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, 27 May 2015 17:00:00 +0800UN Report Shows Projected Results for MDG Health Targets by Year End is the final year for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which were set by governments in 2000 to guide global initiatives to end poverty. The World Heath Organization (WHO) released the World Health Statistics, which showed mixed results on the progress of health-related goals in each of the 194 countries. According to WHO, if...Wed, 27 May 2015 17:00:00 +0800GlobalMozambique Steps Forward in Achieving Food Security breakthroughs in biotech research in Mozambique and Tanzania have led to approval of confined field trials and a more research-friendly regulatory framework, respectively. The confined field trials will be held at Instituto de Investigação Agrária de Moçambique (IIAM or Agricultural Research Institute of Mozambique) research station at Chokw...Wed, 27 May 2015 17:00:00 +0800AfricaGenes Involved in Giant Tomato Fruit Size Revealed varieties usually produce small, berry fruit sized fruits, but apparently, there is a tomato variety that produces a giant fruit weighing over a pound. This variety is called beefsteak tomato, and this ability to produce larger fruit size, makes it different and unusual. The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) researchers studied the beefst...Wed, 27 May 2015 17:00:00 +0800AmericasUSDA APHIS Releases Draft Documents for GE Corn and Cotton for Public Review USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) released the draft environmental assessment (EA) and preliminary plant pest risk assessment (PPRA) for GE corn with resistance to corn rootworm and glyphosate herbicide developed by Monsanto. This is in response to the developer's petition to deregulate the GE corn. USDA APHIS also release...Wed, 27 May 2015 17:00:00 +0800AmericasResearchers Produce Most Complete Functional Map of a Sucrose-Degrading Enzyme Family at the US Department of Energy (DOE) have developed and analyzed high-resolution crystal structures of an enzyme from the cellulose-degrading GH55 family. The team used a variety of techniques that resulted in the "most complete functional mapping of an entire GH family available to date." The researchers from the Joint Genome Institute...Wed, 27 May 2015 17:00:00 +0800AmericasIRRI Study Shows Rice Preferences of South Asians Market Research Team of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) released the preliminary results of their study conducted to understand the preferences of rice consumers in South Asia in terms of rice quality and characteristics. The findings will contribute to the development of product profiles for a more targeted rice breeding progr...Wed, 27 May 2015 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificSupercomputer Unlocks the Secrets of Plant Cells for More Resilient Crops from the University of Melbourne and Queensland and IBM Research have been able to model the structure and dynamics of cellulose at the molecular level. Dr. Monika Doblin from the University of Melbourne said cellulose is a vital part of plant structure, but its synthesis is yet to be fully understood. "It's difficult to work on cellulos...Wed, 27 May 2015 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificCAS Researchers Clone Heat Tolerance Gene from African Rice Variety team of scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences led by Lin Hongxuan successfully isolated and cloned heat tolerance genes from African rice strains, which could be used to develop rice varieties that can resist the effects of global warming.According to Lin, temperatures over 35 degrees Celsius decreased the productivity of rice plants. H...Wed, 27 May 2015 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificEFSA's GMO Network Discuss Risk Assessment of GMOs Scientific Network on Risk Assessment of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO Network) conducted its 6th annual meeting on May 12-13, 2015 in Parma, Italy and discussed the upcoming EFSA outputs and activities relating to risk assessment of GMOs. The meeting was attended by over 40 scientific experts from 26 European Members States as well as fr...Wed, 27 May 2015 17:00:00 +0800EuropeScientists Discover Plant Receptors with Built-in Decoys that Make Pathogens Betray Themselves research group headed by Professor Jonathan Jones at The Sainsbury Laboratory has discovered plant receptors carrying built-in decoys that detect pathogens and raise the cell's alarm during infection. Pathogens target the plant's defense machinery to stop immune response. Plants have evolved to display these targets on receptors that are primed...Wed, 27 May 2015 17:00:00 +0800EuropeModifying RNA Extraction Methods for Better RNA Quality team of researchers led by Ingrid E. Jordan-Thaden from University of Florida developed an RNA extraction technique in a variety of plants. Their aim was to get high quality RNA from chemically complex plants through a fast, effective, and reliable RNA extraction method. In the study, the researchers proposed three methods for RNA extraction, the...Wed, 27 May 2015 17:00:00 +0800ResearchA Genetic Device to Degrade Targeted DNA in GMO Developed Institute of Technology researchers, Brian J. Caliando and Christopher A. Voigt developed a genetically encoded device based on the CRISPR system, the DNAi, that has the ability to respond to transcriptional input and degrades specific DNA. This enables engineered regions to be concealed when the cell enters a new environment.In the C...Wed, 27 May 2015 17:00:00 +0800ResearchNAST Philippines Discusses Livestock Nutritional Biotech National Academy of Science and Technology of the Philippines (NAST PHL), held a roundtable discussion on Livestock Nutritional Biotechnology: Pre and Probiotics in Food Animals on May 11, 2015 at Hotel Jen, Pasay City, Manila. The activity focused on the hazards of the long-term consumption of meat and meat products with antibiotic residues fr...Wed, 27 May 2015 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop BiotechSex Determining Genes in Mosquitoes Could Help Fight Dengue Fever at the Fralin Life Science Institute at Virginia Tech have identified a gene responsible for sex determination in mosquitoes that transmit yellow fever, dengue, and chikungunya viruses. The researchers identified a male-determining genetic switch called Nix in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that underlies the difference between males and fema...Wed, 27 May 2015 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop BiotechScreening Genetic Defects in Domestic Livestock Tackled in NAST PHL Roundtable Discussion importance of genetic markers and genome mapping as tools in domestic animal breeds were highlighted and elaborated on during the roundtable discussion on Screening Genetic Defects in Domestic Livestock Industry organized by the National Academy of Science and Technology Philippines (NAST PHL) on May 14, 2015 at Acacia Hotel, Manila. The activi...Wed, 27 May 2015 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop Biotech