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Is hybrid rice solution to Africa’s food shortage?

August 30th, 2019 / The Standard, Kenya

Every African government today is talking about food and nutrition security and employment for its people especially youth and women.Yet, Africa is still producing too little food for its bourgeoning population to eat. Is the continent really doing everything needed to achieve its aspirations and visions in the agriculture sector?As …

John Innes discovery could pave the way for disease-resistant rice crops

August 23rd, 2019 / Food Ingredients

Researchers at the John Innes Centre have come one step closer to genetically engineering rice that is resistant to a globally devastating fungus. The discovery, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, provides new insights into how rice’s immune receptors recognize and bind to fungal proteins. With a grip on how …

New genome editing technology for plant breeding

July 22nd, 2019 / Phys.org

Researchers have developed a new genome editing technology for rice, combining adenine-to-guanine single-base editing technology and Cas9 with an extended targeting scope. They report that it is possible to efficiently introduce base substitution mutations in rice genes and plan to expand the research to citrus fruit breeding. Read more …

Hybrid rice seeds yielding hope

April 15th, 2019 / China Daily

Under the scorching sun, fields displaying 31 major hybrid rice varieties grown in Belt and Road countries attracted more than 700 rice experts and businesspeople on Friday to the golden paddy-themed national park in Sanya, Hainan province.

They had gathered on the tropical island in South China to attend the four-day …

New crop loss study underscores urgent need for resistant varieties

February 25th, 2019 / Alliance for Science, US

Plant pests and diseases are significantly reducing yields of five major food crops across the globe, underscoring the critical need to develop new resistant varieties, according to a new study.

Some 137 pathogens and pests cause losses of 10 to 40 percent in the staple crops — wheat, maize (corn), soybeans, …

Combat striga with push-pull technology

February 19th, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports

If you manage to visit farmers growing cereal crops in most parts of East Africa including Uganda, you will notice striga weed infestation is a huge challenge.

Striga also known as witch weed, is a coerce plant parasitic weed which infests roots of the host plant …

Hybrid rice engineered with CRISPR can clone its seeds

December 17th, 2018 / Science News

After more than 20 years of theorizing about it, scientists have tweaked a hybrid variety of rice so that some of the plants produce cloned seeds. No plant sex necessary. The feat, described December 12 in Nature, is encouraging for efforts to feed an increasingly crowded world.
Crossing two good varieties …

The future of food: beating the heat with genome-edited crops

December 7th, 2018 / The Mainichi, Japan

Wheat with DNA tweaked to beat the heat, and redesigned rice that can flourish in hot, dry conditions. Work is now underway to bring these kinds of genetically edited foods to dinner tables around the world, with the new rice estimated to be in bowls by about 2039, all necessitated …

‘Switching off’ genes could speed efforts to breed disease-resistant plants

December 7th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Researchers from [the French Agricultural Research Centre CIRAD] recently showed that inactivating a gene, RECQ4, leads to a three-fold increase in recombination in crops such as rice, pea and tomato …. This discovery, published in the journal Nature Plants could speed up plant breeding and development of varieties better suited …

Nigerian FG commences field trials on GMO crops

October 4th, 2018 / The Guardian, Nigeria

The Federal Government has granted permits for confined field trials on genetically modified maize, rice, cassava, sorghum and cowpea to ascertain ability to resist insect attack in the country.
Country Coordinator of Open Forum on Agriculture Biotechnology (OFAB), Dr. Rose Gidado, told The Guardian that the permits were granted after in-depth …