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, 22 Jun 2016 17:00:00 +0800New Report Says Bioenergy Can Support Food Security international team of experts from 10 institutions has released Reconciling Food Security and Bioenergy: Priorities for Action, a report that says energy and food security can be simultaneously improved through well-designed biofuel and bioenergy development programs. The report points out that food and energy security are complementary goals, a...Wed, 22 Jun 2016 17:00:00 +0800GlobalGhanaian Scientists Urge Gov't to Invest in Agricultural Research scientists have urged their government to invest more in agricultural research. Speaking at a recent workshop on media outreach and the launch of ISAAA's Global Status of Commercialized Biotech Crops (2015), Professor Kenneth Danso, Director of the Biotechnology and Nuclear Research Institute (BNRI), called on the government to invest in a...Wed, 22 Jun 2016 17:00:00 +0800AfricaTanzania is Ready for GM Crops, Affirms Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Agri Permanent Secretary of Tanzania's Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Honorable Florens Turuka has vouched for the country's readiness to transact business on GM crops. Speaking at the launch of the ISAAA Global Report on Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops (2015), Honorable Turuka said the government intends to revolutionize agriculture by ...Wed, 22 Jun 2016 17:00:00 +0800AfricaUSSEC and USGC Collaborate to Highlight Science-based Regulatory System in EU U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and U.S. Grains Council (USGC) held meetings in Brussels, Belgium last week to discuss the delays in approvals for soybean and corn biotech events in the EU. They highlighted the need for a predictable, transparent, and science-based regulatory system in the EU. Jim Miller, USSEC Vice Chairman, and Dean Taylo...Wed, 22 Jun 2016 17:00:00 +0800AmericasISAAA Launched 2015 Biotech Crops Report in Myanmar has released the 20th Anniversary of the Global Commercialization of Biotech Crops (1996-2015) and Biotech Crop Highlights in 2015 in seminars in Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon, Myanmar on June 17 and June 18, 2016, respectively. The seminars were organized by the Agricultural University Alumni Association (AUAA) in collaboration with Yezin Agricultu...Wed, 22 Jun 2016 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificScientists Find Animal Hormone Melatonin is Involved in Plant Stress Tolerance, a well known hormone that promotes sleep in humans and animals, is also involved in stress tolerance in plants, according to a recently published study. Together with the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Texas, USA, crop physiologists from the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences at the University of Co...Wed, 22 Jun 2016 17:00:00 +0800EuropeUniversity of Leeds Study Reports Crop Breeding Not Keeping Pace with Climate Change to research led by the University of Leeds and published in Nature Climate Change, crop yields will fall within the next decade due to climate change unless immediate action is taken to speed up the introduction of new and improved varieties. The research focuses on maize in Africa, but the underlying processes affect crops across the tro...Wed, 22 Jun 2016 17:00:00 +0800EuropeTissue-specific Expression of AtNPR1 Gene in Rice Confers Sheath Blight Resistance sheath blight, caused by fungus Rhizoctonia solani, is a major disease of rice. NPR1 regulates systemic acquired resistance (SAR), conferring broad spectrum resistance to various plant pathogens. Previous reports have shown that expression of the Arabidopsis thaliana NPR1 (AtNPR1) in rice results in disease resistance but negatively impacts gr...Wed, 22 Jun 2016 17:00:00 +0800ResearchIdentification and Characterization of Nicotianamine Synthase Genes in Bread Wheat (NA) is an amino acid involved in metal uptake, transport and homeostasis in plants. Nicotianamine synthase (NAS) genes, which encode enzymes that synthesize NA, are regulated by iron status in most plant species, and plant genomes have been found to contain anywhere from 1 to 9 NAS genes.A study by researchers from the University of ...Wed, 22 Jun 2016 17:00:00 +0800ResearchBt Eggplant Performance in the Philippines for the Control of the Eggplant Fruit and Shoot Borer (Solanum melongena) is a vegetable grown throughout Asia that is ravaged by the eggplant fruit and shoot borer (EFSB) , Leucinodes orbonalis, prompting farmers to treat it heavily with insecticides. While Bt technology has been used for controlling insect pests in maize and cotton, there have been only few Bt vegetable crops.Dr. Desiree Ha...Wed, 22 Jun 2016 17:00:00 +0800ResearchU.S. FDA Approves First Experimental Zika Vaccine for Clinical Trials U.S. Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) approved the clinical trial of an experimental vaccine for Zika virus for the first time. The first experimental vaccine for Zika was developed by Inovio. The initial results of the trial, which will involve 40 adults, are expected to come out later this year. The vaccine developed by Inovio with a wor...Wed, 22 Jun 2016 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop BiotechRice University Researchers Synthesizes New Cancer Fighter University scientists have synthesized a novel anti-cancer agent, Thailanstatin A, which was isolated from a bacteria collected in Thailand.Thailanstatin A fights cancer by inhibiting the spliceosome, the machinery in the cell that edits messenger RNA after transcription but before translation. Researchers explained that the spliceosome, a com...Wed, 22 Jun 2016 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop BiotechE-cigarette Use Alter Genes Involved in Airway Immune Defense cigarettes alters dozens of genes important for immune defense and these changes likely increase the risk of infections. Now, University of North Carolina School of Medicine scientists report that electronic cigarettes alter those same genes, and more.Their findings suggest that inhaling the vaporized flavored liquids in e-cigarettes has co...Wed, 22 Jun 2016 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop BiotechProgram Management for Plant Breeders Course Program Management for Plant Breeders (Short Course) Where: UC Davis, Davis, California, USA When: September 16-22, 2016 For questions or additional information, please contact Sally Mohr (, or visit the PMPB Registration Information website....Wed, 22 Jun 2016 17:00:00 +0800AnnouncementsForest and Farm Producer Organizations-Operating Systems for the SDGs and farm producer groups are vital in achieving the expanding global need for food and forest products, as well as improving the lives in rural communities and reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This point was highlighted in the publication by the Food and agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in cooperation wi...Wed, 22 Jun 2016 17:00:00 +0800Document Reminders