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Crops Biotech Update


Public and Scientists' Views on Science

Pew Research Center conducted a survey on the views of scientists associated with American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the general public on certain science-related issues. Results showed that there is a wide gap between the beliefs of the public and scientists on biomedical sciences. More than half of the general public (57%)...


Cotton Farmers in Kenya Submit Petition to Lift GM Import Ban

Farmers from Eastern and Central Kenya counties of Embu, Kirinyaga, Kitui, Machakos, Makueni, Meru, Murang'a and Tharaka Nithi have written a communiqué to the Kenyan president demanding for Bt cotton seeds and calling for the lifting of the ban on GM food imports in Kenya. In the petition to the president, farmers noted systematic failures in...

Improving Sorghum's Yield

Sorghum is one of the cash crops planted in United States valued for its grains. Sorghum grains can be a source of food, feed, ethanol, and construction and packaging materials. In addition to this, sorghum is a drought tolerant crop and can be grown under poor soil condition, low fertilizer and in a wide range...

Australia May Soon Import GM Carnation

The Australian Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) received a license request from International Flower Developments Pty. Ltd to commercially import and distribute three varieties of genetically modified (GM) carnation, namely Moonaqua, Moonberry, and Moonvelvet. These GM carnation varieties have altered flower color and contain herbicide tolerance marker gene, which is used to select the modified...

Scientists to Control Leaf Blotch Disease in Wheat

Scientists discovered a genetic mechanism that could stop the spread of Septoria leaf blotch (STB), a devastating fungal disease affecting wheat fields in Europe. A key feature of STB is the long symptomless growth of the fungus called Zymoseptoria tritici, which affects the host plant's cells before it switches to the visible disease phase that eventually...

Proteins from Trichoderma Vital in Inducing Maize Resistance to Leaf Blight

Trichoderma virens and some Trichoderma species are considered as biocontrol fungi since they can stimulate defense responses by interacting with the host plant. Previous studies have shown that cerato-platanin proteins, Sm1 from T. virens as well as Epl1 from Trichoderma atroviride, are vital in inducing plant defenses. However, the other members of this protein family have...


ISAAA Launches 2014 Report on Global Status of GM Crops

The Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2014 (ISAAA Brief 49) was launched on January 28, 2015 at China World Hotel in Beijing, China during a press conference attended by 34 media practitioners. The following day, January 29, a seminar was also held at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, organized by Chinese Society of Biotechnology,...


Egyptian Leaders Discuss Biotech Developments

A workshop entitled Biotechnology for improving agricultural crops was held on January 5, 2015 at the Agricultural Genetic Engineering Research Institute (AGERI), Egypt. Organized under the auspices of Minister Adel ElBeltagy of the Agriculture and Land Reclamation, the workshop addressed different concerns related to biotechnology in the country.  Speaking in behalf of the Minister, Prof. Abdelmoneim Elbana,...

Nielsen Surveys Global Healthy Eating Trends

Nielsen conducted an online survey of 30,000 consumers from 60 countries to assess the healthy eating trends around the world. Results showed that consumers seek fresh, natural and minimally processed foods. Beneficial ingredients that help fight disease and promote good health were also deemed as important. It was also noted that the majority (80%) of...


NYU Prof Talks about Importance of Genome and Evolutionary Bio

The importance of the genome in trying to understand diversity and how organisms evolved, as well as the genetic basis for the diversity of life on the planet was highlighted by Dean of Science and Professor of Biology at New York University (NYU) Dr. Michael Purugganan in a seminar titled "The Evolution of Plant Genomes"....

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