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Crops Biotech Update


UN Leaders: Women Farmers Key to Achieving Food and Nutrition Security

Leaders of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the World Food Programme (WFP) gathered in Rome, Italy on March 6, 2015 to celebrate the International Women's Day and highlight the role of women farmers in achieving food and nutrition security. The leaders of the said UN organizations shared...

GM Soybean Oil Identical to Conventional Soybean Oil

Research conducted by scientists at the University of California Riverside (UCR) revealed that genetically modified (GM) soybean oil, made from seeds of GM soybean plants, is identical to conventional soybean oil, with one advantage: it does not cause insulin resistance, the inability to efficiently use the hormone insulin. Scientists from UCR and their colleagues at the...

Scientists Promote Production of Enzyme for Plant Growth

Australian scientists led by Dr. Spencer Whitney from The Australian National University (ANU) have found a way to improve the production of an enzyme essential to plant growth. The team found RAF1, a partner protein of Rubisco, the most abundant protein on the planet. According to Dr. Whitney, Rubisco has baffled scientists for years because it...

Gene for Amylose Synthesis Identified

Starch is one of the important products in photosynthesis. It is also used in textile and paper industries. Despite its various uses, its formation is yet to be understood. Hence, a group of researchers from ETH Zurich conducted a study to understand how starch is produced. The researchers examined the photosynthesis process, specifically the amylose formation...

Overexpression of RCH10 chitinase Gene in Lilium Confers Resistance to Botrytis cinerea

Lilium is one of the major bulb crops in the world and is a major part of the ornamentals industry. The fungus Botrytis causes extreme economic losses to a wide range of crops, including Lilium. The success of the ornamentals industry depends on the introduction of new individuals with key characteristics, such as disease resistance. University...

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More Voices in Africa are Calling for Increased Biotech Adoption

More African stakeholders are calling for increased adoption of GM crops to benefit farmers in the continent. During the recent launch of ISAAA's 2014 report on commercialized biotech crops, stakeholders in Burkina Faso and Kenya including policy makers, farmers and academicians said that the reported benefits should be enjoyed by the African farmers as well. In...

Smartphones Could End GM Labeling Debate

Smartphones could be the solution for the labeling issue on biotech food products, according to US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. He mentioned this to the members of the Congress during a House hearing on agriculture spending last week. Vilsack said that consumers could just use their smartphones to scan special codes on food packages. Relevant information...

New Database for Identifying Functions of Plant Genes

A team led by Tetsuya Sakurai from RIKEN Research developed a new database that will aid scientists in identifying the unknown functions of plant genes. This was done through analyzing protein structures encoded by the unknown genes. Using six plants representative of plant species, Arabidopsis thaliana, Glycine max (soybean), Populus trichocarpa (poplar), Oryza sativa (rice), Physcomitrella patens...

Bioeconomy Alliance Calls for EU Action

The newly formed European Bioeconomy Alliance (EBA) calls for more predictable policies leading to long-term strategy for a competitive, dynamic, and sustainable bioeconomy in Europe. According to EBA's press release, developing the bioeconomy can only be achieved if EU provides a holistic, coherent, and harmonized policy framework for agriculture, forestry, marine, and other fields. Thus, they call...

Gene from Peanut Alleviates Salinity and Drought Stress in Tobacco

Abiotic stress often results in the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that causes cellular damage and inhibits photosynthesis. However, the effects of ROS are countered by antioxidant systems, with superoxide dismutase (SOD) being the first enzyme involved in detoxification. Neera Bhalla Sarin of Jahwarlal Nehru University in India led a research team and isolated the...

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