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Researchers find genetic mechanism that could enhance cereal yields

January 11th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

A research team from the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center led by Andrea Eveland has identified a genetic mechanism that could increase the yields of cereal crops. The team performed the research in Setaria viridis, a grass that is closely related to economically important cereal crops and bioenergy feed stocks …

Scientists project good harvest this year, as plans to release BT cotton, Cowpea, others gain support

January 10th, 2018 / Nigerian Tribune

Scientists in Nigeria have said that plans to release BT cotton, Pod Borer Resistant (PBR) Cowpea, Genetically Modified Cassava and other crops have been given green light, as Confined Field Trial for these crops have been conducted successfully.
The scientists also said that the formal release of these crops to farmers …

Herbicide-resistant ‘super weeds’? Don’t blame GMO crops

January 9th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Genetically engineered (GE) herbicide-resistant crops have been widely adopted by farmers in the United States and other countries around the world, and these crops have caused significant changes in herbicide use patterns.
GE crops have been blamed for increased problems with herbicide-resistant weeds (colloquially called by the misnomer “superweeds”); however, there …

Gene editing: The key to food security in a warmer world?

January 8th, 2018 / Deutsche Welle, Germany

At the Justus Liebig University in Gießen, Germany, scientist Karl-Heinz Kogler is fighting diseases that affect wheat and other crops. His new weapon is the gene-editing technique CRISPR-cas9. It allows him to literally edit organisms, removing bits of DNA responsible for undesirable outcomes.
Recently, he and his team edited the wheat …

Ugandan president refuses to sign biosafety bill into law

January 5th, 2018 / Xinhua, China

In a letter to the speaker last week, Museveni said the use of the GMO crops will contaminate the indigenous ones which Ugandan farmers have developed for years.
“This law apparently talks of giving monopoly of patent rights to its adder and forgets about the communities that developed original material. This …

The banana as we know it is dying … again

January 5th, 2018 / Discover Magazine, US

The bananas your grandparents ate were different than the ones you eat today. And the bananas your grandchildren know will probably be entirely different as well.
For the moment, we are in the age of the Cavendish, a banana cultivar that accounts for 99 percent of imports to the Western world. …

Milestone reached in fighting deadly wheat disease

December 22nd, 2017 / BBC, UK

Scientists say they have made a step forward in the fight against a wheat disease that threatens food security.
Wheat is a staple food crop, making up a fifth of the calories on our plates.
But in many parts of the world, the crop is being attacked by stem rust (black rust), …

A year in review: 2017 food and agriculture news

December 21st, 2017 / The Food Tank

As 2017 comes to a close, Food Tank has collected news highlights from the food and agriculture world to share with you. We witnessed a monumental shift in global politics, a series of natural disasters, and indications of growing malnutrition and obesity. And yet, the signs of a growing movement …

The world’s top banana is doomed and nobody can find a repllacement

December 20th, 2017 / Wall Street Journal, US

In June, a team of European researchers traveled to Papua New Guinea on a mission of global significance. They came to search for the Giant Banana plant.
The scientists traveled through the jungles of the South Pacific nation, by car and on foot, accompanied by two armed guards. They were tantalized …

How gene editing will boost crop yields

December 19th, 2017 / Successful Farming, US

On the surface, a light switch and gene editing have as much in common as a linebacker does with a ballerina.
Dig a bit deeper, though. “In a very simple way, the main application of gene editing is like flipping a light switch on and off,” says Federico Tripodi, …