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, 15 Aug 2018 17:00:00 +0800Fall Armyworm Expected to Spread from India to Other Parts of Asia Armyworm is likely to spread from India to other countries in South East Asia and South China, putting food security and farmer livelihoods at risk. This news is according to the warning of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The pest was first reported in Asia affecting crops in India. The insect has the ability...Wed, 15 Aug 2018 17:00:00 +0800GlobalGhana Inspired by Nigeria's Bt Cotton Commercialization"We need a bold move... to help farmers just as Nigeria has done," said Daniel Osei Ofosu, Ghana country coordinator of the Program for Biosafety Systems (PBS) of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). Only the most encouraging words were said by the PBS-IFRI Country Coordinator, together with Dr. Richard Ampadu Ameyaw, Ghana coo...Wed, 15 Aug 2018 17:00:00 +0800AfricaConsistency in Biotech Reporting Vital in Cultivating Public Awareness Kenya Chapter of Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB) has recognized journalists for their consistent reporting on agricultural biotechnology. The event, held in Nairobi on August 9, 2018, brought together more than 150 biotechnology stakeholders, including journalists, scientists, policy makers, regulators, and producers. ...Wed, 15 Aug 2018 17:00:00 +0800AfricaIndigenous Mexican Corn Variety Captures Nitrogen from Air multidisciplinary research team from the University of California, Davis, the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and Mars, Incorporated have discovered that an indigenous variety of corn from Mexico can "fix nitrogen" from the atmosphere instead of requiring synthetic fertilizers. The study found that a corn variety growing in Mexico's Sierra Mixe ...Wed, 15 Aug 2018 17:00:00 +0800AmericasDrought Tolerant HB4 Soybeans Introduced in Argentina new soybean trait is bound to help farmers get compelling yield increases even under challenging climate conditions. The new technology dubbed as the HB4 soybean trait was presented by Verdeca at the AAPRESID Congress held in Cordoba, Argentina on August 8-10, 2018. The introduction of the new technology aims to invite soybean growers to particip...Wed, 15 Aug 2018 17:00:00 +0800AmericasFDA Approves Sugar from Brazil's Bt Sugarcane United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) has concluded that raw and refined sugar from genetically engineered insect resistant sugarcane CTC175-A developed by the Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira (CTC) in Brazil are as safe as raw and refined sugar derived from conventional sugarcane varieties. The US FDA's Biotechnology Consultation ...Wed, 15 Aug 2018 17:00:00 +0800AmericasAsian Food Safety Association Conference Tackles Strategies for Food Security strategies on securing food were highlighted at the 4th International Conference on Food Safety and Food Security organized by the Asian Food Safety Association (AFSA). A range of conventional to modern methods of agriculture research and development were presented by 18 countries during the forum, with the goal of contributing to the achie...Wed, 15 Aug 2018 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificScientists Unlock Seed Germination Process of York scientists have identified a key gene that helps seeds decide whether to germinate. Scientists have known that the plant hormones abscisic acid (ABA) and gibberelins (GA) play an important role in seed germination. However, in this breakthrough research, they identified the MFT gene as the key component that integrates signals fr...Wed, 15 Aug 2018 17:00:00 +0800EuropeRNA-based pesticide, an Environmentally Friendly Alternative in Pre- and Post-harvest Plant Protection discovery of the ability of sRNAs to travel from the pest or pathogen to the host cell to block the host's ability to fight back allows new possibilities for pre- and post-harvest management in crops. This ability of sRNAs is called "cross-kingdom RNAi". This RNA-based pesticide that works through spray-induced gene silencing (SIGS) is a more e...Wed, 15 Aug 2018 17:00:00 +0800ResearchResearchers Study Spatial Distribution and Losses Caused by Corn Ear Pests in Bt and Non-Bt Corn corn, a lepidopteran-resistant corn plant, has helped lessen crop loss caused by insect infestation, however, the farm landscape structure still requires attention and appropriate planning is needed for successful pest management. Thus, studying the spatial distribution of corn ear pests and the losses they cause is important.In the study conduc...Wed, 15 Aug 2018 17:00:00 +0800ResearchGenome-wide Characterization of Stress-response Gene Family in Cotton availability of cotton DNA and RNA sequences enabled scientists to perform several characterizations on cotton LOX stress resistance gene family. The growth of cotton, an important "cash crop" in many developing countries, is negatively affected by salinity stress. Thus, research contributing to the management of such stress in cotton is consta...Wed, 15 Aug 2018 17:00:00 +0800ResearchWheat TaNBP1 Gene Regulates Plant Adaption to Nitrogen Starvation (NO3−) is the major source of nitrogen for higher plants. Improving N use efficiency of crops has been sought after to promote sustainable agriculture. The plant regulation mechanism associated with N uptake and other related processes affect the plants N starvation tolerance. Zhipeng Liu and Yingjia Zhao from the Agricultural Univers...Wed, 15 Aug 2018 17:00:00 +0800ResearchResearchers Develop CRISPR System for Salsifies or salsifies from the Asteraceae family is an excellent model for polyploidy studies. An efficient CRISPR-Cas9-based genome editing technique for salsifies will greatly aid studies on the genetics of polyploidy. University of Florida researchers led by Shengchen Shan aimed at developing a CRISPR-Cas9 system for salsifies.The team establi...Wed, 15 Aug 2018 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding TechnologiesCamelina Fatty Acid Composition Improved Using CRISPR (Camelina sativa) fatty acids have important industry uses, such as for biodiesels or as nutritional supplements. Very long chain fatty acid (VLCFAs) are undesirable for human consumption and produced by the action of fatty acid elongase1 (FAE1). Camelina has three FAE1 alleles, namely, FAE1-A, FAE1-B, and FAE1-C, due to its allohexaploid ...Wed, 15 Aug 2018 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding TechnologiesCRISPR Removes Bitter Compound in Potato Hairy Roots tissues in potato (Solanum tuberosum) accumulate steroidal glycoalkaloids (SGAs) α-solanine and α-chaconine. These molecules confer a bitter taste to humans and are toxic to various organisms. Hence, reducing the SGA content in the tubers is requisite for potato breeding. Previous studies suggested that silencing several SGA syntheti...Wed, 15 Aug 2018 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding TechnologiesProduction of Genome-Edited Rats Using rGONAD Method novel CRISPR-Cas9 method called Genome-editing via Oviductal Nucleic Acids Delivery (GONAD) was initially developed in mice. Working from this method, the team of Tomoe Kobayashi, Masumi Namba, and Takayuki Koyano from Shigei Medical Research Institute developed the "improved GONAD" (i-GONAD), which does not require ex vivo handling of embryos, t...Wed, 15 Aug 2018 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop Biotech6th Annual South Asia Biosafety Conference 6th Annual South Asia Biosafety ConferenceWhen: September 15, 2018 – September 17, 2018Where: Dhaka, BangladeshFor more details, visit the conference website....Wed, 15 Aug 2018 17:00:00 +0800Announcements