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, 24 Feb 2021 17:00:00 +080024 World Food Prize Laureates Urge U.S. President to Make Fighting Global Hunger Top Priority February 23, 2021, 24 World Food Prize Laureates through the World Food Prize Foundation released an open letter, U.S. Leadership Needed to Help End World Hunger, urging the Biden-Harris Administration to focus on alleviating hunger, poverty, and malnutrition around the globe.The World Food Prize Laureates last came together for a global call to...Wed, 24 Feb 2021 17:00:00 +0800GlobalGM Maize for Human Consumption Show Higher Yield Gains than Maize for Livestock in South Africa study conducted by scientists at Arkansas State University and partners showed that genetically modified (GM) white maize had higher increase in yields in South Africa compared to GM yellow maize and conventional hybrid maize. Since GM white maize has been used for human consumption, the study suggests that biotechnology has the potential to supp...Wed, 24 Feb 2021 17:00:00 +0800AfricaCuba's Scientific Biotech Official Backs Safety of Transgenic Crops for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) Director for Agricultural Research Mario Pablo Estrada has again expressed his support for transgenic crops, stating that these will help Cuba become more independent in agricultural food production, particularly for maize and soybeans.Estrada further explained that biotechnology can also help...Wed, 24 Feb 2021 17:00:00 +0800AmericasResearchers Identify Key Herbicide Resistance Gene in Ryegrass from the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI) have identified a key gene in annual ryegrass that is responsible for the weed's resistance to seven different herbicide chemistries from five modes-of-action.AHRI director and The University of Western Australia (UWA) Professor Hugh Beckie said that their work is the first iden...Wed, 24 Feb 2021 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificAwareness of GM Rice's Benefits Affects Public Acceptance in Malaysia from the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation conducted a study to determine the Malaysian stakeholders' intention to purchase high-yielding genetically modified (GM) rice. The results exhibited that the Malaysian public were moderately enthusiastic about it.The survey was conducted from ...Wed, 24 Feb 2021 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificResearchers Develop Cavendish Bananas Resistant to Panama Disease University of Technology (QUT) researcher Distinguished Professor James Dale and his team have successfully developed a line of Cavendish bananas resistant to Panama disease tropical race 4 (TR4).Professor Dale said the field trials showed that high expression of the gene RGA2 derived from a wild banana provides resistance to TR4 disease...Wed, 24 Feb 2021 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificWebinar: Global Status of Biotech Crops and the Oceanian Biotech Perspective biotech crop adoption in 2019 and the Oceanian biotechnology perspective will be presented through a webinar on March 11, 2021, at 4 PM AEDT via Zoom.Australia was one of the pioneering countries that commercialized genetically engineered crops in 1996. In 2019, Australia ranked 13th in the list of GM crop-planting countries. More details on...Wed, 24 Feb 2021 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificResearchers Discover Gene Promoting Rust Fungal Infection in Wheat have found a gene in wheat that promotes rust fungal infection. The wheat gene TaBCAT1 was found turned on early during a successful yellow rust infection. Deleting this gene in wheat mutants severely reduced infection, revealing its importance for rust fungi to cause disease.Disrupting the gene provides resistance to yellow and stem ru...Wed, 24 Feb 2021 17:00:00 +0800EuropeGerman Researchers Use Optogenetics to Activate Plant Cell Activities from the Julius Maximilians University of Würzburg (JMU) have successfully applied optogenetics in tobacco plants to create a ‘switch' to control the plant's cell activities. The researchers used genetic engineering in producing vitamin A and optimizing rhodopsin production simultaneously in tobacco plants by introducing an enzyme from ...Wed, 24 Feb 2021 17:00:00 +0800EuropeBiotech Tools to Boost Essential Amino Acids in Maize genetic engineering techniques could be useful tools in increasing the essential amino acids in maize, according to experts Md. Mahmudul Hasan and Rima Rima. Their article is published in the journal Transgenic Research.Humans and ruminant animals are not capable of producing essential amino acids and conditionally essential amino acids und...Wed, 24 Feb 2021 17:00:00 +0800ResearchScientists Used CRISPR-Cas9 to Remove Caterpillar's Ability to Silence a Plant's Defense Alarm from Penn State University used CRISPR-Cas9 to successfully produce caterpillars that lack a specific enzyme that inhibits the plant's response to alert neighboring plants of the presence of herbivores nearby. The study identified an enzyme, glucose oxidase (GOX), found in the saliva of tomato fruitworm caterpillars. GOX was found to be ...Wed, 24 Feb 2021 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding TechnologiesMitoTALENs Enable More Understanding of Plant Mitochondrial Genomes have elucidated some undefined mechanisms and characteristics of flowering plants using mitochondria-targeted transcription activator-like effector nucleases (mitoTALENs). The impact of mitoTALENs-directed double-strand breaks on plant mitochondrial genomes was compiled by Shin-ichi Arimura from the University of Tokyo in an article pub...Wed, 24 Feb 2021 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding Technologies