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, 10 Feb 2016 17:00:00 +0800Naturally Occurring Plant Enzyme to Increase Wheat Yields at Lancaster University, Rothamsted Research, and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) have studied the naturally occurring plant enzyme Rubisco to explore its ability to increase wheat yields. The research team measured photosynthesis in 25 genotypes of wheat, including wild relatives of bread wheat, and found t...Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:00:00 +0800Global"Molecular Memory" Helps Plants Remember Daylight During Winter A. Nusinow and researchers in his laboratory at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center studying plant circadian clock have discovered a gene that allows plants to remember daylight during winter's long nights. The gene, PCH1, helps plants tailor their growth according to the seasons. It accumulates at dusk and stabilizes light signals in t...Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:00:00 +0800AmericasStudy Explains How Corn Plants Fight Off Simultaneous Attacks plants face different herbivorous insects that chew on leaves, pierce and suck out sap or plant cell fluids, bore into stems, or consume the roots. Insects consume 6-19 percent of the world corn crop each year, while also spreading bacteria and viruses between plants. A recent study conducted by Professor Georg Jander's group at the Boyce Thom...Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:00:00 +0800AmericasAncient Gene Network Helps Plants Adapt to Their Environments Marja Timmermans and a team of scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have discovered the purpose of one genetic tool that is present in both mosses and flowering plants. The tool, called small RNA, has been used to make plants more sensitive to environmental cues and facilitate responses to those cues.Small RNAs regulate gene...Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:00:00 +0800AmericasCharu Mayee Awarded "Majha Sheti Sanman Puraskar" Naam Foundation of the renowned Bollywood actor Nana Patekar and Marthi News Channel ABP Majha has awarded Dr. Charu Mayee with Majha Sheti Sanman Puraskar for his untiring work in delivering innovation in Indian agriculture. The award was presented to Dr. Mayee by Nana Patekar and fellow actor Makrand Anaspure, together with the 'water man' of...Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificPunjab Seed Council Approves New Seedless Citrus's Punjab Seed Council has approved a new citrus variety on February 1, 2016. The approval was given during the Council's 45th meeting at Agriculture House, Lahore. This new variety is called RE-2016, and and its production could help promote citrus exports citrus to Russia, Great Britain, United States, Germany, and other European countrie...Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the Pacific4th Public Consultation Held for Revised GM Regulatory Guidelines in the Philippines National Committee on Biosafety of the Philippines (NCBP) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) organized a fourth Public Consultation for the crafting of the Joint Department Circular titled "Rules and Regulations for the Research and Development, Handling and Use, Transboundary Movement, Release into the Environment and Managemen...Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificVitamin B6 Role in Plants Discovered from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, have discovered an unexpected role for Vitamin B6 in relation to nitrogen metabolism. Vitamin B6, a micronutrient, exists in different natural forms called vitamers. The study indicates that one of the vitamers informs the plant of its content in ammonium, a basic nitrogen compound nee...Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:00:00 +0800EuropeScientists Uncover Signalling Pathway of Long-Established Immune Receptor team of scientists at The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL) and Wageningen University has uncovered one of the mechanisms of tomato plants' defense against disease-causing pathogens. Plants are under constant attack by pathogens such as bacteria and fungi. To prevent infections, plants have an innate immune system, which detects pathogens and initiates ...Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:00:00 +0800EuropeComparative Analysis of Cotton Near Isogenic Lines Reveal Genes Related to High Fiber Strength strength is usually measured through bundle fiber strength (BFS) assessed from bundles of fibers. However, BFS is not always correlated with individual yarn strength and mechanisms responsible for its regulation remain unknown.USDA-ARS researchers, led by Md S. Islam, studied the mechanisms involved in individual fiber strength using Gossypiu...Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:00:00 +0800ResearchMetabolic Engineering of Terpene Biosynthesis using a Transcription Factor MsYABBY5 from Spearmint aromatic plants like spearmint (Mentha spicata), secondary metabolite production happens in specialized structures called peltate glandular trichomes (PGT). These secondary metabolites are exploited as flavors, fragrances and pharmaceuticals. However, knowledge about transcription factors (TFs) that regulate secondary metabolism in PGT remains e...Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:00:00 +0800ResearchDevelopment of a Novel Transgenic Cotton to Control Bollworm cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera) is an important pest of cotton causing great losses in production. To develop resistant cotton varieties, Zhen Yue and researchers from the China Agricultural University cloned the gene encoding for neuropeptide F (NPF) from cotton bollworm.The npf gene was found to regulate feeding behavior of cotton budw...Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:00:00 +0800ResearchResearchers Identify Genetic Makeup of Dangerous E. coli Strains multi-disciplinary group of researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) led by Drs. David Rasko and Michael Donnenberg have determined the genetic makeup of various strains of E. coli that are much more lethal than others. The team, including researchers in The Gambia, Mali, Kenya, Mozambique, India, Pakistan, and Bangla...Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop BiotechWSU Researchers Discover How a Helpful Protein Can also Cause Cancer State University researchers have determined how a protein that helps cells fight viruses can also cause genetic mutations that lead to cancer. The research shows how the expression of a protein causes mutations to accumulate in actively replicating DNA.The lab of Steven Roberts, an assistant professor in the WSU School of Molecular Bios...Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop BiotechPhilippine and Thailand BICs Join Cornell Alliance for Science Asia Leadership Course Philippines' Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture-Biotechnology Information Center (SEARCA BIC) and Thailand's Biotechnology and Biosafety Information Center (BBIC) took part in the Cornell Alliance for Science Asia Leadership Course on Strategic Planning and Effective Grassroots Organizing held at Dusi...Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:00:00 +0800From the BICs