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, 21 Feb 2018 17:00:00 +0800TWAS Elects New Fellows for 2018 World Academy of Science (TWAS) announced the new fellows who were elected into membership on January 26, 2018. Out of the 55 new fellows, 16 are women, an unprecedented 29 percent of the new class. Thirty-five fellows were from China (12), India (11), Brazil (5), South Africa (4) and Taiwan, China (3). The other 18 comes from Argentina, Bangla...Wed, 21 Feb 2018 17:00:00 +0800GlobalFAO and OECD Promote Responsible Investment in Agri Organization for the Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) launched a pilot project to commence the practical application of the OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains, which provides a practical tool to help enterprises observe these and other st...Wed, 21 Feb 2018 17:00:00 +0800GlobalSocial Media Campaign Empowers Women in Science International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) and its network of Biotechnology Information Centers launched a new campaign on social media which aims to empower women in science. The campaign called, Science And She, features scientists and science communicators who tell their stories and aspirations for science...Wed, 21 Feb 2018 17:00:00 +0800GlobalMeta-Analysis of 21 Years of Data Reveals Benefits of GE Maize the major genetically engineered (GE) crops commercially grown in 26 countries, maize has the highest number of approved events (single and stacked traits) and is the second largest crop, after soybean, in terms of global adoption. Despite this, the risks and benefits of GE maize are still being debated and concerns about safety remain. Itali...Wed, 21 Feb 2018 17:00:00 +0800AmericasResearch Team Finds Gene that Improves Plant Growth and Conversion to Biofuels research team led by the University of Georgia has discovered that manipulation of a gene found in poplar trees and switchgrass produces plants that grow better and are more efficiently converted to biofuels. The researchers report that reducing the activity of the GAUT4 gene leads to lower levels of pectin, a component of plant cell walls respon...Wed, 21 Feb 2018 17:00:00 +0800AmericasGreen Super Rice for A Greener Revolution collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) has developed Green Super Rice (GSR), a new breed of rice varieties that perform well in the toughest conditions. GSR is a mix of more than 250 different potential rice varieties th...Wed, 21 Feb 2018 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificStudy Reveals How Plants Get Their Nitrogen Fix at the University of Tsukuba in Japan have identified a key genetic pathway that allows legumes to respond to soil nitrogen. They found the genetic pathway in the legume Lotus japonicus, and it controls nodulation in response to nitrogen levels in the soil. Root nodules form when there is low soil levels of fixed nitrogen molecules such...Wed, 21 Feb 2018 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificSainsbury Laboratory Scientists Solved 79-Year-Old Mystery of Plant Response to Heat at the Sainsbury Laboratory have discovered how plants vary their response to heat stress depending on the time of day, solving a 79-year-old mystery. Since 1939, it has been known that plants' response to heat stress fluctuates between day and night. The daily cycle of plant heat resistance is a strategy that protects plants from the ho...Wed, 21 Feb 2018 17:00:00 +0800EuropeInternational Research Team Gains New Insights into Tomato Breeding gain new insights into tomato breeding and their consequences, a group of researchers from China, USA, Bulgaria, and Germany analyzed the metabolic constitution and the genetic background of tomato fruits. In a paper published in the journal Cell, they presented an overview about the human influence on the chemical composition of a crop plant fo...Wed, 21 Feb 2018 17:00:00 +0800EuropeMustard Gene Improves Health-Promoting Compounds in Tomato 3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A synthase (HMGS) of the mevalonate pathway produces phytosterols, which can lower blood cholesterol levels. In a previous study, the overexpression of the BjHMGS1 synthase from mustard (Brassica juncea) increased sterol content in Arabidopsis.Using the same method, the team of Pan Liao from the University of...Wed, 21 Feb 2018 17:00:00 +0800ResearchSmall Signaling Peptide Enhances Drought Tolerance in Rice signaling peptides play important roles in plant development and its responses to abiotic and biotic stresses. A research team led by Yanchun Cui of the Chinese Academy of Sciences identified a novel small peptide gene in rice, OsDSSR1.The gene was found to be expressed mainly in the roots, sheaths, nodes, leaves, and panicles of rice plants....Wed, 21 Feb 2018 17:00:00 +0800ResearchShCIGT Confers Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Tomato trihelix transcription factor family plays important roles in plant morphological development and adaptation to abiotic stresses. Huazhong Agricultural University researchers, led by Chuying Yu have isolated a cold-induced gene, ShCIGT, from the wild tomato Solanum habrochaites. The team aims to study its role in abiotic stress tolerance.ShCIGT...Wed, 21 Feb 2018 17:00:00 +0800ResearchZFN Used to Study Rice SSIVa Gene of the popular genome editing technologies used in plants is the Zinc Finger Nuclease (ZFN), which are proteins composed of a zinc finger-based DNA binding domain and a DNA cleavage domain. The team of Yu-Jin Jung of the Hankyong National University in South Korea used ZFNs to target SSIVa, a soluble starch synthase involved in starch biosynthe...Wed, 21 Feb 2018 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding TechnologiesResearchers Test CRISPR-Cas9 Gene Editing on Brown Planthopper brown planthopper (Nilaparvata lugens), or BPH, is one of the most destructive insect pests in Asia, demonstrating high fertility and causing huge crop losses in rice yield. However, genomic studies on BPH are seriously hampered by lack of genetic tools. The team of Wen-Hua Xue from Zhejiang University in China tried to apply CRISPR-Cas9 on BPH...Wed, 21 Feb 2018 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding TechnologiesDisruption of OsSEC3A Induces Plant Defense Responses in Rice exocyst, a protein complex involved in exocytosis, has been reported to be involved in plant growth and development in Arabidopsis. However, the functions of exocytotic molecules in rice are poorly understood. A team of researchers led by Jin Ma from Peking University in China examined the function of OsSEC3A, an important subunit of the exocys...Wed, 21 Feb 2018 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding TechnologiesGene that Could Make More Viable Ever-bearing Strawberries from University of Maryland, USA have isolated a gene that controls flowering and runnering behavior, which can be altered to help improve plant development and make less productive varieties more commercially viable. The results are published in Molecular Plant. According to Professor Zhongchi Liu of the University of Maryland, a co-au...Wed, 21 Feb 2018 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop BiotechScientists Use CRISPR to Make Cellular Recorders from Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts used CRISPR-Cas9 to transform DNA into a sensitive recording device that can document the duration and order of events occurring within cells and even delete and re-record data in the same genome. The research findings are published in Science. According to David Liu, ...Wed, 21 Feb 2018 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop BiotechInternational Biotechnology and Research Conference 2018 International Biotechnology and Research Conference 2018When: April 25-27, 2018Where: Rome ItalyFor more details, visit the conference website....Wed, 21 Feb 2018 17:00:00 +0800Announcements