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Gene editing technology in agriculture: time for African governments to intervene

July 10th, 2019

A series of genome editing related research work in Africa has triggered the need for the continent to develop a dedicated policy for new and precision breeding techniques, especially for genome editing.

According to experts who are already doing gene editing research, National Biosafety Authorities in the continent need to develop …

How our plants have turned into thieves to survive

February 20th, 2019 / Phys.org

Scientists have discovered that grasses are able to short cut evolution by taking genes from their neighbours. The findings suggest wild grasses are naturally genetically modifying themselves to gain a competitive advantage.

Understanding how this is happening may also help scientists reduce the risk of genes escaping from GM crops and …

What is CRISPR? The revolutionary gene-editing tech explained

February 1st, 2019 / Wired, US

Until very recently if you wanted to create, say, a drought-resistant corn plant, your options were extremely limited. You could opt for selective breeding, try bombarding seeds with radiation in the hope of inducing a favourable change, or else opt to insert a snippet of DNA from another organism entirely.

But …

Scientists isolate first major resistance genes against wheat stripe rust disease

August 30th, 2018 / ISAAA

An international team of researchers from the University of Sydney, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), John Innes Centre, Limagrain UK, and the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) has isolated the first major resistance genes against stripe rust, a disease devastating wheat crops worldwide.
The scientists cloned three related …

How sorghum’s drought-resistant genes could benefit other crops

July 2nd, 2018 / Agri-Pulse

University of California researchers are on the path to discovering genes that assist in drought resistance in sorghum, which could potentially be applied to other important cereal crops like corn, wheat, rice and barley in the years to come.
“We’re going to need crops that have better drought tolerance in the …

Kenyan scientists find new striga resistance genes in wild sorghum

November 9th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Wild sorghum will soon provide a reservoir for resistance genes against Striga. A research team lead by Dr. Steven Runo of the Plant Transformation Laboratory (PTL) at Kenyatta University and Professor Michael Timko of University of Virginia has identified three wild sorghum accessions resistant to Striga hermonthica (witchweed), a parasitic …

Can CRISPR feed the world?

May 22nd, 2017 / Phys.org

As the world’s population rises, scientists want to edit the genes of potatoes and wheat to help them fight plant diseases that cause famine.
By 2040, there will be 9 billion people in the world. “That’s like adding another China onto today’s global population,” said Professor Sophien Kamoun of the Sainsbury …

Study reveals which genes are critical to a plant’s response to drought

November 1st, 2016 / Science Daily, US

Because plants cannot relocate when resources become scarce, they need to efficiently regulate their growth by responding to environmental cues. Drought is the most important cause of reduced plant growth and crop yield, which makes insights into a plant’s drought response highly valuable to agriculture. A new study has provided …