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Crops Biotech Update


Effect of the ahas Transgene on Biological Nitrogen Fixation and Yield of Soybean

Despite its importance, studies on the effect of transgenes in soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) and the associated use of herbicides on biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) are relatively few. The transgenic soybean Cultivance CV127 contains the ahas gene, which confers resistance to imidazolinone herbicides. Mariangela Hungria of Embrapa Soja in Brazil, led a team of researchers in...

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GREENPEACE DAMAGES A WORLD HERITAGE SITE IN PERU

  Twelve members of the environmental group Greenpeace performed a stunt in Peruvian desert to express their participation in the Conference on Climate Change held in Lima, Peru on December 1-14. They placed huge yellow letters stating "Time for Change! The Future is Renewable. Greenpeace" just beside the hummingbird-like geoglyph, which is part of the Nazca lines....

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EGYPT'S MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE SUPPORTS PLANT BIOTECH

Dr. Adel El-Beltagy, Egypt's Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, said in a press statement on December 13, 2014 that genetic engineering techniques play a major role in increasing crop productivity amidst the effects of climate change that cause high temperatures, drought and soil salinity. As a scientist and professor in Aim Shams University, Dr. El-Beltagy played...

USDA TO ADVANCE ROBOTICS TO IMPROVE AGRI PRODUCTION

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the release of US$3 million worth of grants to advance the use of robotics in American agriculture production. The four grants are part of the National Robotics Initiative (NRI), a federal research collaboration of NIFA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National...

CHINA EXPECTED TO RELEASE DECISION ON GM CORN IMPORTS

The Chinese government is expected to release their decision on importation of Syngenta's Agrisure Viptera corn (MIR162) from the U.S. soon. The approval would be important because U.S. corn trading with China has stopped since Beijing began turning away cargoes containing MIR162 corn in November 2013. According to the National Grain and Feed Association, the rejections...

IMPROVING SALT TOLERANCE IN TRANSGENIC SWEET POTATO

Researchers from China Agricultural University studied the gene maspardin (IbMas) in improving salt tolerance in sweetpotato. IbMas is a member of α/β superfamily isolated from a salt-tolerant sweet potato line. The study was conducted by up-regulating the expression of IbMas in sweetpotato under salt stress and ABA treatment condition. Results showed that overexpression of IbMas in...

BIOTECH SCIENTISTS WIN IN IQ2 DEBATE ON GMOS

Intelligence Squared (iq2) Debates hosted a livestreamed debate on Fora.tv about genetically modified food. World Food Prize 2013 laureate Robert Fraley and University of California, Davis scientist Alison Van Eenennaam argued that planting of GM foods should be allowed. On the other hand, Margaret Mellon, formerly of the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Charles Benbrook of...

PODBORER-RESISTANT COWPEA POSES NO THREAT TO BIODIVERSITY - SCIENTISTS

African scientists said that Maruca-resistant cowpea does not constitute a threat to biodiversity. Maruca is a type of podborer causing damage to cowpea production. According to Prof. Mohammed Ishyaku of the Ahmadu Bello University and one of the researchers of the Maruca-resistant cowpea project, Maruca will not be completely extinct from the system when the Maruca-resistant...

NEW COTTOM GENOME RELEASED TO PUBLIC

Scientists from Texas Tech University, Bayer CropScience, and the National Center for Genome Resources (NGCR) have developed the annotated draft genome assembly from the Asian/African cotton species (Gossypium arboreum), a representative of the cotton A-genome lineage. The A-genome species gave rise to spinnable fiber, eventually leading to the present-day textile industry. The development of high-quality genome sequence...

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INDOBIC CONCLUDES SEMINAR ON BIOTECH POTATO

IndoBIC held a seminar on Biotech Potato as Eco-Friendly Late Blight Disease Control Component for farmers, agricultural officers, and scientists on November 25, 2014 at SEAMEO BIOTROP. Some 31 participants and speakers from agricultural officials, farmers, and representatives from research institutions attended this event through the support of the Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project (ABSP II) in collaboration...

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