Plants Grow Less in Hotter Temperatures

Plants have developed a robust system that stops their cell cycle in hostile environments such as abnormally hot temperatures. In response, they direct their energy to survival rather than growth. A new study led by scientists at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) reports in eLife that two transcription factors, ANAC044 and ANAC085, are critical for this response in the flowering plant Arabidopsis. The findings give clues on ways to modulate the growth of crops and other agriculture products.

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Agri-Biotech Stakeholders Convene For Pan-Asia Farmer’s Exchange Program

Forty-three delegates from 10 Asian countries composed of farmer-leaders, scientists and the academia, media, as well as representatives from government and private institutions gathered for the week-long 13th Pan-Asia Farmers’ Exchange Program held on April 1-5, 2019 in Manila, Philippines.

Discussions focused on communicating biotech in the Philippines, the country’s biosafety regulations for biotech crops, insect resistance management program, the current status of agri-biotech in each country, and plant breeding innovations. The group also went to a commercial Bt corn farm in the province of Tarlac and paid a visit to the International Rice Research Institute as well as the Corteva Seed Processing Plant to learn about their projects and see the research facilities first-hand.

Participants of the 13th Pan-Asia Farmers' Exchange Program
Participants of the 13th Pan-Asia Farmers’ Exchange Program

The exchange program, which was first conducted in 2007, was organized by CropLife Asia, CropLife Philippines, and the Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines. It aims to serve as a platform for knowledge sharing and exchange on agricultural biotechnology where the delegates learn how biotech crops go through a stringent, science-based regulatory process to ensure their safety to humans and animals and to the environment, how they are managed at farm level, and how they benefit the farmers and their communities.

 

Written by Danellie Joy O. Medina, SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center

Legislators Apprised on PHL Biosafety Regulations

More than 100 Legislative officials from the House of Representatives and selected members of the Philippine Judicial Academy (Philja) were apprised on the Philippine regulatory system for genetically modified crops in a briefing held at the House of Representatives on February 27.

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Gene-edited Foods Are Safe, Japanese Panel Concludes

Japan will allow gene-edited foodstuffs to be sold to consumers without safety evaluations as long as the techniques involved meet certain criteria, if recommendations agreed on by an advisory panel yesterday are adopted by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. This would open the door to using CRISPR and other techniques on plants and animals intended for human consumption in the country.

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5 Years After Releasing its First GM Crop, Bangladesh Says Farmers Gain by Adopting Bt Brinjal

Five years after introducing country’s first genetically modified crop – Bt brinjal – government undertook an impact assessment study last year. Yesterday it came up with the good news that farmers got benefitted financially by cultivating Bt brinjal and they are now much less prone to health hazards caused by pesticide sprays.

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Scientists Crack Genome of Superfood Seaweed, Ito-mozuku

Along the tropical coastline of Okinawa, Japan, farmers raise rows of delectable seaweed and harvest thousands of tons of the crop each year. Unfortunately, scientists predict that pollution and rising ocean temperatures will blunt this impressive yield, forcing farmers to adopt new cultivation techniques. Recently, scientists at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) decoded the genome of the popular brown seaweed ito-mozuku (Nemacystus decipiens), providing data that could someday be critical to local farmers.

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An Easier Way to Engineer Plants

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a new genetic tool that could make it easier to engineer plants that can survive drought or resist fungal infections. Their technique, which uses nanoparticles to deliver genes into the chloroplasts of plant cells, works with many different plant species, including spinach and other vegetables.

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Thailand is Pushing for the Development Of Bioeconomy

The Ministry of Industry is working out a roadmap for investment in the development of bioeconomy in Thailand. The bioeconomy industry is one of the Government’s target industries and is part of the five future industries in the New S-Curve, under the Thailand 4.0 policy.   Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak on 23 January 2017 presided over a ceremony for the launching of cooperation in building bioeconomy through the public-private-people partnership, or Pracharat.

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Isabela Governor Lauds Golden Rice Project

Incumbent Isabela Governor Faustino “Bodjie” Dy III commended the Golden Rice project for securing all the necessary requirements first before conducting field-testing, and for initiating dialogues among researchers, policymakers, and the public.

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Genetically Modified Crops Contributing to Country’s Agriculture

Aiming to develop journalists’ capacity, a two-day workshop on application of biotechnology in agriculture, began at a hotel in Dhaka yesterday. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Farming Future Bangladesh (FFB), an initiative of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, jointly organised the event with technical support from Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI).

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