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Scientists unlock planthoppers’ potential to control future crop disease outbreaks

July 20th, 2017 / EurekAlert, AAAS

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Zoology have discovered how a severe rice virus reproduces inside the small brown planthopper, a major carrier of the virus.
Rice stripe virus (RSV) causes major damage to rice crops each year. The study could inform future strategies for controlling the spread …

Biofortification: is it the next ‘Green Revolution’ for more nutritious food?

June 5th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Projects, US

The Green Revolution that began in the 1940s and 50s brought about large increases in crop yields and saved millions of people from mass famine. Yet malnutrition remains widely prevalent around the globe. And, while many people eat enough calories, many do not get enough nutrients.
Now, plant breeders and biotechnologists …

Grow rice, bananas together to fight climate change

May 30th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

They say desperate times call for desperate measures and for farmers in northern Uganda grappling with climate change, intercropping rice with bananas has helped a great deal, writes Tobbias Jolly Owiny.
Growing banana in rice fields and vice versa would probably have been dismissed as “unthinkable” by traditional farmers, but farmers …

Ethiopia: cultivating rice in arid areas – its prospects

May 26th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

Studies indicate that rice is consumed by the half of the world population and it is also a staple food in the middle east and in Asia. In Ethiopia rice is not a widely cultivated crop but there are vast paddy fields which have the potential for cultivating rice. Rice …

Rice plant engineered with a ‘tunable’ immune system could fight multiple diseases at once

May 22nd, 2017 / Science, US

Farmers are constantly spraying pesticides on their crops to combat an array of viral, bacterial, and fungal invaders. Scientists have been trying to get around these chemicals for years by genetically engineering hardy plants resilient to the array of diseases caused by microbial beasties. Most attempts so far confer protection …

JICA, IRRI, PhilRICE share rice seed production expertise with African farmers

May 19th, 2017 / Manilla Bulletin, Philippines

A group of African farmers graduated recently from a training extended by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), and Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) as part of development cooperation to boost food security in member countries of the Coalition of African Rice Development (CARD).
JICA, IRRI, …

Overexpression of galactinol synthase gene improves drought tolerance in rice

May 17th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Enhancing drought tolerance without grain yield penalty has been a challenge for plant breeders and crop improvement. A team of researchers from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Colombia, and various universities and research institutions in Japan evaluated the Arabidopsis thaliana galactinol synthase 2 gene (AtGolS2). The team overexpressed …

Drought resistant, higher-yielding GM rice developed by Japanese researchers

April 10th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Scientists at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science have developed strains of rice that are resistant to drought in real-world situations. Published in Plant Biotechnology Journal, the study reports that transgenic rice modified with a gene from the Arabidopsis plant yield more rice than unmodified rice when subjected to …

Uganda: Farmers adopt new technologies to grow rice

March 28th, 2017 / Daily Monitor

Rice farmers in Pallisa and Butaleja districts are celebrating after adopting a new style of growing their crop that has seen them smiling all the way to the bank. Read …

Rice plants could be genetically tweaked to tame arsenic found in soil, reducing risk for humans

March 6th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Rooted in place, plants can’t run away from arsenic-tainted soil — but they’re far from helpless. Scientists have identified enzymes that help rice plant roots tame arsenic, converting it into a form that can be pushed back into the soil. That leaves less of the toxic element to spread into …