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, 23 Apr 2014 17:00:00 +0800BioVision Alexandria Panel Commemorates Borlaug's Legacy Alexandria was held on 8 April 2014 in Alexandria, Egypt organized by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and World Life Sciences Forum to provide a platform for exchange of information and dialogue so as to explore the different ways in which life sciences can help meet the challenges facing us in the 21st century. Part of the program was a pane...Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:00:00 +0800GlobalExperts Answer Top Consumer Questions About GMOs Answers conducted a survey in the U.S. to identify the top questions of consumers about genetically modified organisms (GMOs). They got the top 10 questions and solicited answers from scientists, farmers, doctors, and other experts. Each week, they post one question to their website together with the answers from the experts. For the first two ...Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:00:00 +0800GlobalAfricaRice Project to Harness Resilient Traits from African Rice Center (AfricaRice) has launched a project that will identify and harness high-value genes from African rice, Oryza glaberrima. Supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the project "Rapid mobilization of alleles for rice cultivar improvement in sub-Saharan Africa" will develop new rice varieties that can cope with the increasi...Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:00:00 +0800AfricaMinister Calls for Collaboration Between Biotech Experts and the Media in Tanzania's Deputy Finance Minister, Mr. Adan Malima has urged scientists and academics involved in crop biotechnology to work closely with the media to enhance biotech awareness and acceptance in Tanzania. The Minister who also serves as the patron of Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) in Tanzania made this call during the launch of Gl...Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:00:00 +0800AfricaNanosensors to Help Visualize Movements and Distribution of Plant Stress Hormone of California San Diego (UC San Diego) biologists have succeeded in visualizing the movement of abscisic acid (ABA), a key plant hormone responsible for growth and resistance to drought. Direct tracking of ABA allowed researchers to better understand the complex interactions involving ABA when a plant is subjected to drought or other str...Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:00:00 +0800AmericasLight Sensing Gene from Hornwort Transferred to Ferns Naturally international team of experts reported in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that ferns got their gene for sensing light from another plant called hornwort through horizontal gene transfer. According to the researchers, ferns encountered an evolutionary burst about 100 years ago and thus 80 percent of present fern species...Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:00:00 +0800AmericasScientists Promote Char Land Agri and Biotech for Northern Districts of Bangladesh Biotechnology Information Centre (BdBIC), Shobuj Bangladesh 24, Practical Action, RDRS and Helvetas organized a 2-day consultation meeting at Rangpur District on 11-12 April 2014. Professor Dr. M. Shahiduzzaman, Chief Editor of Shobuj Bangladesh 24, has chaired the seminar where around 100 scientists, university professors, NGO and priva...Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificExperts Advocate Biotech to Combat Food Scarcity and Poverty in Bangladesh Dr. Muhammad Mizanuddin, Vice Chancellor, University of Rajshahi expressed his all out support to research, development and extension of biotechnological research in Bangladesh. During his inauguration of the Conference on "Biotechnology for Better Tomorrow" on 29 March 2014 at the Senate House of the university, he urged the scientists f...Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificMedicinal Plant Swertia Goes In vitro chirayita, a medicinal plant in India, is economically important due to its bitterness, antihelminthic, hypoglycemic, hepatoprotective, and antiviral properties. There have been few studies about tissue culture of S. chirayita and still no studies regarding in vitro flowering. An in vitro flowering system, if developed in S. chirayita, may ...Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificDefra Approves Field Trials for GM Camelina Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has granted permission for Rothamsted Research to conduct field trials on GM Camelina sativa plants. The permission is for the application filed in late January 2014 to carry out a GM field trial on the Rothamsted farm in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. The risk assessment was reviewed by th...Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:00:00 +0800EuropeMajor Breakthrough in Understanding Plant Disease Resistance at The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL) in Norwich, together with structural biologist Bostjan Kobe in Brisbane, have made a major advance in understanding plant disease resistance. TSL Professor Jonathan Jones said that they are aware that proteins called RRS1 and RPS4 help recognize specific molecules from pathogenic bacteria, and then use ...Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:00:00 +0800EuropeEFSA Releases Infographic on Risk Assessment European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published an infographic explaining the difference of risk assessment and risk management. According to EFSA, the risk assessor is responsible for evaluation of risks linked with the food chain based on available research and information then provides scientific advice for decision making by the risk manage...Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:00:00 +0800EuropeDutch Government Reveals Biotech Policy Dutch Cabinet has discussed on 10 April 2014 its newly formulated biotech policy with the Dutch Parliament, presenting a 13-page paper. The document defines the Government's standpoint towards plant and animal biotechnology, and is a response to five requests of the Parliament on the transparency and procedures of the approval process for genet...Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:00:00 +0800EuropeOverexpression of Peroxiredoxin Q Enhances Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Lisianthus stress caused by saline environments and extreme light and temperature conditions can lead to increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Excessive ROS production will further lead to deleterious effects. Peroxiredoxin (Prx) is one of the primary ROS-scavenging enzymes of plants. Peroxiredoxin Q (PrxQ), a member of Prx family, wa...Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:00:00 +0800ResearchSoybean Gets New Defense Against Soybean Cyst Nematodes Arabidopsis thaliana studies have found that salicylic acid (SA) is the hormone that triggers the plant defense response against biotrophic and hemi-biotrophic pathogens as well as limit nematode reproduction. On the other hand, jasmonic acid (JA) is critical to defense response against necrotrophic pathogens. This knowledge derived from A...Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:00:00 +0800ResearchDOG1-like Gene Overexpression Provide Control of Seed Dormancy in Cereals dormancy is a very tricky agronomic trait. It plays a primary role in the different life cycles of annual plants, and thus is an important adaptive trait. However, many wheat (Triticum aestivum) cultivars lack a sufficient level of seed dormancy and are vulnerable to premature seed germination of mature grains. On the other hand, barley (Horde...Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:00:00 +0800ResearchTrees Engineered to Break Down Easily for Paper, Biofuel Production from the University of British Columbia (UBC) have genetically engineered trees that will be easier to break down to produce paper and biofuel. They used genetic engineering to modify lignin, a substantial portion of the cell wall of most plants and is a processing impediment for pulp, paper, and biofuel production. Removing lignin is a...Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop BiotechShrimps Now Take Oral Medicine for Yellow-Head Virus virus (YHV) is a major pathogen of penaeid shrimp species. YHV outbreaks cause economic loss of millions of US dollars in Thailand. Therefore, a potent and practical treatment of this disease is needed. Previous studies have demonstrated that YHV replication is strongly inhibited by injection of dsRNA corresponding to either viral protea...Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop BiotechGM Bacterium Features Increased Acetate Production woodii now has an increased efficiency for CO2 fixation, thanks to genetic modification. This new development is vital since acetate, produced via carbonylation of methanol, is a precursor for the production of a variety of chemical products such as polyvinyl acetates. About 2 million tons of acetate per year is produced biotechnolog...Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop Biotech