In the news...

Traditional breeding alters maize composition more than stacking transgenic events

April 20th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Dow AgroSciences LLC researchers, led by Rod A. Herman, evaluated the impact of crossing (stacking) genetically modified (GM) events on maize grain biochemical composition and compared it with the impact caused by generating non-GM hybrids.
The compositional similarity of seven GM stacks containing event DAS-Ø15Ø7-1 was compared to their corresponding non-GM …

Genetically engineered microbes make their own fertiliser

April 11th, 2017 / Science, US

Industrial fertilizers help feed billions of people every year, but they remain beyond the reach of many of the world’s poorest farmers. Now, researchers have engineered microbes that, when added to soil, make fertilizer on demand, producing plants that grow 1.5 times larger than crops not exposed to the bugs …

Latin American native maize reveals adaptation secrets

March 21st, 2017 / SciDev.net

An international team of scientists identified a hundred genes that influence adaptation to the latitude, altitude, growing season and flowering time of nearly 4,500 native maize varieties in Mexico and in almost all Latin American and Caribbean countries.
Creole — or native — varieties of maize are derived from improvements made …

Drought tolerant wheat on the way

March 21st, 2017 / Agriculture.com

Look for a grinning, midsize lab-coat guy this winter, wearing dark glasses possibly, at the CFIA Variety Registration Office in Ottawa or Toronto. Julian Northey plans to be there, toting his paperwork, to register a new durum wheat for trials in western Canada.
If it happens and if it holds up …

Agency seek increased funding for the domestication of GMO

February 22nd, 2017 / The Guardian, Nigeria

To fully domesticate the development of Genetically Modified crop in the country, the Nigerian Agriculture Seed Council (NASC) has called for the need to scale up funding for agricultural biotechnology in the country.
The Director General NASC, Olusegun Ojo who stated this during the training of over 20 seed scientists on …

Search for targeted pesticides leads scientists to eavesdrop on crosstalk between plants & fungi

February 13th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

In the conversation between plants and fungi, the organisms rely on a well-worn mechanism of gene-expression regulation that has stood the test of evolutionary time: RNA interference (RNAi). Listening in on the RNA crosstalk between plants and their pathogens could reveal previously unknown facets of basic plant biology, and point …

Agricultural technology can’t be ignored – Kenya ‘on the brink’

February 10th, 2017

Kenya is on the brink of embracing biotechnology in agriculture. The MIT Technology Review made the claim in October: ‘Kenya is thought to be on the brink of reversing its ban on GM imports.’ The news and commentary website Grist said it in June: ‘Kenya is on the brink of …

Health care, energy & food all could be transformed by synthetic biology

February 8th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Synthetic biology builds upon genetic engineering—something that has been around for 30 years and the results of which are everywhere in our daily lives…Genetic engineering adds new DNA to an organism, and synthetic biology is similar. The end goal of both is to edit the DNA code of an organism …

Five popular foods genetically modified by humans–before GMOs

February 8th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to eat a completely “natural” diet? Well, for starters, you wouldn’t be able to eat any of the crops developed through conventional breeding methods. That means virtually every fruit and vegetable in your local supermarket, because they have been genetically modified …

A coffee renaissance is brewing, and thanks to genetics

February 1st, 2017 / Wired, US

Genes are the future of coffee. Not nitro cold brewing or beans pooped out by civets, but genes. And coffee’s gene-fueled future just drew nearer, now that scientists have sequenced the genome of the Coffea arabica coffee plant—the species that makes up the vast majority of global production—and made the …