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, 10 Oct 2018 17:00:00 +0800Biotech Has Huge Potential to Transform Uganda's Growth, Minister Says has a hugely untapped but promising potential of biotechnology for her growth, said Hon. Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye, the country's Minister of Science, Technology and Innovations. The minister was categorical that bio-economy has greater potential to bring Uganda more money than oil.Hon. Tumwesigye made the remarks while presiding over the Annual...Wed, 10 Oct 2018 17:00:00 +0800AfricaGene Controlling Stem Juiciness in Sorghum Identified at the Chinese Academy of Sciences have discovered the gene controlling the stem juiciness trait in sorghum from a diverse selection of sorghum varieties. Sorghum is the world's fifth most popular crop. Grain sorghum, a tough, drought tolerant plant with dry, brittle stems, is used to make products ranging from animal feed to industrial ...Wed, 10 Oct 2018 17:00:00 +0800AmericasGene-edited Soybeans Being Harvested in the US in three US states are harvesting 16,000 acres (~6,475 hectares) of soybeans developed through gene editing technique. The soybeans are expected to be sold to consumers for use in frying oil, salad dressings, and granola bars. It is the first commercialized crop in the US developed using the new promising technique. In March 2018, US Agricu...Wed, 10 Oct 2018 17:00:00 +0800AmericasSurvey: Most Americans Remain Confused About GMOs Americans remain confused about genetically modified organisms (GMOs), but want to learn more about the technology, according to a survey by YouGov.The survey, conducted online in September 2018 and participated by 1,213 American adults, showed the following key findings: * 69% of consumers are not confident they know what GMOs are, and less t...Wed, 10 Oct 2018 17:00:00 +0800AmericasCRISPR-Cas9 Triple Gene Edited Camelina Plant Receives Nonregulated Status Camelina sativa plant lines developed by Yield10 Bioscience, Inc. using CRISPR-Cas9 for increased oil content has received nonregulated status from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS)'s Biotechnology Regulatory Services (BRS). Yield10 submitted an "Am I Regulated?" letter to the BRS in May 2018, requesting...Wed, 10 Oct 2018 17:00:00 +0800AmericasBiotech Maize to Boost Maize Supply in Pakistan to a study, the commercialization of biotech maize in Pakistan is expected to boost the maize productivity in the country. It is projected that the rapid adoption of biotech maize in Pakistan beginning in 2019 will deliver around US$1 billion additional benefits to farmers, laborers, brokers, and grains industry in the next 10-year period...Wed, 10 Oct 2018 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificResearchers Modify Plant Walls to Make Biofuel Production Easier from the University of Melbourne showed how plant walls could be modified to change the way how biofuels, bioplastics, and other biomaterials are produced. Their study is published in Nature Plants.The researchers used master switches that can switch on primary wall production. It was found that the switches can make cell produce thick p...Wed, 10 Oct 2018 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificResearch Reveals Central Signal Sorting Hub in Plants research study has revealed the central signal sorting hub that plants use to coordinate biological processes. Dr. Vinod Kumar of the John Innes Centre (JIC) said that their research has revealed the existence of a central signal sorting hub, which fine tunes plant growth and immunity in line with key seasonal cues. Using Arabidopsis, the JIC res...Wed, 10 Oct 2018 17:00:00 +0800EuropeEustice: Gene-edited Crops Are Necessary crops are necessary if UK is serious about trying to decrease the use of chemical pesticides, according to Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) Minister, George Eustice. He said this statement in response to the letter addressed to him by a group of scientists and industry leaders, which demanded clarity on how the...Wed, 10 Oct 2018 17:00:00 +0800EuropeScientists Develop Transgenic Potato with Enhanced Tuber Quality and Stress Tolerance yield, quality, and market value of potato, the third most important crop in the world, is threatened by salinity and drought tolerance. Thus, researchers from National Scientific and Technical Research Council in Argentina developed a transgenic potato using the ABF4 gene in potato to improve the tuber yield and quality and stress tolerance of...Wed, 10 Oct 2018 17:00:00 +0800ResearchCotton Gene Reduces Plant Sensitivity to Stress at Seedling Stage germination and seedling establishment in cotton, the most important crop used globally for fiber and oil, are impaired by abiotic stresses. PLATZ proteins, which are zinc-finger transcription factors involved in plant abiotic stress responses, are present in cotton, but studies about them are limited. Researchers from Shandong Agricultural Un...Wed, 10 Oct 2018 17:00:00 +0800ResearchScientists Report Functional Characterization of a Soybean Galactinol Synthase Gene Under Stress Conditions synthase (GolS) has been known to play a key role in raffinose biosynthesis by catalyzing the formation of galactinol. The GolS gene family has been recently identified in various plant species. Among them, many individual GolS genes have been reported to function in plant stress tolerance. The researchers reported the construction of tr...Wed, 10 Oct 2018 17:00:00 +0800ResearchScientists Show that Genome-editing is Highly Specific in Cotton CRISPR-Cas9 system has been increasingly popular in crop improvement. Several studies have applied the technology in crops, such as rice. Unlike the diploid rice, cotton is an allotetraploid, which means that it has four types of the gene existing in a plant. This characteristic complicates the application of genome-editing in cotton.To give an...Wed, 10 Oct 2018 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding TechnologiesStable, Heritable Gene Edits in Wheat Can Be Produced in 36 Weeks wheat genome is considered to be difficult to edit using the CRISPR-Cas9 system due to its hexaploid genome, and scientists have tried incorporating the system to the plant using protoplasts and particle bombardment but obtained poor results. Scientists from The John Bingham Laboratory in UK used Agrobacterium-mediated transformation to incorpo...Wed, 10 Oct 2018 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding TechnologiesScientists Develop Easy Visual Screening of CRISPR-edited Strawberry and Soybean Cheng Dai from Huazhong Agricultural University and colleagues develop a method to screen CRISPR-edited plants using the naked eye. Previously, the team generated gene-edited rapeseed, an important crop used to make canola oil, but were burdened by the laborious and inefficient method of screening edited plants.In the new study, they inse...Wed, 10 Oct 2018 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding TechnologiesResearchers Develop a Versatile Vector Toolkit Applicable in Rice Gene-editing are widely used in various experiments, such as gene-editing, gene-overexpression, and protein-protein interaction whether to characterize genes or create novel traits in crops. The classic pCAMBIA vectors have been used by scientists for over 20 years. Other vectors such as TA and Gateway are also used by scientists in the lab, but these v...Wed, 10 Oct 2018 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding TechnologiesGenes Responsible for Snapdragon Flower Color Identified are charming tall plants, flowering in a variety of bright colors. However, snapdragon flower colors do not mix, even if they are growing together in a wide area, and this has baffled scientists for a long time. Researchers from the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria and John Innes Center in Norwich compared the ge...Wed, 10 Oct 2018 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop Biotech25 UK Species' Genomes Sequenced Wellcome Sanger Institute and their collaborators have sequenced the full genomes of 25 species from the United Kingdom for the first time. The DNA sequence of these plants and animals, including birds, fish, and insects will help biologists and conservationists understand more about how they live and how to protect them. The high-quality genom...Wed, 10 Oct 2018 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop Biotech