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Best practices soybean farmers can adopt today

August 4th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
Soybean is a legume crop that fixes nitrogen into the soil adding to its fertility and the beans are rich in vegetable protein including bioactive food components and several important nutrients such as fibre and iron.
A report about soybean research in Uganda for the year 2002 …

Cracking the code of megapests

August 3rd, 2017 / CSIRO

Led by CSIRO, in collaboration with a team of renowned experts, the researchers identified more than 17,000 protein coding genes in the genomes of the Helicoverpa armigera and Helicoverpa zea (commonly known as the Cotton Bollworm and Corn Earworm, respectively).
They also documented how these genetics have changed overtime.
This level of …

Genetically engineered yeast soaks up heavy metal pollution

July 24th, 2017 / American Council on Science and Health

Environmental contamination with heavy metals is often the result of various types of industrial processes. Because heavy metals can be dangerous to humans and other wildlife, contaminated sites need to be cleaned up. This isn’t easy. Chemical extraction methods can introduce different types of pollutants into the environment.
Bioremediation — using …

Plant genetics, ecologically based farming and the future of food

July 21st, 2017 / John Wiley, US

For 10,000 years, we have altered the genetic makeup of our crops. Conventional approaches are often quite crude, resulting in new varieties through a combination of trial and error, and without knowledge of the precise function of the genes that are being transferred. Such methods include grafting or forced pollinations …

How soil dwelling bacteria adapt to richer or poorer conditions

June 30th, 2017 / Phys.org

Scientists have identified a unique mechanism that the soil dwelling bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens uses to effectively exploit nutrients in the root environment.
The breakthrough offers multiple new applications, according to the team of John Innes Centre scientists behind the discovery: for the study of human pathogens, for synthetic biology, and for …

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, …