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A crop that feeds billions freed from blight by CRISPR

November 6th, 2019

Bacteria that infect rice are thwarted by changes to rice genes involved in sugar transport.

Genome editing has made one of the world’s most important crops resistant to a devastating bacterial infection.

Bacterial blight, which is caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pathovar oryzae (Xoo), can slash farmers’ yields of rice, which is a staple food for billions …

Biotech soybeans now cover 50% of the world’s biotech crop area

October 31st, 2019

The four major biotech crops — soybeans, maize, cotton, and canola — were the most adopted biotech crops by 26 countries in 2018, according to the ISAAA report, Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops in 2018. Soybeans lead at 95.9 million hectares, followed by maize (58.9 million hectares), cotton (24.9 million), and canola (10.1 million hectares). Based on …

Engineered molecule could protect key food crops from intensifying droughts as climate changes

October 29th, 2019

An engineered small molecule called opabactin that targets the receptor for the hormone abscisic acid (ABA), which plants release in stressful conditions, limited water loss in Arabidopsis, tomato, and wheat, and improved wheat’s tolerance of drought-like conditions in the lab, according to a study published today (October 24) in Science. It …

The complicated history of a crop created to help millions

October 14th, 2019

The term genetically modified organisms (GMOs) inspires images of crazy crops: a single plant that bears tomatoes above ground and potatoes beneath, or a tree that bears a fruit with stripes of yellow sour orange and green stripes from citron. Unlikely as they may sound, the two plants described above …

GMO wheat varieties boost crop yields 20-30% in field trial

October 9th, 2019

Studies conducted at the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (APPF) showed experimental genetically modified (GM) wheat lines [have] the potential to significantly increase yields. These lines ‘overexpress’ three wild-type plant genes, either individually or in combination, and were developed to test whether targeting individual wheat genes could lead to improvements in yield.

In greenhouse studies conducted at …

No ‘magical’ alternative to glyphosate in the next 5 years

October 7th, 2019

In the next five years, no alternative to glyphosate is going to “magically” appear in the market,  Dr Bob Reiter, a high-ranking official from Bayer, told EURACTIV.com, referring to the controversial herbicide that has been the subject of heated debates across Europe.

Speaking to EURACTIV on the sidelines of the Future of …

The human health benefits from GM crops

September 26th, 2019 / Plant Biotechnology Journal

The Human Health Benefits from GM CropsGenetically modified (GM) crops represent the most rapidly adopted technology in the history of agriculture, having now reached twenty-five years of commercial production. Grown by millions of farmers, many in developing countries, the technology is providing significant economic and environmental benefits, such as reductions …

Uganda: GMO regulation will hinder food security

September 23rd, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:

One of the major farming debates in the local media recently has been the second rejection of the GE Regulation Bill by President Museveni. He raised a number of issues in the document including requiring lawmakers to review the use of poisonous and dangerous viruses and bacteria, …

Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda utilize Kenya’s biotech research, while nation still bans GMOs

September 18th, 2019 / Business Daily Africa

Countries like Ethiopia, Nigeria and Rwanda are increasingly using Kenya’s biotechnology research findings to guide their food security plans as strict laws discourage GMO crops at home.

The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (Kalro) scientists said Kenya has become a testing ground for technologies that end up benefiting other nations.

They …

Ban on GM technology, biggest obstacle to food security, scientists say

September 16th, 2019 / KBC, Kenya

The Kenyan government should embrace the use of biotechnology in order to boost food security.

According to scientists, the ban of Genetically Modified (GM) technology imposed in the country in 2012 has been the biggest obstacle to food sustainability.

The scientists have for the last ten years been carrying out successful Confined …