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Crops Biotech Update


DEVELOPING CROPS FOR CHANGING CLIMATES

University of Edinburgh scientists have created a new computer model that shows how plants grow under varying conditions, giving fresh insights into developing crops that could thrive in changing climates. Scientists built the model to investigate how variations in light, day length, temperature, and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere influence the biological pathways that control growth...

COMPARATIVE STUDY OF DROUGHT TOLERANT BIOTECH RICE AND NON-BIOTECH COUNTERPART

Scientists from Kyungpook National University in South Korea compared the vegetative and reproductive traits as well as antioxidant properties of drought tolerant biotech rice lines (HV8 and HV23) and its non-biotech counterpart (Ilmi). The findings were presented at Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science.   According to the research article, the grain size and weight, seed germination, root...

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CORNELL LAUNCHES GLOBAL INITIATIVE FOR SCIENCE-BASED COMMUNICATION ON AGRI-BIOTECH

  Cornell University launched a new initiative aimed at intensifying the voice of science in the agri-biotechnology dialogue. The initiative is called Cornell Alliance for Science. According to Sarah Evanga, Director of the Alliance, the initiative is a "radical collaboration" of global significance because the challenges faced by the global society are too large to be handled...

SWAZILAND MINISTER ENCOURAGES FARMERS TO ACCEPT BIOTECH CROPS

Swaziland Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Jabulani Mabuza, challenged local farmers to grow biotech crops to increase their yield and income. He said this during his speech in the launch of ISAAA Brief 46 (Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2013) in Mbabane, Swaziland on August 27, 2014. Mabuza added that 27 countries are planting...

WATER 'THERMOSTAT' GENE COULD HELP DEVELOP DROUGHT RESISTANT CROPS

Plants respond to water loss by boosting calcium levels in their cells. The calcium surge then triggers coping mechanisms to help the plant rebalance its water budget, but the molecular machinery that plants use to send this signal has remained unknown.   Zhen Ming Pei and Duke University colleagues Fang Yuan and James Siedow identified OSCA1, the...

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VIETNAM GRANTS LICENSES TO FOUR GM CORN VARIETIES

  Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has granted licenses to four genetically modified (GM) corn varieties to be used for both human consumption and animal feed.   This process started four years ago when Vietnam announced it would start field trials of these four varieties of GM corn. The varieties have gone through extensive testing...

FSAI HEAD SAYS EUROPE MUST PUT ASIDE FEARS OF GM TECHNOLOGY

Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) Chief Executive, Alan Reilly, said that it is time to put aside irrational and non-science based fears of new technologies in the interest of consumers everywhere. He mentioned this in his article in the FSAI newsletter titled Genetic Modification - Are the Food Safety Concerns Still Justified?   He said that...

MUTATED BRI1 IN UZU BARLEY CAN PROVIDE DISEASE RESISTANCE

Brassinosteroid hormones regulate many aspects of plant growth and development with the membrane receptor BRI1 as the central player in the signaling cascade. A team of researchers led by Shahin S. Ali of the University College of Dublin in Ireland are studying the semi-dwarf "uzu" barley, which carries a mutation in BRI1 known for its positive...

International Organizations Reconfirm Support for Biotech Wheat Commercialization

Sixteen organizations from Australia, Canada, and the U.S. released a statement confirming their support for the future commercialization of biotech wheat. In 2009, there were only 9 organizations of farmers and millers who signed the agreement and this year, 7 more joined the commitment. The newbies include American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union. The...

Kenyan Governors Call for Lifting of GMO Ban

The chairman of the Council of Kenyan Governors on Health and Biotechnology, Governor Jacktone Ranguma has called on the government to lift the ban on imports of genetically modified foods. Speaking at the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology event, the Governor argued that the ban on GM food was rushed and the country is sending...

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