Monday, January 07, 2019

Trending News on Crop Biotech in 2018

What GM crop can be used to treat AIDS? Which country would be the first one to plant drought and salt tolerant soybean? What are the benefits of GM crop adoption? 

The answers to these questions were reported in the Crop Biotech Update in 2018.

We summarized the top 10 most trending Crop Biotech Update news shared on Facebook to give you a quick glance at the most important happenings last year. Read on and make sure you don't miss which news made it to the number one spot.

Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, has recorded a major breakthrough in crop biotechnology following official approval and registration of two Bt cotton varieties, MRC 7377 BGII and MRC 7361 BGII, by the National Committee on Naming, Registration and Release of Crop Materials. This development means farmers can now access biotech cotton seeds in addition to other conventional varieties once the permit holder multiplies the registered varieties. Nigeria also becomes the seventh African country after South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Kenya, Malawi, and Ethiopia to grant open cultivation approval for the crop.

Facebook Shares: 558

Scientist Michael Gomez from the University of California, Berkeley and colleagues aimed to contribute in alleviating this problem by targeting novel cap-binding proteins (nCBP-1 and nCBP-2) for CRISPR-Cas9-mediated editing. These proteins are among the elF4E isoforms involved in the onset of CBSD. They observed delayed and attenuated CBSD aerial symptoms and reduced severity and incidence of root necrosis, which is one of CBSV infection symptoms, in the CRISPR mutants. CRISPR-Cas9 proved to be an effective tool in promoting disease tolerance in cassava.

Facebook Shares: 569

Argentina is set to commercialize the first drought and salt tolerant soybean in 2019.
The gene responsible for the new technology is HB4, made possible by Bioceres. The drought tolerant soybeans were tested in the field for three years and results showed that they are as nutritious as conventional soybeans, will not be toxic to animals or humans, and have no negative effect on the environment.

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Scientists from The University of Sheffield and International Rice Research Institute have discovered that developing a high-yielding rice variety with reduced stomatal density helps the crop conserve water and survive high temperatures and drought. Grown at elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, the low stomatal density rice plants survived drought and high temperature (40oC) longer than the unaltered plants.

Facebook Shares: 583

Since the approval of Bt eggplant for "limited cultivation" in Bangladesh in 2013, ~17% of the total brinjal farmers in the country are already benefiting from the technology. Scientists concisely report the history, present status, and future direction of the Bt eggplant project in Bangladesh in a perspective article in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology.

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Public consultations for the field trial of GR2E Golden Rice in the Philippines have been conducted in Muñoz, Nueva Ecija and San Mateo, Isabela on July 18 and 19 to allow community members to ask questions about the proposed field trial and submit their comments to Department of Agriculture.

Facebook Shares: 670

A study from Purdue University led by Daniel Szymanski has mapped a complex series of pathways that control the shape of plant cells. The research group found that microtubules entrap a protein called SPIKE 1 within the apex of another cell where SPIKE 1 recruits additional protein machinery that causes actin filaments to form. Actin filament networks are then organized as roadways for long-distance intracellular transport and the regulated delivery of cell wall materials that are necessary for cell growth. The findings may be vital to improving the quality of cotton grown in the United States.

Facebook Shares: 690

More than 150 executive and legislative officials from the Philippine House of Representatives, as well as selected members of the judiciary attended the Forum on the Global State of Biotechnology, a biotech outreach program conducted by the SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center in collaboration with the United States Embassy Manila, the House of Representatives, Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA), and the Philippine Association of Law schools (PALS). Experts and scientists enlightened the participants of the two events on different biotechnology issues.

Facebook Shares: 878

GM crops commercialization has occurred at a rapid rate since the mid-1990s, with important changes in both the overall level of adoption and impact in 2016. This is according to the research paper on farm income and production impacts of using GM crop technology in 1996–2016 by PG Economics. The annual updated analysis estimates the value of using GM technology in agriculture at the farm level, including impacts on yields, key variable costs of production, direct farm (gross) income, and impacts on the production base of the four main crops of soybeans, corn, cotton, and canola.

Facebook Shares: 931

An international team of researchers from Spain, the United States, and the United Kingdom has successfully created a strain of GM rice that will produce HIV-neutralizing proteins. The GM rice produces one type of antibody and two kinds of proteins that bind directly to the HIV virus, preventing them from interacting with human cells. The researchers note that the cost of making the cream is nominal once the rice has been grown, and people living in infection areas can grow as much of the rice as they need, then make the paste and apply it themselves.

Facebook Shares: 1,600+

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