Crop Biotech Updatehttp://www.isaaa.org/kc/A 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, 4 Mar 2015 17:00:00 +0800More Voices in Africa are Calling for Increased Biotech Adoptionhttp://www.isaaa.org/kc/cropbiotechupdate/article/default.asp?ID=13176More African stakeholders are calling for increased adoption of GM crops to benefit farmers in the continent. During the recent launch of ISAAA's 2014 report on commercialized biotech crops, stakeholders in Burkina Faso and Kenya including policy makers, farmers and academicians said that the reported benefits should be enjoyed by the African farme...Wed, 4 Mar 2015 17:00:00 +0800AfricaNigerian Senate Passes Biosafety Billhttp://www.isaaa.org/kc/cropbiotechupdate/article/default.asp?ID=13178Nigerian senators have unanimously adopted the report of the joint committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and Science and Technology on the National Biosafety Management Agency establishment bill 2015, as presented by Senators Emmanuel Bwacha and Robert Borriface on February 27, 2015. The agency will regulate the safe use, handling and tran...Wed, 4 Mar 2015 17:00:00 +0800AfricaNew Study Reveals Genetic Roots of Resistance to Wheat Diseasehttp://www.isaaa.org/kc/cropbiotechupdate/article/default.asp?ID=13165A new study conducted by researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) has revealed the genetic roots of resistance to wheat stem rust, a disease that has recently devastated crop yields from southern Africa through the Middle East. Plant breeders have successfully combated the disease by introducing rust-resistant cultivars in the mid-...Wed, 4 Mar 2015 17:00:00 +0800AmericasSmartphones Could End GM Labeling Debatehttp://www.isaaa.org/kc/cropbiotechupdate/article/default.asp?ID=13174Smartphones could be the solution for the labeling issue on biotech food products, according to US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. He mentioned this to the members of the Congress during a House hearing on agriculture spending last week. Vilsack said that consumers could just use their smartphones to scan special codes on food packages. Relevant...Wed, 4 Mar 2015 17:00:00 +0800AmericasChinese Scientists Complete Vanilla Genome Sequencehttp://www.isaaa.org/kc/cropbiotechupdate/article/default.asp?ID=13167Chinese scientists from Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University and the National Orchid Conservation Center of China have completed the genome sequencing of Vanilla shenzhenica, producing the world's first orchid genetic map. "The research has helped us to understand the evolutionary history of the orchid, and it's of great importance to the con...Wed, 4 Mar 2015 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificPH Continues to Expand Biotech Crop Adoption in 2014http://www.isaaa.org/kc/cropbiotechupdate/article/default.asp?ID=13164With its Philippine launch of the annual report on the global status of commercialized biotech crops in 2014, the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) highlighted the continued expansion of biotech corn in the country. The Media Conference on the Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops in 2014, co-...Wed, 4 Mar 2015 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificNew Database for Identifying Functions of Plant Geneshttp://www.isaaa.org/kc/cropbiotechupdate/article/default.asp?ID=13152A team led by Tetsuya Sakurai from RIKEN Research developed a new database that will aid scientists in identifying the unknown functions of plant genes. This was done through analyzing protein structures encoded by the unknown genes. Using six plants representative of plant species, Arabidopsis thaliana, Glycine max (soybean), Populus trichocarpa (...Wed, 4 Mar 2015 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificMax Planck Institute Researchers Develop New Method in Controlling Colorado Potato Beetlehttp://www.isaaa.org/kc/cropbiotechupdate/article/default.asp?ID=13153Colorado potato beetle is one of the most destructive and hard to control insect pests due to its resistance against pesticides. Aside from pesticides, there are no other means of controlling the pest. An alternative control has been developed by researchers from Max Planck Institute. This was done by adopting the mechanism of RNA interference (RNA...Wed, 4 Mar 2015 17:00:00 +0800EuropeNew Genomics-Driven Surveillance to Track Crop Diseaseshttp://www.isaaa.org/kc/cropbiotechupdate/article/default.asp?ID=13166Scientists from the United Kingdom have developed a new genomics strategy to track the devastating wheat yellow rust pathogen. A major fungal disease of wheat, yellow (stripe) rust caused by the fungus Puccinia striiformis Westend f. sp. tritici Eriks. (PST) has re-emerged globally in recent years. The team of scientists from The Genome Analysis Ce...Wed, 4 Mar 2015 17:00:00 +0800EuropeBioeconomy Alliance Calls for EU Actionhttp://www.isaaa.org/kc/cropbiotechupdate/article/default.asp?ID=13171The newly formed European Bioeconomy Alliance (EBA) calls for more predictable policies leading to long-term strategy for a competitive, dynamic, and sustainable bioeconomy in Europe. According to EBA's press release, developing the bioeconomy can only be achieved if EU provides a holistic, coherent, and harmonized policy framework for agriculture,...Wed, 4 Mar 2015 17:00:00 +0800EuropeBiotech Rice Exhibits Reduced Grain Chalkinesshttp://www.isaaa.org/kc/cropbiotechupdate/article/default.asp?ID=13163The insufficient supply of photosynthates source of grains is considered to be one of the causes of chalkiness, a key factor in determining rice quality. In China, Zhaoqing University's Yonghai Liu studied the enzyme L-galactono-1, 4-lactone dehydrogenase (L-GalLDH, EC1.3.2.3), the catalyst for the final step in the synthesis of ascorbic acid (Asc)...Wed, 4 Mar 2015 17:00:00 +0800ResearchGhNPR1 Plays an Important Role in the Defense Response of Gladiolushttp://www.isaaa.org/kc/cropbiotechupdate/article/default.asp?ID=13168Gladiolus (Gladiolus hybridus) is susceptible to various pathogens and understanding the innate defense mechanism is required to develop protection strategies. The non-expressor of pathogenesis-related gene 1 (NPR1) and bzip transcription factor TGA2 have been known to regulate salicylic acid (SA)-mediated systemic acquired resistance (SAR).Xionghu...Wed, 4 Mar 2015 17:00:00 +0800ResearchGene from Peanut Alleviates Salinity and Drought Stress in Tobaccohttp://www.isaaa.org/kc/cropbiotechupdate/article/default.asp?ID=13175Abiotic stress often results in the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that causes cellular damage and inhibits photosynthesis. However, the effects of ROS are countered by antioxidant systems, with superoxide dismutase (SOD) being the first enzyme involved in detoxification. Neera Bhalla Sarin of Jahwarlal Nehru University in India led a r...Wed, 4 Mar 2015 17:00:00 +0800ResearchHessian Fly Genome Sequencedhttp://www.isaaa.org/kc/cropbiotechupdate/article/default.asp?ID=13161Hessian fly is one of the most destructive insect pests in wheat. It causes stunted growth due to galls in wheat seedlings. In a study conducted by a group of researchers from 26 different institutions, they were able to sequence the genome of Hessian fly. This provides a little hint on gall formations in wheat. By examining how the Hessian fly att...Wed, 4 Mar 2015 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop BiotechThe Plant Genomics Congress in Asiahttp://www.isaaa.org/kc/cropbiotechupdate/article/default.asp?ID=13172What: 2nd Plant Genomics Congress in Asia When: March 19-20, 2015 Where: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Readers benefit from a 10% discount with code "CBU/10". For more details contact nnoakes@globalengage.co.uk or visit http://www.globalengage.co.uk/plantgenomicsasia.html. ...Wed, 4 Mar 2015 17:00:00 +0800Announcements