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-usThu, 13 Jun 2019 17:00:00 +0800Vegetable Breeder Simon Groot is the 2019 World Food Prize Laureate N. Groot, vegetable breeder from the Netherlands and founder of East-West Seed is the 2019 World Food Prize Laureate. The announcement was made at a ceremony at the U.S. Department of Agriculture on June 10, 2019. Mr. Groot won the award for empowering millions of smallholder farmers in more than 60 countries to earn greater incomes through e...Thu, 13 Jun 2019 17:00:00 +0800GlobalARS Scientists Identify Key Gene in Wheat to Help Resist Fusarium Head Blight from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) led by plant molecular geneticist Guihua Bai have identified a key gene that could be used as an important genetic resource by wheat breeders worldwide to address the constant challenge posed by Fusarium head blight (FHB). Also known as scab, FHB has caused an estimated US$2.7 billion in losse...Thu, 13 Jun 2019 17:00:00 +0800AmericasUConn Launches Science of GMOs, Explains When Did GMO Become a Negative Term an op-ed article in UConn Today, University of Connecticut Program Specialist Stacey Stearns writes about the benefits of GMOs, citing that while most people associate GMOs with food products, they actually began in the medical field with insulin, an important part of diabetes treatment. Stearns writes that despite documented benefits of GMOs, 8...Thu, 13 Jun 2019 17:00:00 +0800AmericasUSDA Revises Biotech Regulations to SECURE Agri Innovations United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that they are proposing to modernize biotechnology regulations in such a way that the efficient agricultural production to address sustainability is incorporated while also considering the responsible and predictable regulatory oversight to protect the ecology and plant health.USDA made t...Thu, 13 Jun 2019 17:00:00 +0800AmericasSABC Kicks Off "Mega Awareness" Campaign on Fall Armyworm in India South Asia Biotechnology Centre (SABC), in collaboration with the University of Agriculture and Horticulture Sciences (UAHS), has started a "mega campaign" on fall armyworm under the project Safeguarding Agriculture and Farmers against Fall Armyworm (Project SAFFAL) at Shivamogga, Karnataka, India on June 8, 2019. The UAHS Shivamogga was first ...Thu, 13 Jun 2019 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificSaltwater-tolerant Rice Strains to Undergo Experimental Field Trials in China 300 new strains of saltwater-tolerant rice have been planted on 670 hectares of experimental alkali fields in China to identify viable varieties that can be grown on formerly barren lands, according to the Saline-Alkali Tolerant Rice Research and Development Center.Initial tests with different strains already revealed a significant differenc...Thu, 13 Jun 2019 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificPlant Scientists Discover Gene for Fast Growing Crops teams at the Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University (SLCU) and the University of Bordeaux have discovered Phloem Unloading Modulator (PLM), a novel gene affecting nutrient trafficking by altering the channels connecting neighboring plant cells also known as plasmodesmata. These nanoscale membrane-lined channels link plant cells together...Thu, 13 Jun 2019 17:00:00 +0800EuropeMisinformation and Over-regulation Keeping GM Foods from Consumers Johnathan Napier, a leading pioneer in plant biotechnology who led the development of plants that produce heart-healthy omega-3 fish oils, says that "misinformation and over-regulation are stopping or slowing several GM foods with the potential to save lives from making it to consumers." In a paper published in Nature Plants, Professor Na...Thu, 13 Jun 2019 17:00:00 +0800EuropeEffect of a Nanoparticle on the Expression of Photosynthesis-related Genes in Soybean is an important physiological process in plants. It plays a crucial role in plant growth and development. Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology reports the impact of zerovalent cobalt nanoparticles on the expression of genes linked to photosynthesis in soybean leaves at different growth stages. The results showed that treatment o...Thu, 13 Jun 2019 17:00:00 +0800ResearchResearchers Use Proteomic-based Approach to Study the Effect of GM Corn Diet on Rats resistant corn (MON810) has been shown to be non-toxic to mammals based on several rodent feeding studies which were conducted following the OECD Guidelines. Though whole animal studies were still deemed as the "gold standard" for safety assessment, the results only show changes at the cellular, tissue, and organ level. Thus, scientists from...Thu, 13 Jun 2019 17:00:00 +0800ResearchCRISPR-Cas9 Used to Understand Cold Sensitivity in Rice proteins (PRPs) play several important physiological and biochemical roles in growth and stress response of plants. A study published in 3 Biotech reported that the knockout of rice PRP induced cold sensitivity in rice. A total of 26 To generation and 16 T1 generation of mutant plants were generated using CRISPR-Cas9 to explore the rol...Thu, 13 Jun 2019 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding TechnologiesPE-1 Impacts Heading Date and Chloroplast Development in Rice of the vital target traits in improving rice production is the duration of rice growth phase. Identifying mutations in rice that change these processes to cause shorter growth phase could have potential benefits for crop production. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry presents an early-aging rice mutant, pe-1. Th...Thu, 13 Jun 2019 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding TechnologiesRussia Launches Gene-editing Research Program has declared support to gene-editing technology by launching a US$1.7 billion federal research program that will develop 10 new varieties of gene-edited crops and animals by 2020 and another set of 20 gene-edited varieties by 2027. Alexey Kochetov, director of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) Institute of Cytology...Thu, 13 Jun 2019 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding TechnologiesExperts Explore on Using Engineered Insect Tissue as Food Source farming poses environmental harm such as land and water degradation, biodiversity loss, and climate change. Tufts University suggests a toolbox of potential solutions to address this problem. The popular options include shifting to plant-based diets, insect farming, lab-grown meat, and genetically modified animals. In an article in Fronti...Thu, 13 Jun 2019 17:00:00 +0800Beyond Crop BiotechAfrica Biennial Biosciences Communication Symposium (ABBC 2019) Africa Biennial Biosciences Communication Symposium (ABBC 2019)When: August 29-30, 2019Where: Pretoria, South Africa In the wake of advanced technologies, emerging genetic technologies such as genome editing are attracting a lot of attention as they enable faster, easier, cheaper and more precise changes to DNA. Genome editing holds great pro...Thu, 13 Jun 2019 17:00:00 +0800Announcements