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, 30 Sep 2015 17:00:00 +0800U.S. and China Commit to Further Improve Biotech Approval Process United States and China have conducted in-depth discussions about agricultural biotechnology, and committed to further improve the approval processes. Representative from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and China's Ministry of Agriculture discussed the issue in the Strategic Agriculture Innovation Dialogue before U.S. President Barack Obama ...Wed, 30 Sep 2015 17:00:00 +0800GlobalSyrian War Prompts First Withdrawal of Seeds from Svalbard Global Seed Vault International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) has requested to withdraw the backup seeds that they deposited in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault to restart their collection away from the ongoing conflict in their previous home in Aleppo, Syria. ICARDA is currently based in Beirut, Lebanon, and requesting seeds from thei...Wed, 30 Sep 2015 17:00:00 +0800Global3,000 Rice Genomes Data Available on the AWS Cloud International Rice Research Institute announced that the 3,000 Rice Genomes Project (3K RGP) has successfully sequenced 3,024 rice varieties from 89 countries. This big data is a massive source of information for understanding the natural genetic variation in rice and for discovery of novel genes linked to economically important traits. It is e...Wed, 30 Sep 2015 17:00:00 +0800GlobalZambia Hosts Africa Green Revolution Forum 2015 leaders in agriculture are gathered for the four-day Africa Green Revolution Forum (ADRF) which opens in Lusaka, Zambia today until October 2, 2015. The event is organized by the AGRF Partners Group, the Government of Zambia and the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA). This year's theme is "Walking the Talk on Youth and Wome...Wed, 30 Sep 2015 17:00:00 +0800AfricaArgentine Government Seeks Citizen Opinion on New GE Crops Argentine government has created a way for its citizens to express their opinion on the introduction of new genetically engineered (GE) seeds into the country. The first GE crop available for public comment is an herbicide tolerant soybean variety. Despite the criticism of environmental activists on the effects of using herbicides, a report by ...Wed, 30 Sep 2015 17:00:00 +0800AmericasScientists Reveal Why Black Rice is Black from two institutions in Japan have revealed why black rice is black. Also called "Emperor's rice" because it was reserved only for the Emperor in ancient China, black rice has gained popularity worldwide for its high levels of antioxidants. The research team worked to meticulously examine the genetic basis for the black color in rice gr...Wed, 30 Sep 2015 17:00:00 +0800AmericasUSDA APHIS Opens Public Comment Period for GE Wheat Field Trials U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has made available for a 30-day public comment period its proposed plan to strengthen oversight of genetically engineered (GE) wheat field trials. The proposed plan calls for all future field trials of GE wheat to be done under APHIS permit, to include re...Wed, 30 Sep 2015 17:00:00 +0800AmericasSouth Australia Farmers Call for Permission to Grow GE Crops in South Australia started a petition to urge the government to lift the moratorium on growing GE crops in South Australia. The petition was launched by Grain Producers SA (GPSA) during its Grower Day at the Yorke Peninsula Field Days on September 29, 2015. The petition is addressed to the Minister for Agriculture Leon Bignell, asking him t...Wed, 30 Sep 2015 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificStakeholders from Africa Visit Bt Cotton Fields in India from 29 East and South African cotton growing countries participate in a week long study tour to Bt cotton fields in India from September 27 to October 2, 2015. The "Seeing is believing" study tour is being conducted by the South Asia Biotechnology Centre (SABC), New Delhi, in collaboration with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern ...Wed, 30 Sep 2015 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificScientists Develop Rice with High Folate Stability from Ghent University in Belgium have succeeded in stabilizing folates in biofortified rice. The research team developed a new rice prototype, and applied two strategies for the folate to remain stable for long storage. The first strategy involved binding folates with a folate binding protein. This protein is well studied in mammals, bu...Wed, 30 Sep 2015 17:00:00 +0800EuropeA Vernalization Pathway Gene from Soybean Promotes Flowering in Arabidopsis timing of flowering is vital to successful reproduction and directly affects crop yield. Although extended period of low temperatures is not required for flower induction in soybean, vernalization pathway genes have been retained in the species. Chinese researchers Jing Lü and Haicui Suo studied the function of these genes in soybean.Researcher...Wed, 30 Sep 2015 17:00:00 +0800ResearchExpression of Genes Associated with Drought Traits Improves Drought Adaptation in Peanut of crops to drought conditions can be achieved by improving plant traits such as efficient water mining and cellular-level tolerance mechanisms. Pyramiding these drought-adaptive traits by simultaneous expression of genes can be relevant in improving stress tolerance.Vemanna S. Ramu of the University of Agricultural Sciences in India dev...Wed, 30 Sep 2015 17:00:00 +0800ResearchGE Tomato Expressing Bacterial Gene XnGroEL Shows Enhanced Resistance to Armyworm and Abiotic Stresses XnGroEL protein of Xenorhabdus nematophila belongs to a family of heat shock proteins (Hsps). Under normal conditions, Hsps facilitate folding, assembly, and translocation of cellular proteins, while in stress conditions. However, XnGroEL was also shown to possess oral insecticidal activity against armyworm (Helicoverpa armigera).A team of scie...Wed, 30 Sep 2015 17:00:00 +0800ResearchScientists Crack Genomes of Microscopic Worms Vital for Agri from the University of California Riverside and partners have sequenced the genomes of five microscopic roundworms that are likely to be involved in parasitism and widely-used in agriculture for biological control. The results are published in Genome Biology. These nematodes Steinernema carpocapsae, S. feltiae, S. glaseri, S. monticolum ...Wed, 30 Sep 2015 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop BiotechNew Publication: 50 Biotech Bites releases the book entitled 50 Biotech Bites, which contains 50 topics relevant to the science, applications, and issues behind agricultural biotechnology. It is based on pocket-sized publications called Pockets K or Pockets of Knowledge which have been developed by ISAAA for the last 15 years. Each topic is discussed using "bite-sized" inform...Wed, 30 Sep 2015 17:00:00 +0800Document Reminders