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Danforth Center tapped to improve sorghum as a bioenergy crop

September 12th, 2019 / USAgnet.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) through its Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) has launched a major initiative to develop bioenergy crops through genomics-based research. Danforth Center Principal Investigator, Andrea Eveland, Ph.D., will lead a multi-institutional project under this initiative to deepen the understanding of sorghum, a versatile …

A breeding revolution could unleash the potential of potato

September 4th, 2019 / Science Magazine, US

Unlike other major crops, however, the potato has not had a breeding breakthrough of the kind that helped dramatically boost yields during the Green Revolution of the 1950s and 1960s. The reason is that creating a new potato variety is slow and difficult, even by the patient standards of plant …

China farmers warned to avoid illegal African swine fever vaccines

September 4th, 2019 / South China Morning Post

China’s agriculture ministry is warning farmers against using illegal experimental vaccines in the country’s ongoing battle with African swine fever.

In a statement on Monday, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said it had ordered local governments to step up checks and crack down on illegal vaccines.

The move was in …

The protection of traditional knowledge in Africa

September 3rd, 2019 / Inventa International

Traditional Knowledge (TK) is, in accordance to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), “a living body of knowledge passed on from generation to generation within a community”. Traditional Knowledge is the know-how, skills and practices developed within a community, forming part of its cultural identity, which is passed through generations.

Despite the …

Patents on plants: Is the sellout of genes a threat to farmers and global food security?

September 3rd, 2019 / DW.com

There’s an ongoing global trend of companies claiming property rights for plants or genetic material of plants  across the globe.

“Resources that used to be available to mankind as a community have now been confined to privatization,” Judith Düesberg from NGO gene ethical network told DW.

The United States first introduced the idea …

GM cassava research progresses in Uganda

September 2nd, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

As Ugandan researchers progress in breeding genetically modified (GM)  disease-resistant cassava, they are requesting permission to create permanent demonstration gardens of the improved crops. The goal is to ensure continuous documentation of the ongoing cassava research and also provide a place where people can see GM plants. However, the request …

New biosensor provides insight into the stress behavior of plants

August 30th, 2019 / Science Daily

Researchers have developed a method with which they can further investigate an important messenger substance in plants — phosphatidic acid. Using a new biosensor, they are able to track the activity of phosphatidic acid spatially and temporally for the first time and thus, investigate plants that are exposed to stress …

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 …

Biotech crops continue to help meet the challenges of increased population and climate change

August 22nd, 2019 / ISAAA, US

A total of 70 countries adopted biotech crops through cultivation and importation in 2018, the 23rd year of continuous biotech crop adoption, according to the Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops in 2018(ISAAA Brief 54) released by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) today. Twenty-six countries (21 …

Tricksters, Toolsters, Tinkerers, and Traders

August 22nd, 2019 / Plos, US

The American Society for Plant Biology (ASPB) showcased the latest research in Plant Synthetic Biology. With topics ranging from modifying plants for desalination to reimagining carbon fixation. Read more … …