In the news...

Genome editing in agriculture: methods, applications, and governance

July 12th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) released an Issue Paper titled Genome Editing in Agriculture: Methods, Applications, and Governance. CAST explains that genome editing is a powerful new method that enables unprecedented control over genetic material and offers the opportunity to make rapid advances that influence agricultural practices. …

Will Africa embrace CRISPR gene editing and the next phase of the biotech revolution?

July 12th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes:
Scientists around the world are increasingly turning to the promise of CRISPR gene editing to tackle any number of problems facing humanity.
These efforts may have started in the US, Europe and Asia, but they have since spread to African nations. South African scientists are exploring the …

Seed industry sees plant breeding innovation as key to sustainable agriculture

July 6th, 2018 / AgroNews

“Innovations in plant breeding are enabling us to develop plants that meet the needs of a changing world,” said President of the International Seed Federation (ISF) Jean-Christophe Gouache at the opening ceremony of the ISF World Seed Congress 2018 in Brisbane, Australia. “This is down to the ‘power of genetics,’” …

Managing resistance of African stem borer to BT-maize

July 5th, 2018 / Farmers' Weekly

Andri Visser, a doctoral student at the Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management at North-West University, explores how assumptions about the behaviour of the African stem borer affect the resistance management strategy and sustainability of Bt-maize.
he African stem borer has proved a formidable foe for maize producers in South Africa. …

Gene editing approach aims for broad disease resistance in staple food crops

July 4th, 2018 / AgriLife Today

A novel gene editing approach could hold the key to broad-spectrum disease resistance in certain staple food crops without causing physical detriment to the plants, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist.
Dr. Junqi Song, AgriLife Research plant pathologist in Dallas, explores how a “knock-in” gene editing approach might achieve better …

How sorghum’s drought-resistant genes could benefit other crops

July 2nd, 2018 / Agri-Pulse

University of California researchers are on the path to discovering genes that assist in drought resistance in sorghum, which could potentially be applied to other important cereal crops like corn, wheat, rice and barley in the years to come.
“We’re going to need crops that have better drought tolerance in the …

Ethiopia progresses with GMO crops

July 2nd, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

In an effort to improve agricultural productivity and safety, Ethiopia has approved the commercial cultivation of genetically modified (GM) cotton and field research on GM maize.
The two crops have been genetically engineered to include genes from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a common soil bacterium that is widely used to control insect …

How GMO crops can help Nigeria achieve food security

June 29th, 2018 / New Telegraph, Nigeria

The tortuous journey to creating food security through bio-technology has been undulating, but it is a sacrifice worth making by stakeholders who have been involved in the processes. Over the years, farmers’ productivity and profitability have continued to decline in Nigeria and other developing countries, due to several factors, ranging …

Who is afraid of GMOs? Fear peddlers

June 28th, 2018 / Daily Nation, Kenya

Margaret Karembu, Director of International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) AfriCenter and Chair of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) – Kenya Chapter, writes:
The genetically modified organism (GMO) debate remains engulfed in a maelstrom of controversies. Sadly, what is largely a First-World debate continues to increasingly …

Popular rice variety gets extra gene power to fight bacterial attacks

June 27th, 2018 / The Hindu, India

Researchers at the Hyderabad-based Indian Institute of Rice Research have developed a new variety of the popular Improved Samba Mahsuri (ISM) rice that can resist bacterial blight disease.
Bacterial blight disease, which affects rice crop, is caused by bacteria, Xanthomonas oryzae, and drastically reduces rice productivity.
The high yielding ISM variety is …