In the news...

Are GMO critics more open to gene editing that targets plant and human diseases?

November 12th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The early generations of transgenic plants focused primarily on increasing productivity, either by reducing pest damage or increasing yields by minimizing the impact of weeds. These have met with fierce opposition from anti-GMO groups and some government quarters (such as Green Party members in European parliaments).
But transgenics and other modifications …

Scientists use potato wild relatives to produce climate-resilient varieties

November 12th, 2018 / International Potato Center

As millions of small-scale farmers struggle with the effects of climate change, scientists at the International Potato Center (CIP) are using wild potatoes to develop climate-resilient varieties. The resulting potatoes combine heat and drought tolerance with resistance to the most important diseases affecting potato crops, late blight and bacterial wilt, …

Safeguarding food security with plant health

November 9th, 2018 / International Potato Centre

By the year 2050, the global population is estimated to exceed 9 billion. We will need to feed more people with fewer resources while addressing the challenges posed by climate change. An expected side-effect of rising temperatures is a population boom of the insects and diseases that threaten agricultural productivity. …

Researchers shine a light into the mechanisms of potato late blight infection

November 8th, 2018 / James Hutton Institute, UK

Scientists at the James Hutton Institute, in collaboration with colleagues of the University of Dundee, Huazhong Agricultural University, Heilongjiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences (both China) and Wageningen University (Netherlands), have shed further light into the mechanisms through which the potato blight pathogen interacts with plant cells to promote disease.
Late blight …

Large NMBU project on seed security

November 7th, 2018 / Norwegian University of Life Sciences

Farmers’ access to seeds is the focus of a new project ‘Access to seeds: From emergencies to seed system development’, led by Ola Westengen and funded by the Research Council of Norway (RCN).
Seeds are vital for food security and are a fundamental asset for the majority of rural communities in …

Thirteen nations call for ag policies supporting gene editing

November 7th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Thirteen nations have used the forum of the World Trade Organization to present a position paper supporting policies that advance agricultural innovation, including genome editing.
The United States, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Jordan, Paraguay, Uruguay, Vietnam and the Secretariat of the Economic Community of West …

Cultivating resilience to climate change

November 7th, 2018 / Food Tank

The Crop Trust is on a mission to improve biodiversity and protect farmers against climate change through their Crop Wild Relatives project.
Crop Trust joined with The Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) in June on a five-day hunt for wild relatives of potatoes in Brazil. Having found two wild potato relatives …

Ghana prepares to commercialize its first GMO crop

November 6th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Ghanaian scientists have completed field trials on the pest-resistant Bt cowpea and will soon apply for commercial release of the country’s first genetically modified (GM) crop.
The GM crop is expected to help farmers dramatically reduce their use of pesticides, while also enjoying better yields of this important staple food.
Scientists said …

What’s wrong with bananas

November 6th, 2018 / Nautilus

Norman C. Ellstrand, distinguished professor of genetics at the University of California, Riverside where he holds the Jane S. Johnson Endowed Chair in Food and Agriculture, writes:
Of the important global crops, the banana is the most genetically uniform. A single cluster of nearly identical genotypes, the Cavendish subgroup, nearly …

New push in pipeline for acceptance of GMO seeds

November 5th, 2018 / IPP Media

THE Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) has joined farmers across the country in pushing for changes to existing agricultural laws to allow the use of genetically modified
organism (GMO) seed varieties because they are drought resistant and can’t be easily destroyed by pests.
This follows successful trials conducted at the TARI …