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PODCAST: Wild plants help protect key food crops from climate change, disease

December 5th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Call it a tale of science and derring-do. An international team of researchers has spent six years fanning across the globe, gathering thousands of samples of wild relatives of crops. Their goal: to preserve genetic diversity that could help key crops survive in the face of climate change. At times, …

GMOs have a place in African agriculture

December 4th, 2019 / GhanaWeb

The founding director of West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) at the University of Ghana, has called on African governments to open the doors for the cultivation and use of genetically modified crops to address the food and nutrition insecurity challenges on the continent.

Professor Eric Danquah said the challenges …

Plants and fungi together could slow climate change

December 3rd, 2019 / IIASA

A new global assessment shows that human impacts have greatly reduced plant-fungus symbioses, which play a key role in sequestering carbon in soils. Restoring these ecosystems could be one strategy to slow climate change.

Human-induced transformations of Earth’s ecosystems have strongly affected distribution patterns of plant-fungus symbioses known as mycorrhiza. These …

Redesigning photosynthesis in key crops could help sustain global food production

November 15th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Scientists have solved the structure of one of the key components of photosynthesis, a discovery that could lead to photosynthesis being ‘redesigned’ to achieve higher yields and meet urgent food security needs.

The study, led by the University of Sheffield and published [Nov. 13] in the journal Nature, reveals the structure of cytochrome b6f …

Global consensus finds neonicotinoids not driving honeybee health problems. Why is Europe determined to ban them?

November 4th, 2019

One of the more intriguing subplots in the melodramatic debate over neonicotinoids and the ‘future of bees’ is the apparent divergence of viewpoints by risk and regulatory agencies on the potential threat to pollinators posed by the insecticide.

There is no question that the health of bees is an issue––mostly, entomologists say, because of bee …

Researchers double sorghum grain yield to improve food supply

November 4th, 2019

Plant scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), in their search for solutions to global food production challenges, have doubled the amount of grains that a sorghum plant can yield.

Sorghum, one of the world’s most important sources of food, animal feed, and biofuel, is …

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 …

New perennial legume destined for poor soils

October 1st, 2019

A new perennial legume with the potential to revolutionise grazing in sandy infertile pastoral areas will be available to Australian and South African farmers next year. Read more … …

With CRISPR and machine learning, startups fast-track crops to consume less, produce more

September 27th, 2019 / Nature, UK

Inari, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, plans to use the total $144 million it has raised so far to develop crops that are more productive and consume less water and fertilizer than those currently produced by seed conglomerates. The company will focus on major crops such as corn, soybean, wheat and …

Nigeria stresses importance of biotechnology for food security

September 27th, 2019 / ISAAA, US

Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, announced that the Federal Government (FG) of Nigeria is working hard in applying genetic engineering and biotechnology. This is to ensure food safety and security in the country, as it recognizes the importance of both fields in boosting local food production and decreasing the need for continuous …