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, 18 Oct 2017 17:00:00 +0800Global Hunger Index Shows Long-term Decline But Level Remains High 2017 Global Hunger Index (GHI) indicates long-term advancement in decreasing global hunger. However, the progress has been uneven, with millions continuing to experience chronic hunger and many areas encountering food shortage and even starvation. The 2017 GHI, published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Concern World...Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:00:00 +0800GlobalGolden Rice to Lead the Way in Producing Healthier Rice Varieties agriculture, including GM crops, provides the tools to assist for macronutrients yield, climate change adaption, and other unfavorable growing conditions, as well as malnutrition. Adrian Dubock of the Golden Rice Humanitarian Board presented Golden Rice as an example of a product of precision agriculture that has a huge potential to impro...Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:00:00 +0800GlobalBiotechnology a Key Part of Uganda's Food Security Strategy a speech read for him by the 3rd Deputy prime minister Hon. Kirunda Kivejinja, President Yoweri Museveni yet again highlighted the critical role of modern biotechnology in ensuring sustainable food and nutrition security for the country's 38 million people. This was during celebrations to mark World Food Day (WFD) on October 16, 2017 in Rubanda ...Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:00:00 +0800AfricaITIF, Independent Scientists Call on US Interior Secretary to Reverse Policy Against GM Seeds Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), one of the world's top science and technology body, together with a group of independent scientists, have submitted a letter to U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to call on the department to reverse a Fish and Wildlife Service policy that phased out the use of genetically modified (GM) s...Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:00:00 +0800AmericasAustralian OGTR Receives Application for Commercial Release of GM Safflower Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) has received a license application under the Gene Technology Act 2000 (the Act) for Dealings involving the Intentional Release (DIR) of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into the Australian environment. The application (DIR 158) from GO Resources Pty Ltd proposes the commercial release of two l...Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificFound: Gene to Help Hybrid Wheat Breeding at Australia's University of Adelaide, in collaboration with US-based company DuPont Pioneer, have identified the wheat gene that, when turned off, eliminates self-pollination but still allows cross-pollination opening the way for breeding high-yielding hybrid wheats. The researchers say the discovery and the associated breeding techn...Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificAmazonian Farmers Discovered Secret to Wild Rice Domestication 4,000 Years Ago from the United Kingdom and Brazil have found the first evidence that ancient South Americans learned how to grow bigger rice crops with larger grains, but may have stopped after 1492 when Europeans arrived and the indigenous population was decimated. The archaeologists analyzed 16 samples of microscopic plant remains from 10 different t...Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:00:00 +0800EuropeOverexpression of BjHMGS1 Improves Health-Promoting Compounds in Tomato Fruit 3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A synthase (HMGS) codes for isoprenoids including phytosterols, which can lower blood cholesterol levels. In a previous study, overexpressing the mustard (Brassica juncea) BjHMGS1 gene in Arabidopsis and tobacco upregulated genes in the sterol biosynthesis and increased its sterol content. The team of Pan Lia...Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:00:00 +0800ResearchThe Strawberry FaTPK1 Plays a Critical Role in Fruit Quality Formation, an abundant cation in plant cells, is important in fruit development and plant resistance. However, how cellular potassium is directed by potassium channels in fruit development and quality formation of strawberry (Fragaria ananassa) is relatively unclear. Shufang Wang from China Agricultural University aimed to study this channel.The te...Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:00:00 +0800ResearchCRISPR-Cas9-Mediated Targeted Mutagenesis in Seedless Grapes CRISPR-Cas9 system is a powerful tool for editing plant genomes. Genome editing of grape (Vitis vinifera) suspension cells using the CRISPR-Cas9 system has been demonstrated. However, it has not been established whether this system can be applied to get biallelic mutations in the first generation of grape.Xianhang Wang of the Northwest A&F ...Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding TechnologiesDiscovery of MPK Roles in Rice by Characterizing CRISPR-Edited Mutants CRISPR-Cas9 system depends on a guide RNA (gRNA) to specify its target. Efficiently co-expressing multiple gRNAs that target different genomic sites enables multiple gene editing in the family of closely related mitogen-activated protein kinase (MPK) genes in rice (Oryza sativa).The team from Pennsylvania State University identified MPK1 and MP...Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding TechnologiesScientists Discover a Gene that Makes Fungi Pathogenic at Rothamstead Research discovered the gene that turns fungi into pathogens. The result is published in PLOS Pathogens journal. Molecular pathologist Jason Rudd and colleagues were searching for genes of the wheat pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici, which causes Septoria leaf blotch, when they observed one specimen without filaments, which ar...Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop BiotechZygote injection of CRISPR-Cas9 Modifies the Target Gene without Unwanted Effects in Pigs CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing tool has been instrumental in creating genetically modified pigs for use as biomedical or agricultural models. However, it is still unknown if the tool has an effect on the development of pig embryos. University of Missouri researchers led by Kristin Whitworth now aim to determine if DNA editing can result in delays i...Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop BiotechIPBO Fact Series on Cotton and Maize in Africa International Plant Biotechnology Outreach (IPBO) released two new Fact Series publications . The Facts Series titled Cotton in Africa reviews the impact of Bt cotton on African agricultural systems. It highlights the importance for donors and governments that invest heavily in the hope that GM crops will bring significant improvements to the l...Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:00:00 +0800Document RemindersUpdated Pocket Ks on Benefits of GM Crops versions of the following Pocket Ks are now available for download: * GM Crops and the Environment * Documented Benefits of GM Crops * Contributions of Agricultural Biotechnology in Alleviation of Poverty and HungerMost of the updated information are based on the ISAAA Brief 52 and other reports with new data available. Pocket Ks are Pocke...Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:00:00 +0800Document Reminders