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Next breakthrough for farmers is a friendly fungus

December 7th, 2016 / Bloomberg Markets, US

Monsanto Co., a lightning rod for critics of modern agricultural techniques, is introducing a new feature next year for its genetically modified corn seeds that it says will not only boost yields but cut down on fertilizer use and carbon-dioxide emissions.
The seed giant, together with Danish company Novozymes A/S, has …

The VIRCA project – developing effective solutions for the control of cassava viral diseases

November 17th, 2016 / Darnforth Center, US

The Virus Resistant Cassava for Africa (VIRCA) project – was established in 2006 and includes African and international organizations working together to develop effective solutions for the control of cassava viral diseases. Supported by this partnership, VIRCA researchers are using genetic modification techniques to improve resistance to cassava brown streak …

Working to sequence crop genomes to improve nutrition & food security

November 16th, 2016 / African Orphan Crops Consortium, US

The AOCC partnership works to make high-nutritional value crops grown by African farmers and available to rural and urban consumers by promoting the adoption of modern breeding methods for crop improvement purposes. It does this through:
• Developing next generation genomics resources for a collection of 101 African orphan crops that …

Scientists identify molecular conductors that help plants respond to drought

November 9th, 2016 / ISAAA, US

A new study conducted at the Salk Institute found molecular conductors that help plants respond to stress such as drought and salinity. The study suggests that during environmental stresses, a small group of proteins acts as conductors to manage the complex responses of plants to stress. See …

Could African agriculture leapfrog harmful pesticides by using plant microbiomes?

October 20th, 2016 / Afk Insider

In Africa, where there is an overwhelming need to improve soil health and crop productivity, microbial science in agriculture is just getting started. Researchers believe there’s a revolution in finding alternatives to pesticides and artificial fertilizers that can improve African farm productivity.
Scientists are investigating the plant microbiome — the billions …

Genomics will allow plant breeders to use seed banks more effectively

October 10th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

There are vast numbers of seeds in gene banks around the world. A new approach uses their genomes to predict the best options to grow for specific traits.
“We think it’s possible to use these predictions to guide our breeding and selection decisions,” says first author Xiaoqing Yu, a postdoctoral agronomy …

Nature busts anti-GMO myth: gene swapping among plants, insects common occurence

October 1st, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

There is a fierce debate in Florida over how the state should work to stop the spread of the Zika virus. One controversial solution offered is to release GMO mosquitoes. These lab-made bugs possess a ‘kill-switch’ gene made with fragments of DNA from coral, cabbage, the herpes virus, and E.coli …

Breakthrough in salt-tolerance in plants research

September 28th, 2016 / University of Adelaide, Australia

University of Adelaide researchers have made a breakthrough in investigating salt tolerance in plants which could lead to new salt tolerant varieties of crops, and also answer unresolved questions in plant biology.
The researchers, also from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology and in collaboration with the University’s …

Maize genetics may show how crops adapt to climate change

September 16th, 2016 / phys.org

With the onset of climate change and changes in irrigation, adapting food crops to grow in diverse environments could help feed the world. Now University of California, Davis, scientists are leading a major new project, funded by the National Science Foundation with $4.1 million over five years, to study genetic …

CRISPR inspires new tricks to edit genes

August 26th, 2016 / Science News, US

CRISPR can quickly and efficiently manipulate virtually any gene in any plant or animal. In the four years since CRISPR has been around, researchers have used it to fix genetic diseases in animals, combat viruses, sterilize mosquitoes and prepare pig organs for human transplants. Most experts think that’s just the …