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 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0800Large US Study Says No Link Between Glyphosate and Cancer large, prospective cohort study conducted among agricultural workers, farmers and their families in Iowa and North Carolina in the United States reports that there are no associations between glyphosate use and overall cancer risk or with total lymphohematopoietic cancers, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and multiple myeloma. The long term s...Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0800GlobalUS Consumers Confused with ‘Organic' and ‘Non-GM' Food Labels, Survey Shows consumers are getting confused with the "organic" and "non-GMO" labels, according to a national survey conducted by scientists at the University of Florida and Purdue University.In June 2016, the Congress approved the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard which allows companies to label GM foods by text, symbol, or QR codes. Economic...Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0800AmericasBiotech-improved Golden Potatoes Contain Higher Levels of Vitamins A and E from Ohio State University and Italian National Agency for New Technologies have developed a "golden" potato with improved levels of vitamins A and E. The result of their study is published in PLOS ONE journal. Potato is one of the most widely consumed plant foods by humans, but it has low levels of essential nutrients such as beta carot...Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0800AmericasScientists Develop Tomatoes with Enhanced Antioxidant Properties through Genetic Engineering from the University of Hong Kong (HKU), together with the Institut de Biologie Moléculaire des Plantes (CNRS, Strasbourg, France), have identified a new strategy to simultaneously enhance health-promoting vitamin E by ~6-fold, as well as double both provitamin A and lycopene contents in tomatoes, to significantly boost antioxidant prope...Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificIndian Prime Minister Discusses Agri Innovations with IRRI Rice Scientists Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed agricultural innovations with rice scientists at the International Rice Research Institute during his visit to the IRRI Headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines on November 13, 2017. PM Modi also inaugurated the Resilient Rice Field Laboratory at IRRI, where the primary scientific research conduct...Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificBiotechnology for Farmers Welfare and Poverty Reduction Chandrasekhara Rao from the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi discussed the impact of biotechnology on farmers' welfare and poverty reduction in his paper published in the Agricultural Economics Research Review. "The peer-reviewed research findings suggest higher yields, higher net income and lower chemical use with conservation tillage. The m...Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificWheat Genome Assembly Now Complete wheat genome is both colossal and complex, more than five times the size of the human genome, and has been an immense puzzle to scientists for decades. After 10 years of large scale, international research, a group of scientists has finally assembled the wheat genome to its most complete and contiguous state. Assembling the genome took a total ...Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0800EuropeDiscovery Brings Scientists One Step Closer to Crops with Twice the Yields from Wageningen University and Research have found natural genetic variation for photosynthesis in plants and are unravelling it to the DNA level. Led by Mark Aarts and Jeremy Harbinson, the research team has shown that thale cress has various genes involved in adaptation to the changes in the amount of light to which plants are exposed....Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0800EuropeSarcotoxin IA Gene from Flesh Fly Confers Enhanced Resistance to Citrus Canker in Sweet Orange canker caused by Xanthomonas citri subp. Citri (Xcc), is a serious disease in citrus-producing areas. While different levels of resistance to the disease have been reported, they are not sufficient to provide disease control. Overexpression of antibacterial genes is a potential way to increase plant resistance. Previous studies showed that s...Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0800ResearchScientists Use Cre-lox Gene Switch to Limit Bt Gene Expression in Green Tissues of Rice from Zhejiang University and China National Rice Research Institute developed a modified Cre-lox gene switch to limit the expression of Bt protein in the green tissues of rice. They used two cassettes labeled as KEY and LOCK. KEY has a nuclear-localized Cre recombinase driven by the green-tissue-specific promoter rbcS; while LOCK has a N...Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0800ResearchLowered Expressions of BnFAD2 and BnFAE1 Improve Seed Nutritional Quality in Rapeseed plants, the enzymes fatty acid dehydrogenase 2 (FAD2) and fatty acid elongase 1 (FAE1) have been known to play important roles in the synthesis of fatty acids. However, the effects of lowered expression of the FAD2 and FAE1 genes on the accumulation of storage compounds have not yet been studied.Scientists from the Zhejiang Academy of Agricultur...Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0800ResearchResearchers Use Viruses as Delivery Vectors for CRISPR-Cas9 CRISPR-Cas9 system has allowed efficient genome engineering in diverse plant species. However, delivery of genome engineering components, such as the single guide RNA (sgRNA), into plant cells remains challenging.Zahir Ali of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia engineered the Tobacco rattle virus (TRV) and the Pea...Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding TechnologiesDevelopment of Low Cadmium Elite Indica Rice Cultivars via CRISPR-Cas9 grain with excessive cadmium (Cd) is a serious threat to health for people who consume rice as a staple food. However, the development of elite rice cultivars with consistently low Cd content is challenging for conventional breeding approaches. Hunan Hybrid Rice Research Center researchers reported the development of new indica rice lines with...Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding TechnologiesAustralian OGTR Receives Application for Limited and Controlled Release of GM Buffalo Grass the Gene Technology Act 2000, the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) has received a license application (DIR 156) from RMIT University for the limited and controlled release of genetically modified (GM) buffalo grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum).DIR 156 is for the limited and controlled release of buffalo grass genetically modified f...Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop BiotechSilencing of Midgut-Expressed Genes in Lepidopterans through Ingestion of RNAi Expressing Plants RNAi (PMRi) silencing of insect genes definitely has great potential for crop protection. The team of Spoorthi Poreddy, together with researchers from the Max-Planck-Institute for Chemical Ecology evaluated the effectiveness of this approach under field conditions.The team transformed wild tobacco (Nicotiana attenuate) and cultivated...Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop Biotech