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Genetic mutation can triple sorghum grain yields – and could boost rice, corn and wheat

March 13th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

A simple genetic modification can triple the grain number of sorghum, a drought-tolerant plant that is an important source of food, animal feed, and biofuel in many parts of the world. In new research reported today in Nature Communications, scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have figured out how …

Green super rice for a greener revolution

February 22nd, 2018 / ISAAA, US

A collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) has developed Green Super Rice (GSR), a new breed of rice varieties that perform well in the toughest conditions.
GSR is a mix of more than 250 different …

‘Wild’ genes open up opportunities for healthier, climate-smart rice

January 31st, 2018 / International Rice Research Institute

The genome sequencing of seven wild rice varieties has finally been completed. This breakthrough is expected to provide opportunities for breeders worldwide in developing better rice varieties that will respond to the changing needs of the farmers and the consumers.
This discovery is outlined in the article Genomes of 13 domesticated …

Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD) aims of double rice production in 10 years

January 23rd, 2018 / CARD, Kenya

Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD) is a consultative group of bilateral and multilateral donors and African/international institutions, namely AGRA, AfricaRice, AfDB, FAO, FARA, IFAD, IRRI, JICA, JIRCAS, NEPAD and WB.
With the aim of doubling the rice production in ten years from 14 million tons in 2008, thereby closing the …

Australia and New Zealand releases approval report for food derived from Provitamin A Rice

January 11th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

Food derived from Provitamin A rice line GR2E can be sold in Australia and New Zealand. Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) released the approval report for Application A1138 submitted by the International Rice Research Institute seeking approval for food derived from rice line GR2E, genetically modified (GM) to produce …

Scientists use CRISPR-Cas9 technology to improve drought and salt tolerance in rice

January 11th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

The ∆ 1 -pyrroline-5-carboxylate synthetase (P5CS) is the rate-limiting enzyme in proline (Pro) synthesis and is involved in drought and salt stress tolerance in plants. An OsP5CS gene was isolated from a stress-treated commercial rice variety, BC15.
The length of rice OsP5CS was 2173 nucleotides, containing an ORF encoding for …

Use of CRISPR systems in plant genome editing: toward new opportunities in agriculture

November 30th, 2017 / Emerging Topics in Life Sciences, UK

Initially discovered in bacteria and archaea, CRISPR–Cas9 is an adaptive immune system found in prokaryotes. In 2012, scientists found a way to use it as a genome editing tool. In 2013, its application in plants was successfully achieved. This breakthrough has opened up many new opportunities for researchers, including the …

‘Supercharging’ rice with maize gene increases yields by 50 per cent

October 25th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

To improve photosynthesis in rice and increase crop yields, scientists working on the Oxford University-led C4 Rice Project have, by introducing a single maize gene to the plant, moved towards ‘supercharging’ rice to the level of more efficient crops.
Rice uses the C3 photosynthetic pathway, which in hot, dry environments is …

As Africa’s need for food grows, Mali’s rice turnaround shows a way forward

October 23rd, 2017 / Reuters

In 2008, as food prices rose around the world, riots broke out in West Africa, and Mali’s government stepped in.
It quickly launched an initiative to subsidise purchases of good-quality certified rice seed, as well as fertilisers, for farmers, in an effort to cut reliance on rice imports and grow more …

Training programme set to boost rice output in East Africa

September 12th, 2017 / The Citizen, Tanzania

The Kilimanjaro Agricultural Training Centre (KATC) has offered to train agricultural experts in East Africa on improved production of rice, one of the staple food crops in the region.
This was affirmed last week by the project coordinator, Mr Motonori Tomitaka, at the end of an eight-day training course on improved …