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 Apr 2018 17:00:00 +0800FAO Calls for Global Coordination for a Bioeconomy that Leaves No One Behind can help efforts to tackle pressing global concerns, including hunger, poverty, and climate change. This was according to Food and Agriculture Organization Deputy Director-General for Climate and Natural Resources, Maria Helena Semedo, speaking at the Global Bioeconomy Summit in Berlin, Germany on April 20, 2018.Bioeconomy refers to an e...Wed, 25 Apr 2018 17:00:00 +0800GlobalCIMMYT Scientist Uses Native Maize Varieties to Find Novel Traits for Breeding scientist at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) is working to help farmers face the challenges posed by climate change by using the natural diversity of plants to unlock desirable genetic traits inside food crops. Terry Molnar, maize phenotyping and breeding specialist at CIMMYT, studies the traits found in different ma...Wed, 25 Apr 2018 17:00:00 +0800AmericasA Scientist Works to Increase Water Saving Potential of Crops is the one ingredient that plants absolutely depend on. Farmers use irrigation and other cultural practices to make the most of available moisture, but crops are still vulnerable to heat and drought. Plants also lose water through transpiration, which accounts for more than 98 percent of water taken up by plants.Avat Shekoofa, assistant profe...Wed, 25 Apr 2018 17:00:00 +0800AmericasEarth BioGenome Project Holds Solutions for Agriculture's Future U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has partnered with the Earth BioGenome Project (EBP) in an effort that will yield millions of powerful new solutions to agriculture's challenges. EBP is an international cooperative initiative to sequence in the next 10 years the DNA of more than 1.5 million species—those more complex than bacteria—represen...Wed, 25 Apr 2018 17:00:00 +0800AmericasAgri-Biotech Project Featured in Farm Tourism Field Immersion in PH an effort to showcase one of the current agricultural trends in the Philippines, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture Biotechnology Information Center (SEARCA BIC), in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 11 Press Corps, conducted a field immersion in Terra Verde Eco Farm and ...Wed, 25 Apr 2018 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificFostering Innovation Key for a Healthy, Wealthy and Food-secure Commonwealth countries must embrace innovations to address food, fuel, and health needs of her people. This was a clarion call by scientists and government representatives attending the Commonwealth Innovation Forum (TCIF), held in Queensland, Australia from April 5-6, 2018. The forum unanimously acknowledged innovation's role in delivering diversi...Wed, 25 Apr 2018 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificEuropaBio: EU Must Reinstate Science in GMO Safety Assessment; Stop Unneeded Animal Testing Späth, the director of agricultural biotechnology at EuropaBio, has called for political interference with GMO risk assessment in the EU to stop, and for unnecessary animal testing to end. Reacting to the outcomes of the EU research projects GRACE, G-TwYST and GMO90+ presented at a conference in the Slovak Republic on April 16, 2018, Späth sai...Wed, 25 Apr 2018 17:00:00 +0800EuropeEFSA Publishes Scientific Opinion on Three‐Event Stack Cotton GHB614 × LLCotton25 × MON 15985 European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms has published the Scientific Opinion on the safety of insect resistant and herbicide tolerant genetically modified (GM) cotton GHB614 × LLCotton25 × MON15985 (Unique Identifier BCS‐GHØØ2‐5 × ACS‐GHØØ1‐3 × MON‐15985‐7). The scientifi...Wed, 25 Apr 2018 17:00:00 +0800EuropeWhy Rice Planthoppers Do Not Prefer Bt Rice Plants resistant Bt rice lines have been developed in China. Field surveys showed that Bt rice plants have less rice planthoppers (Nilapavata lugens) than non-Bt rice, although planthoppers are not targeted by the insecticidal proteins in Bt rice. Thus, Xingyun Wang of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and colleagues conducted an investi...Wed, 25 Apr 2018 17:00:00 +0800ResearchTransformation of Encoded GA20-oxidase Gene in Tobacco of gene GA20ox encoding gibberellin 20-oxidase (GA20-oxidase) in plants has resulted in improved stem elongation and growth rate. However, constitutive overexpression of GA20ox driven by the cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35S promoter is frequently accompanied by undesirable phenotypes such as poor rooting and small leaves.A study c...Wed, 25 Apr 2018 17:00:00 +0800ResearchOsPK2 Gene Involved in Starch Synthesis and Grain Filling in Rice is the main form of energy storage in higher plants. While a big part of starch biosynthesis has been defined, the complete mechanism remains unknown. To further study this pathway, the team of Yicong Cai from the China National Rice Research Institute identified a defective grain filling rice mutant, ospk2, which displays lower grain weight...Wed, 25 Apr 2018 17:00:00 +0800ResearchDominant Allele Restricts Nodulation of Rhizobium Species in Soybean fredii is a rhizobial species that can establish a nitrogen-fixing symbiosis with a wide range of legume species. In soybean (Glycine max), this interaction shows a high level of specificity since S. fredii strains nodulate only on a limited set of soybean genotypes. The team of Yinglun Fan from the Liaocheng University in China ident...Wed, 25 Apr 2018 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding TechnologiesResearchers Perform Targeted Mutation and Gene Replacement in Tomato genome editing is becoming an increasingly important tool for precise plant breeding. A team led by Tal Dahan‐Meir from Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel used a combination of the CRISPR‐Cas system and the bean yellow dwarf virus rolling circle replicon to facilitate targeted mutagenesis and gene replacement in tomato.The...Wed, 25 Apr 2018 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding TechnologiesApplication of CRISPR-Cas9 Genome Editing in Wild Strawberry CRISPR-Cas9 system is an effective editing tool for plant and animal genomes. However, there are only a few reports on the application of CRISPR-Cas9 to horticultural plants. The team of Junhui Zhou from the University of Maryland in the USA aimed to evaluate the application of CRISPR-Cas9 in wild strawberry (Fragaria vesca) by targeting the au...Wed, 25 Apr 2018 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding TechnologiesCRISPR Reveals the Role of SlMPK20 Protein in Tomato Pollen Development protein kinases (MAPKs) regulate plant growth. However, their role in plant reproductive development remains unknown. The team from Zhejiang University in China recently discovered the role of SlMPK20, an MAPK, in pollen development in tomato (Lycopersicum esculenta).Knock-out of SlMPK20 via CRISPR-Cas9 editing completely eliminat...Wed, 25 Apr 2018 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding TechnologiesResearch Team Creates Detailed Map of Genetic Evolution of Brewer's Yeast team of researchers from several institutions in France has created a detailed map of the genetic evolution of brewer's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), the yeast used in making bread, wine, and beer. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the researchers note that S. cerevisiae has been used extensively by humans for a very long time. ...Wed, 25 Apr 2018 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop BiotechScientists Develop Insulin-Deficient Pigs for Diabetes Research pigs for diabetic research can be beneficial due to their similarity in size, pathogenesis pathway, physiology, and metabolism to humans. However, only a few pig models present diabetes symptoms. The team of Bumrae Cho from the Biotechnology Research Institute in South Korea has successfully developed insulin-deficient pigs by targeting the p...Wed, 25 Apr 2018 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop Biotech2018 BIO International Convention 2018 BIO International ConventionWhen: June 4-7, 2018Where: Boston, USAFor more details, visit the conference website....Wed, 25 Apr 2018 17:00:00 +0800Announcements