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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 …

Tomato jumping genes could help speed-breed drought resistant crops

September 19th, 2019 / ISAAA, US

Researchers from the University of Cambridge’s Sainsbury Laboratory (SLCU) and Department of Plant Sciences have discovered that drought stress can trigger the activity of a family of jumping genes (Rider retrotransposons) previously known to contribute to fruit shape and color in tomatoes. Their research revealed that the Rider family is also present and …

New biosensor provides insight into the stress behavior of plants

August 30th, 2019 / Science Daily

Researchers have developed a method with which they can further investigate an important messenger substance in plants — phosphatidic acid. Using a new biosensor, they are able to track the activity of phosphatidic acid spatially and temporally for the first time and thus, investigate plants that are exposed to stress …

Ethiopia’s future is tied to water – a vital yet threatened resource in a changing climate

August 23rd, 2019 / The Conversation

In July Ethiopians planted 350 million trees in a single day. This was part of the country’s national green legacy initiative to counter environmental degradation and climate change. The initiative ultimately aims to grow 4 billion trees across the country.

Ethiopia has long struggled with land degradation problems in part caused by unsustainable agricultural practices – like vegetation …

Africa still wary of GMOs

August 12th, 2019

Scientists argued that GMOs can help in many ways, including developing crop varieties that are resistant to diseases, drought, predators or pests, a move that they say will lead to food security in Africa. But not everyone agrees … Read more … …

Royalty-free seeds, mobile devices help African farmers boost crop yields despite drought

April 9th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project

As our global population continues to grow and the climate becomes hotter and drier and resources become scarcer…. we need both food and fresh water to survive, but growing food demands significant fresh water as well. Our efforts to ensure both food security and ample fresh water supplies are intertwined, …

Why African farmers must consider drought tolerant crops

March 25th, 2019 / Africa.com

The latest UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s annual Africa Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition Report highlighted drought as one of the key factors contributing to the continuing rise in the number of hungry people in sub-Saharan Africa. And in South Africa, the Government’s Crop Estimates Committee announced that the country …

Climate change threatens to poison the food supply of some of the world’s poorest people

March 25th, 2019 / Independent, UK

The alarm was raised by Professor Jacqueline McGlade, a former chief scientist at the United Nations Environment Programme, at a Gresham College lecture in London.

Her interest in the problem was first roused when reports emerged from Ethiopiaof impoverished farmers and their animals dying in mysterious circumstances.

The country was in the grip …

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, …

Seeking the new potato

February 14th, 2019 / Science, US

On a bleak, brown hill here, David Ellis examines a test plot of potato plants and shakes his head. “They’re dead, dead, dead,” he says. Pests and lack of rain have laid waste to all 17 varieties that researchers had planted.

It is a worrying sign for Ellis, the now-retired director …