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Crops Biotech Update


GE COWPEA SEEDS TO BE AVAILABLE FOR NIGERIAN FARMERS IN 2019

Nigeria's National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) head announced that genetically engineered (GE) cowpea will be commercially available in the country on or before 2019. Prof. Lucy Ogbadu, NABDA Director General, mentioned this during the November meeting of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB). Prof. Ogbadu said that GE cowpea is currently under field trials and...

BRAZIL EXPECTED TO RELEASE GE SUGARCANE IN 2017

Genetically engineered (GE) sugarcane will soon hit the markets in Brazil, according to the Sugarcane Technology Center CEO, Gustavo Leite. He said that the first variety of GE sugarcane will be commercially available in early 2017. The approval of the GE crop will come from the National Technical Biosafety Commission (CNTBio), which is responsible for regulating...

DEPT OF AGRI ANTICIPATES GM MAIZE PLANTING EXPANSION IN VIETNAM

The field trial of GM maize at Trung Son Commune (Do Luong district) in 2015 with 0.5 Acre (1,800 m2) area has gained high productivity and economic efficiency. Trung Son commune has 560 ha of agricultural land, in which 80 ha is specialized for maize. In 2016, Trung Son has expanded the area of GM...

SCIENTISTS UNLOCK 51 MILLION-YEAR-OLD GENETIC SECRET TO DARWIN'S THEORY

Scientists from University of East Anglia working at the John Innes Centre have identified the cluster of genes responsible for reproductive traits in the Primula flower, first noted by Charles Darwin more than 150 years ago.   Darwin hypothesized that plant species with two distinct forms of flower evolved that way to promote out-crossing by insect pollinators....

SCIENTISTS DEVELOP PEST RESISTANT TOMATO USING BT TECHNOLOGY

Tomato fruit borer (Helicoverpa armigera) is one of the most damaging pests in tomato production, especially in India. Tomatoes do not have genes that confer resistance against the borer and conventional efforts to manage the pest were ineffective. Thus, a team of Indian scientists used Bt technology to develop fruit borer resistant tomatoes.   Through Agrobacterium mediated...

ETHIOPIA TO COMMERCIALIZE BT COTTON IN TWO YEARS

Ethiopia is ready to commercialize Bt cotton in two years, according to Dr. Endale Gebre, director of the agricultural biotechnology unit in the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Institute. He explained that the confined field trial of Bt cotton in their country is currently in the final stage. The trials have been conducted for four years, testing...

SCIENTISTS FIND SINGLE ENZYME CONTROLING GROWTH AND DEFENSE HORMONES

In a paper published in the November 14 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists at Washington University in St. Louis report that the enzyme GH3.5 can control the levels of two plant hormones, auxin and salicylic acid. GH3.5 is the first enzyme of its kind known to control completely different classes...

RESEARCHERS REVEAL CHARACTERISTICS OF PLANT DEFENSE COMPOUND DHURRIN

An international research team has identified the mechanism by which sorghum uses the compound dhurrin to ward off pests and herbivores. Previous studies have found that sorghum releases chemicals when attacked by pests, or plant eaters. Dhurrin is one such chemical, which turns into cyanide when hydrolyzed. It is classified as one of a type...

SCIENTISTS ENGINEER MAIZE TO PRODUCE ASTAXANTHIN

Scientists from Goethe University Frankfurt and partners developed genetically engineered maize to produce a carotenoid called astaxanthin, which is important in fish feeds. The astaxanthin from the GE maize was assessed if it could be used as a feed supplement to improve pigmentation of rainbow trout flesh. The initial preparation was too oily and the concentration...

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REPORT SAYS DEVELOPING WORLD ACHIEVES SIGNIFICANT GROWTH IN BIOTECHNOLOGY

  A new report released by Beijing-based CAS-TWAS Centre of Excellence for Biotechnology says that the developing world is achieving significant growth in a broad cross-section of biotechnology fields, many of them directly tied to food production, health, and other dimensions of human well-being.   Biotechnology in Developing Countries: Growth and Competitiveness is the first extensive document summarizing the development...

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