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.
Dr. Remedios Flamiano’s now multi-million banana tissue culture business, an application of plant biotechnology, was initially a failure, out of her frustration from being a low-paid instructor at a state university.
With no money on hand, and only the support of her husband, who agreed to turn their bedroom in General Santos City into a laboratory for her banana tissue culture, the award-winning scientist-turned-entrepreneur can now grow and culture her banana tissues in her P5-million laboratory after she received support from the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) Small Enterprises Technology Upgrading Program (Setup) in 2014.
A novel gene editing approach could hold the key to broad-spectrum disease resistance in certain staple food crops without causing physical detriment to the plants, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist.
New Zealand scientists trialing a genetically modified grass in the United States say the plant could prove a game-changer for agriculture.
From super crops to better medicines, biotechnology from plants could make a big difference in our lives. Here’s how.
A team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed an alternative to traditional pesticides – a biodegradable agent that keeps pests at bay without poisoning them.
Scientists have modified a plant’s genetic sequence to make it produce high levels of a key malaria drug, potentially helping meet the large global demand. Read more
PLANT BIOLOGY A newly discovered gene in rice confers flood tolerance, drought tolerance and disease resistance, and the discovery of the gene is a major step forward on the quest to produce climate smart crops. Read more
Agriculture firm Monsanto Company has launched a stronger pipeline of research and development (R&D) projects this year, which include the implementation of 49 new projects.
Monsanto said 2017 will be a record year for its R&D pipeline, with 14 projects advancing to launch and the first unveiling for more than 35 projects in the Climate pipeline.
The company’s industry-leading pipeline projects span across seeds, traits, crop protection and data science to support growers by mitigating challenges posed by weeds, insects, diseases and environmental shifts resulting from climate change each season.
“The role that agriculture plays in our daily lives has never been more critical – including meeting the world’s growing needs and driving on-farm practices that preserve biodiversity and our natural resources like soil and water,” said Robert Fraley, Ph.D., Monsanto’s chief technology officer.
“These advancements demonstrate how we’re delivering new ways that farmers can manage the 40+ key decisions they must make throughout the growing season to enable a successful harvest,” he added.
Monsanto’s R&D platforms span several areas of agricultural technology: Data science, plant breeding, plant biotechnology, crop protection, and agbiologicals Some of the R& projects are:
•The BioAg Alliance, a partnership between Monsanto and Novozymes that focuses on microbial solutions, continues to grow the depth and breadth of its pipeline. The Alliance’s BioYield platform is an example of this growth through expansion to new crops and development of next-generation projects that are designed to help improve yield potential by helping crops use nutrients in the soil more efficiently.
•The Climate FieldView™ platform allows farmers to collect and analyze field data from multiple sources – including the soil, field and atmosphere – and provides valuable insights to help farmers get the most out of every acre. The platform continues to evolve research efforts to develop new digital tools, including insights that help farmers make more informed decisions about crop nutrition and fertility, as well as which seed and planting approaches will help enable a more productive harvest each year. The Climate FieldView™ platform continues to be the most widely adopted digital ag platform in the industry.
•Higher-Yielding Corn, a family of corn plants with traits for increased yield potential, is also advancing in the pipeline. This project is part of the company’s Yield & Stress research collaboration with BASF.
•Broad, integrated solutions to address yield-limiting diseases.
-Written by Madelaine B. Miraflor in Manila Bulletin. See article link via pressreader.com.