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, 26 Apr 2017 17:00:00 +0800Updates on GM Crop Field Trials in Malawi is one of the African countries with promising developments towards commercialization of GM crops. With a fully functional biosafety framework, field trials of cotton, cowpea, and banana are currently taking place in the country.The Biosafety Act of Malawi was passed in 2002, the biosafety regulations in 2007, and the National Biotechnology ...Wed, 26 Apr 2017 17:00:00 +0800AfricaAfrican Women in Biosciences Call for Supportive Policies on Biotechnology women in biosciences expressed their concerns on the unpredictable biotechnology and biosafety policy environment and urged the government to streamline coordination between relevant regulatory arms to enable research. The women were speaking during the inaugural Women in Biosciences Forum held in Nairobi, Kenya on April 20, 2017.Dr. Feliste...Wed, 26 Apr 2017 17:00:00 +0800AfricaFDA Extends Comment Period for Gene-edited Plants U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the extension of comment period for the use of genome editing techniques to develop new plant varieties for food or feed. The docket was announced in the Federal Register on January 19, 2017 which was subjected to a 90-day comment period until April 19, 2017. A new deadline has been set as per request...Wed, 26 Apr 2017 17:00:00 +0800AmericasResearch Team Identifies Genetic Target for Growing Hardier Plants Under Stress serve as the plant's mouth, absorbing, storing, and channeling water and nutrients essential for survival. Tremendous research has been done to develop plants that are more effective at these tasks. In a new study, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have identified two proteins - SERRATE and GRP8 - that regulate whether a cell in p...Wed, 26 Apr 2017 17:00:00 +0800AmericasGene that Influences Grain Yield Discovered gene that influences grain yield in grasses that are related to food crops was discovered by researchers at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center's Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels (Enterprise Institute).In a paper published in Nature Plants on April 18, 2017, a team led by Dr. Thomas Brutnell, director of the Enterprise Ins...Wed, 26 Apr 2017 17:00:00 +0800AmericasHigh-yielding Biotech Seeds to Help Filipino Farmers to Export Corn Philippine government was urged to promote high-yielding biotech corn seeds to boost production and enable farmers to export. This call was given by Monsanto Philippines Commercial Lead, Rachelle Lomibao during an interview after the launch of the company's new hybrid corn variety, Dekalb 6999S. She stressed that expanding the use of modern tec...Wed, 26 Apr 2017 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificMost Accurate and Complete Wheat Genome to Date Has Been Released most accurate and complete DNA analyses of the wheat genome to date has been reported in the journal Genome Research by a group of scientists at the John Innes Centre (JIC), in collaboration with colleagues at the Earlham Institute, The Sainsbury Laboratory, and the European Bioinformatics Institute.The scientists have generated a new wheat who...Wed, 26 Apr 2017 17:00:00 +0800EuropeOsCOL16 Represses Flowering in Rice time is an important agronomic trait which significantly affects yield potential for cereal crops. The CONSTANS (CO)-like gene family plays roles in the regulation of flowering time. CO-like proteins are divided into four phylogenetic groups in rice. While several genes from groups I, III, and IV have been characterized, little is known a...Wed, 26 Apr 2017 17:00:00 +0800ResearchScientists Investigate Metabolic Changes in Genetic Modification of Resveratrol-enriched Rice is a popular antioxidant present in grape skins, which might have helpful benefits for the heart. Thus, scientists developed resveratrol-enriched rice (RR) containing stilbene synthase gene to induce resveratrol production and phosphinothricin-N-acetyltransferase gene to confer herbicide resistance. Min Sung Kim of Incheon National Univ...Wed, 26 Apr 2017 17:00:00 +0800ResearchTargeted Mutagenesis in Cotton using CRISPR-Cas9 CRISPR-Cas9 system has been widely used for genome editing in various plants because of its simplicity, high efficiency and design flexibility. However, there are only a few reports on the application of CRISPR-Cas9-mediated targeted mutagenesis in cotton.The team led by Xiugui Chen from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Huazhong...Wed, 26 Apr 2017 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding TechnologiesCRISPR-Cas9 Genome Editing in Polyploid Oilseed Rape polyploid species, altering a trait by random mutagenesis is highly inefficient due to gene redundancy. The ALC gene is involved in valve-margin development and contributes to seed shattering from mature fruits. Knocking out ALC would increase shatter resistance and avoid seed loss during mechanical harvest. Janina Braatz from the Christian-Albr...Wed, 26 Apr 2017 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding TechnologiesNew CRISPR Tool May Help Prevent Worst Genetic Diseases CRISPR gene editing technology has been popularly used together with Cas9, a protein that works like a snipping tool. Another protein, the CPf1, is now showing greater promise in editing human cells because of its smaller size and simplicity. Scientists from the Univerity of Texas reported in Science Advances that CRISPR-Cpf1 can be used to cor...Wed, 26 Apr 2017 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop BiotechResearchers Release Genome Sequence of Green Microalga research team led by a group at Texas A&M AgriLife Research has released a draft genome of the fuel-producing green microalga Botryococcus braunii.According to Dr. Tim Devarenne, AgriLife Research biochemist and principal investigator in College Station, the alga is colony-forming, with lots of individual cells growing to form the colony. The...Wed, 26 Apr 2017 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop BiotechOnline Course on Plant Breeding for Drought Tolerance 1-credit, graduate level online course in Plant Breeding for Drought Tolerance (Fall 2017)Where: Colorado State UniversityWhen: August 21 to December 15, 2017More information is available at the course website....Wed, 26 Apr 2017 17:00:00 +0800AnnouncementsThe Regulatory Implications of New Breeding Technologies Academy of Science of South Africa's (ASSAf) published a consensus study report on The Regulatory Implications of New Breeding Techniques.New breeding techniques (NBTs) are a wide range of techniques aimed at modifying genomes and/or gene expression and using these on a whole organism level. The relative accessibility and use of these technique...Wed, 26 Apr 2017 17:00:00 +0800Document Reminders