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, 25 May 2016 17:00:00 +0800Scientists Investigate GM Food Awareness in Enugu, Nigeria from the University of Nigeria conducted a study to identify the level of awareness on genetically modified food of food consumers in Enugu, Nigeria. Enugu is an ancient coal-city of great political, commercial and socio-economic importance. Results of the survey showed that most of the respondents were not very much aware (36.7%) abou...Wed, 25 May 2016 17:00:00 +0800AfricaMalawi's Seed Sector Calls on Govt to Adopt GM Crops's seed sector has called on the Government to consider genetically modified drought tolerant maize to counter the food shortages caused by frequent droughts in the country. The Government was also requested to fast-track the commercialization of insect resistant (Bt) cotton whose confined field trials (CFTs) have been concluded. The seed sec...Wed, 25 May 2016 17:00:00 +0800AfricaSwaziland Minister Expresses Support to Amend the Biosafety Law director for agriculture in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Nelson Mavuso, has urged members of parliament to fast-track the proposed amendment to the country's biosafety law. Speaking at a recent awareness seminar on biotechnology and biosafety for members of parliament, Mr. Mavuso urged MPs to consider revising the liability clause in ...Wed, 25 May 2016 17:00:00 +0800AfricaChance Finding in Guelph Study Could Transform Future of Plant Production of Guelph researchers had an almost accidental discovery that could transform food and biofuel production and increase carbon capture on farmland.The team found that by tweaking a plant's genetic profile, plant growth and seed production increased by more than 400 percent. They studied Arabidopsis and found that inserting a particular co...Wed, 25 May 2016 17:00:00 +0800AmericasSalk Institute Scientists Map Landscape of Genetic and Epigenetic Regulation in Plants new technique developed by scientists from Salk Institute to rapidly map regions of DNA targeted by regulatory proteins could provide insight into what makes some plants drought tolerant or disease resistant. Revealing this landscape of protein-binding zones on DNA, called the "cistrome," shows how plants control where and when genes are expresse...Wed, 25 May 2016 17:00:00 +0800AmericasUniversity Illinois Scientist Identifies Mechanism for Herbicide Resistance in Palmer Amaranth new study co-authored by University of Illinois weed scientist Patrick Tranel shows that Palmer amaranth populations from Arkansas are now resistant to a class of herbicides known as PPO-inhibitors (PPOs). PPOs were used extensively in the early 1990s in soybeans, but when Roundup Ready® crops came along, most farmers switched to using glyphosate...Wed, 25 May 2016 17:00:00 +0800AmericasBiologists Discover How Plants Reconstitute Stem Cells cells are thought to have the intrinsic ability to generate or replace specialized cells. However, a team of biologists at NYU showed that regenerating plants can naturally-reestablish their stem cells from more mature cells by replaying embryogenesis.The researchers studied plant root regeneration using lineage tracing to determine the origin...Wed, 25 May 2016 17:00:00 +0800AmericasPhilippine American Academy of Science and Engineering Calls for Resumption of Bt Eggplant Research a statement, the Philippine American Academy of Science and Engineering (PAASE) expressed strong support for the continuation of research and development and field testing of Bt eggplant in the Philippines, following the Supreme Court order halting its field testing last December 2015. Under the new biosafety guidelines of the Philippines signed...Wed, 25 May 2016 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificThe Royal Society Releases Guide on GM Plants Royal Society has drawn a panel of scientific experts and came up with a guide titled Genetically Modified (GM) Plants: Questions and Answers. The guide addresses 18 important questions asked by the general public about GM crops, based on the results of a survey. These questions include: * What is genetic modification (GM) of crops and how is ...Wed, 25 May 2016 17:00:00 +0800EuropeScientists Battle to Stem Onslaught of Pseudoscience in Europe of Leicester Professor Pat Heslop-Harrison has joined leading scientists across Europe in raising against the ‘pseudoscience' concerning regulation of compounds used in agriculture, healthcare, and industry. Professor Heslop-Harrison and fellow scientists met Dr. Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner of Health and Food Safety earli...Wed, 25 May 2016 17:00:00 +0800EuropeBritish Crop Protection Council Challenges Green Alliance's Opposition to Glyphosate and GM Crops EU Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed continues to be deadlocked over the renewal of licences for glyphosate use, which will expire on June 30, 2016, unless extended. The Green Alliance, composed of 46 Members in the European Parliament (MEP), is opposing the renewal. The Alliance's concern is that the opinion of the European ...Wed, 25 May 2016 17:00:00 +0800EuropeWRKY Genes from Wheat Confer Drought and Heat Resistance in Arabidopsis transcription factors play important roles in regulation of plant processes, including drought stress response. However, limited information is available on drought-responsive WRKY genes in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). The team of Guan-Hua He and Ji-Yuan Xu from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences identified 48 WRKY genes from wheat....Wed, 25 May 2016 17:00:00 +0800ResearchGmSAMT1 Overexpression in Soybean Confers Resistance to Soybean Cyst Nematode Races salicylic acid methyl transferase (GmSAMT1) catalyzes the conversion of salicylic acid to methyl salicylate. Previous studies have shown that GmSAMT1 overexpression in soybean conferred resistance against soybean cyst nematode (SCN), Heterodera glycines Ichinohe.Researchers from the University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and...Wed, 25 May 2016 17:00:00 +0800ResearchResearchers Develop Cell Labeling via Photobleaching Tagging Method work led by Santiago Costantino from Université de Montréal, Dr. Claudia Kleinman of the Jewish General Hospital and McGill University, and a team of collaborators, has successfully developed Cell Labeling via Photobleaching (CLaP), a method that enables instant, specific labeling of individual cells. This will become a vital ally in a ran...Wed, 25 May 2016 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop BiotechSoluble Expression of Spike Protein of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus in E. coli epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) is a highly contagious pathogen of swine. The spike glycoprotein (S) of PEDV plays a pivotal role in the induction of neutralizing antibodies against PEDV, which could be an ideal target for vaccine development. To develop a subunit vaccine for PEDV, Da-Chuan Piao of Seoul National University cloned two differ...Wed, 25 May 2016 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop Biotech