking inside banana genome has been destroyed with CRISPR

February 1st, 2019 / New Scientist, UK

Genome editing has been used to destroy a virus that lurks inside many of the bananas grown in Africa. Other teams are trying to use it to make the Cavendish bananas sold in supermarkets worldwide resistant to a disease that threatens to make it impossible to grow this variety commercially …