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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 …

GM tech expands with more crops to more countries

September 3rd, 2019 / SciDev.net

Recent developments in genetic modification (GM) technology include a way to prevent the popular Cavendish banana variety from being wiped out by the Fusarium wilt fungus, according to the latest report of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) released last week (29 August) in Manila.The Cavendish …

Video: CRISPRcon 2019 – panel discussion: Growing for good? gene editing and agriculture

August 19th, 2019 / Global Farmer Network

CRISPR and other gene editing technologies could allow us to transform our food, health, and ecological systems. They also raise important questions about risks, benefits, ethics, equity, and more. We know that the science behind gene editing technologies is just one piece of the puzzle. Just as essential is dialogue …

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 …