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Using genetics to reduce greenhouse gases from cows

June 15th, 2017 / Wired, US

Bovine livestock are responsible for about 9.5 percent of global greenhouse gas output, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Farmers are trying to reduce those emissions with lots of different strategies, starting with their diets. Researchers have tried adding flaxseed oil, garlic, juniper berries, and …

Researchers Identify gene against wheat streak mosaic virus

June 14th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Researchers from Kansas State University have identified a gene that can resist wheat streak mosaic virus. The team identified Wsm3 gene, the third gene known to resist the virus, and the first that can do so at outdoor temperatures of 75 degrees Fahrenheit and higher. Read …

Public learns about biotech for climate smart agriculture at World Environment Day commemoration in Uganda

June 8th, 2017 / ISAAA

“I believe in green energy, green agriculture, and a green economy. We can waste no more time, let us fight together for our planet, ” said French ambassador to Uganda, Ms. Stephanie Rivoal, while speaking on behalf of the European Union at the World Environment Day celebrations in Ibanda district …

Unraveling the tea genome

June 7th, 2017 / Stir, Thailand

The tea plant contains three billion base pairs of DNA, four times more than coffee or cacao. It took five years to unravel but the first high-quality map of the genome was published in May. Now it’s time to get to work coming up with practical applications of the tea …

Study finds large chromosomal swaps key to banana domestication

June 7th, 2017 / Phys.org

Bananas are one of the most important staple crops of the tropics, transported with great care over great distances to satisfy the world’s appetite. And today, with more than half the world’s bananas coming from a single, Cavendish variety, they may increasingly become susceptible to funguses that threaten its livelihood, …

Tanzania: Monsanto targets GMO seeds factory

June 1st, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

MONSANTO Tanzania, the multinational agricultural biotechnology company, plans to open Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) seeds production facility in the country.
The firm revealed during the opening of its office in Njiro Industrial Area in Arusha yesterday after seeing GMO maize seeds demand increase.
The Monsanto African Regional Lead, Dr Gyanendra Shukla said …

Spinach genome will help breeders improve disease-resistance, yield and quality

June 1st, 2017 / Genetics Literacy Projecct, US

Researchers from BTI and the Shanghai Normal University report a new draft genome of Spinacia oleracea, better known as spinach. Additionally, the authors have sequenced the transcriptomes (all the RNA) of 120 cultivated and wild spinach plants, which has allowed them to identify which genetic changes have occurred due to …

CRISPR gene editing can cause hundreds of unintended mutations

May 30th, 2017 / Phys.org

As CRISPR-Cas9 starts to move into clinical trials, a new study published in Nature Methods has found that the gene-editing technology can introduce hundreds of unintended mutations into the genome.
“We feel it’s critical that the scientific community consider the potential hazards of all off-target mutations caused by CRISPR, including single …

Geneticists engineer a virus to fight citrus disease

May 19th, 2017 / The Scientist

Since 2005, Candidatus Liberibacter, a genus of bacteria that is spread by Asian citrus psyllids (Diaphorina citri) and turns fruit green and bitter, has been devastating orange crops in the United States. “There’s a real race on right now to try to save the citrus,” Carolyn Slupsky, a food scientist …

Gene banks are forever

May 18th, 2017 / Crop Trust

There have been mergers and name changes, budget crunches and strategic re-thinks for the individual centers. And, from 1971 when it was founded, lots of structuring and restructuring – with the obligatory accompanying re-branding – for the club to which they all belong. I remember when it used to be …