In the news...

Gene silencing could ‘fool’ plants into surviving harsh environments

November 21st, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

By temporarily silencing the expression of a critical gene, researchers fooled soybean plants into sensing they were under siege, encountering a wide range of stresses. Then, after selectively cross breeding those plants with the original stock, the progeny “remember” the stress-induced responses to become more vigorous, resilient and productive plants, …

Researchers discover how to engineer plants with enhanced drought resistance without affecting growth

November 15th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

Drought is one of the effects of climate change that needs serious attention. This year’s decreased rainfall and abnormally hotter temperatures in northern and eastern Europe caused large losses in cereals and potato crops and in other horticultural species.
Experts have long believed that that to ensure food security, it is …

Scientists use potato wild relatives to produce climate-resilient varieties

November 12th, 2018 / International Potato Center

As millions of small-scale farmers struggle with the effects of climate change, scientists at the International Potato Center (CIP) are using wild potatoes to develop climate-resilient varieties. The resulting potatoes combine heat and drought tolerance with resistance to the most important diseases affecting potato crops, late blight and bacterial wilt, …

Ministry of Science releases 19 high yield crop varieties, 1 chicken breed

October 24th, 2018 / Vanguard, Nigeria

A total of 19 new high yield crop varieties have been released by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology to enhance Nigerian agriculture. The National Variety Release Committee (NVRC) approved the release at its 26th meeting held at its secretariat, National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB), …

Genetic engineering solutions for medical and agricultural challenges

October 23rd, 2018 / Blue and Green Tomorrow

GE technology has had a very positive impact on our world. The change has been most significant in the agricultural industry, but the medical industry has been affected to. Fortunately, it has had a positive impact on the environment, which should make our lives much better in the long-term. Read …

With ‘worm juice,’ Kenya’s farmers boost their soil – and harvests

September 18th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

Prolonged drought and storm-related flooding have combined to erode fertile soils in rural parts of Kenya
Stooped over a large plastic drum at his farm in southwestern Kenya, Josphat Macharia scoops up a handful of dirt and examines the worms writhing in his grip.
Satisfied, he replaces the worms and covers them …

Africa: global hunger continues to rise with Africa worst hit – UN Report

September 17th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

The population of hungry people is rising across the world, a UN report has shown, with more than a quarter of them in Africa.
Out of the 821 million people who faced shortage of food in 2017, 257 million were found in the continent.
A new report on the State of Food …

Genes from Dead Sea to produce more drought-tolerant crops

September 5th, 2018 / Israel21c

PlantArcBio aims to make the world’s critical crops able to thrive on less water by adding specific genes found in desert regions. Read …

Insect threats to food security

September 3rd, 2018 / Science, US

Globally, one out of nine people suffers from chronic hunger, and undernourishment is growing. Global average surface temperatures are also rising and are projected to increase by 2° to 5°C this century, with negative impacts on agricultural production. Even today, despite substantial plant protection efforts, about one-third of crops are …

USDA unveils new gene-stacking tool to prevent plant diseases

August 16th, 2018 / The Scientist

If climate change is the new normal, farmers in some regions of the world will have to get used to fighting mold and mildew. For wheat growers in particular, fungal blights are already a big problem—and only expected to worsen as weather patterns change. Fungal pathogens are advancing northwards at …