Crop Biotech Update weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA).en-usWed, 22 Mar 2017 17:00:00 +0800NAS Releases Report on Preparing for Future Biotech Products National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) Committee on Future Biotechnology Products and Opportunities to Enhance the Capabilities of the Biotechnology Regulatory System has released the prepublication version of a new report, Preparing for Future Products of Biotechnology on March 9, 2017.The new report is part of an eff...Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:00:00 +0800GlobalEast Africa Gears for Synthetic Biology African countries have the potential to apply synthetic biology in various spheres of their economies. This was observed by participants of the UK-East Africa workshop on synthetic biology held in Nairobi, Kenya, from March 15 to 17, 2017. The workshop, organized by Kenya's National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) i...Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:00:00 +0800AfricaEgypt Hosts the International Conference on Biotechnology and Environmental Safety 3rd International Conference on Biotechnology and Environmental Safety was held at the National Research Center in Egypt on March14-16, 2017. Prof. Khaled Abd El-Ghaffar, the Egyptian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, graced the event with his presence. "Biotechnology is the right field of technology that Arabic countries sh...Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:00:00 +0800AfricaDiscovery by Researchers Could Help Increase Plant Yield Caused by Looming Phosphate Shortage at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have identified a key genetic switch that helps soil bacteria that lives on and inside plant roots to harvest phosphate, a vital nutrient for plant yield that is limited in global supply.The form of phosphate that plants can use is in danger of reaching its peak. The scientists show prec...Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:00:00 +0800AmericasInternational Research Team Discovers Gene that Resists Virus Causing Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease international research team has discovered the gene that fights off sugarcane mosaic virus. This virus, together with maize chlorotic mottle virus, causes maize lethal necrosis disease, a condition that has led to total yield losses in East African fields. Sugarcane mosaic virus and closely related potyviruses threaten corn crops in Asia, Africa...Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:00:00 +0800AmericasVIB-UGent Researchers Discover Gene that Increases Seed Yield in Maize from VIB-UGent have discovered a gene that significantly increases plant growth and seed yield in maize. The results from laboratory research were confirmed during a two-year field trials conducted in Belgium and the U.S. showing that this gene can increase seed yield in maize hybrids by 10 to 15%. The results of the greenhouse and fiel...Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:00:00 +0800EuropeEuropean Chemicals Agency Says Glyphosate Not Carcinogenic Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has concluded that the available scientific evidence did not meet the criteria for the Classification, Labelling and Packaging Regulation to classify glyphosate as a carcinogen, as a mutagen or as toxic for reproduction. The RAC assessed glyphosate's hazardousness again...Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:00:00 +0800EuropeProduction of Antibacterial BP178 Peptide in Rice Seed Endosperm BP178 peptide is a synthetic BP100-magainin derivative that has an inhibitory activity against plant pathogenic bacteria, and thus, possesses great potential for applications in crop protection. The team of Laura Montesinos from the University of Girona in Spain now describes the production and recovery of BP178 peptide by using rice seeds as b...Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:00:00 +0800ResearchMADS-box Gene SlMBP11 Regulates Plant Architecture and Reproductive Development in Tomato proteins are important transcription factors involved in several biological processes of plants. The team of Xuhu Guo from Chongqing University in China aimed to study SlMBP11, a member of the AGL15 subfamily, by expressing in tomato (Solanum lycopersicon) plants.SlMBP11 is found to be expressed in all of the tissues examined, with the ...Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:00:00 +0800ResearchGenome Reprogramming for Synthetic Biology ability to go from a digitized DNA sequence to a predictable biological function is the main principle in synthetic biology. Genome engineering tools enable rewriting and implementation of engineered DNA sequences. The recent developments of new programmable tools to engineer genomes have also sparked a multitude of advances in synthetic biolog...Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding TechnologiesResearchers Generate Nulliplex Polyploid Arabidopsis using CRISPR-Cas9 has always been an evolutionary mechanism that enabled plant adaptation. However, analysis of gene function in polyploid plants has been limited due to challenges associated with developing knockout mutants for all gene copies in polyploid plants. University of Ireland Galway researchers, led by Peter Ryder, investigated if CRISPR-Cas9 t...Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding TechnologiesCell-Penetrating Peptide-Mediated Delivery of CRISPR-Cas9, the delivery of the two components of CRISPR-Cas9 system has been conducted using either plasmid or viral vectors or the direct delivery of the protein and RNA into the cells, with direct delivery boasting several advantages over the plasmid approach. Direct delivery results in shorter exposure time at the cellular level, which in turn l...Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop BiotechBeing Human 2.0: SynBio LIVE Cornell Alliance for Science will hold the event Being Human 2.0: SynBio LIVE, a virtual workshop on synthetic biology and emerging technologies to be held on Thursday, March 30, 2017, from 2:00 to 5:30 PM EDT. The workshop will have four sessions on topics ranging from artificial genomes to GMOs, and all the sessions will be streaming live on ...Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:00:00 +0800AnnouncementsThe Story Behind the Approval of the First Bt Maize Product of the chapters in the book Women in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Biotechnology narrates the story behind the approval of the first Bt maize product written by Laura S. Privalle. According to the book, the first Bt maize product represented all the promise that biotechnology brings to sustainable agriculture including lower inputs for farme...Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:00:00 +0800Document RemindersSynthetic Biology MOOC Teaches How to Make DIY DNA massive open online course (MOOC) on synthetic biology (Synthetic Biology 1) teaches students to read, write, and create custom DNA sequences. The course is presented by The Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity (CRI), which is located in Paris. The MOOC teaches the theoretical and applied tools from biology, math, and computer science that...Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:00:00 +0800Document Reminders