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, 23 Sep 2020 17:00:00 +0800FAO Facilitates Agri-food Systems Transformation of Cities Worldwide are transforming into more sustainable and resilient agri-food systems to help reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) launched the Green Cities Initiative and Action Plan to facilitate such transformation of cities into agri-food systems."For cities to become much greener...Wed, 23 Sep 2020 17:00:00 +0800GlobalUgandan Farmers Want Bt Maize to Address Fall Armyworm Challenge learning that one of the ways they could effectively deal with the challenge of the fall armyworm was using Bt maize, farmers in eastern and Northern Uganda asked the government to allow them to grow this maize."Why do we have to keep using dangerous pesticides when GM maize can help us fight this fall armyworm?" inquired Eseza Amoit, a farmer...Wed, 23 Sep 2020 17:00:00 +0800Africa10 New Genes Identified for Resistance to Stripe Rust Disease rust, one of the most destructive diseases of wheat, affects the production of the crop worldwide, especially in the United States. The disease can be controlled by chemicals, but these are deemed harmful to humans, animals, and the environment. Application of such chemicals is also very costly, and farmers prefer to grow wheat varieties tha...Wed, 23 Sep 2020 17:00:00 +0800AmericasResearch Team Turns to Wild Crop Relatives in Climate Change Battle international group of researchers led by Filippo Bassi from the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) has set out to use wild crop relatives to help present crops adapt in the coming decades. Bassi's team hopes that using crop wild relatives in breeding programs can add resilience to domestic crops while keepi...Wed, 23 Sep 2020 17:00:00 +0800AmericasScientists Identify New Resistance Gene to Potato Disease that Caused Irish Famine blight, the most important and most destructive pathogen of potato, was caused by the microorganism Phytophthora infestans. Late blight is the disease that caused the Irish Famine of the 1840s and still one of the most serious threats to potato production that causes significant economic losses globally.Scientists from the Chinese Academy of A...Wed, 23 Sep 2020 17:00:00 +0800AmericasBt Cotton Increased Farmers' Produce by 10-Fold in China Maotang Zu, President of the Farmer Technology Association from the Gaobeidian City of Hebei Province, shared how Bt cotton improved farmers' lives by gaining an average of 10-fold increase in their produce. He said this during the webinar on the Global Impact of GM Crops hosted by ISAAA SEAsiaCenter in collaboration with PG Economics, China Bi...Wed, 23 Sep 2020 17:00:00 +0800Asia and the PacificE. coli Bacteria Offer a Path to Improving Photosynthesis a paper published in Nature Plants, scientists described how they engineered the key plant enzyme Rubisco and introduced it in Escherichia coli bacteria to create an optimal experimental environment for studying how to speed up photosynthesis, a holy grail for improving crop yields.Researchers focused on Rubisco, a slow enzyme that pulls (or fix...Wed, 23 Sep 2020 17:00:00 +0800ResearchScientists Analyze Whole Genome Sequence of Water Buffalo, Cattle for Domestication Signatures team of scientists from the Roslin Institute of the University of Edinburgh analyzed the genomes of 7 water buffalo and 13 cattle breeds from around the world to identify areas of the genomes that correlate with desirable production traits. Their findings exhibit that the genetic makeup of water buffalo and cattle both responded to breeding for h...Wed, 23 Sep 2020 17:00:00 +0800ResearchCRISPR-Cas9 Reveals Genes Involved in Rice Heading Date genes involved in the control of the heading date of rice were identified using CRISPR-Cas9 technology. The study conducted by Huazhong Agricultural University scientists is published in the Journal of Integrative Plant Biology.The CO, CO-LIKE, and TOC1 (CCT) domain proteins are known to regulate flowering time in many plant species. How...Wed, 23 Sep 2020 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding TechnologiesTransgene-free PDS Mutants in Potato Generated from NARIC Agricultural Biotechnology Institute in Hungary successfully developed transgene-free potato mutants using CRISPR-Cas9 and Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. The results are published in BMC Biotechnology.Agrobacterium-mediated gene transfer is commonly used in plants. To remove the transgene in the succeeding generations...Wed, 23 Sep 2020 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding TechnologiesTALENs Used for Genome Editing of an Algal Biodiesel Candidate University researchers developed a highly efficient genome editing system for microalga Nannochloropsis oceanica, which is a potential source of biodiesel.Algae gather high concentrations of lipids through photosynthesis and these lipids can be used as feedstocks for sustainable new energies called biodiesels. Nannochloropsis species are ...Wed, 23 Sep 2020 17:00:00 +0800New Breeding Technologies