Thứ Sáu, 3 tháng 11, 2017

Food Crops News 294

Food Crops News

Food Crops News 294 Thông tin Cây Lương thực Toàn cầu tháng 11 năm 2017. Chuyên trang thu thập, tuyển chọn thông tin Cây Lương thực giùm bạn và giúp bạn luyện học tiếng Anh nông nghiệp chuyên ngành. Hãy kiên trì làm giàu kiến thức chính của bạn.
Crop Biotech Update (November 2, 2017)
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Chinese scientists develop new rice varieties that can be planted in seawater, which can potentially provide food for 200 million people.
Scientists have long been working on rice that can grow in seawater, and finally commercially viable varieties are now being tested. Around 200 rice varieties are under testing near the Yellow Sea coastal city of Qingdao in Shandong province to see which ones perform best in salty conditions. Seawater is pumped into the fields, diluted, and then channelled into the rice paddies. The researchers projected that the rice varieties would produce 4.5 tons per hectare, but one variety already showed promising results by producing 9.3 tons per hectare.
"The test results greatly exceeded our expectations," said Liu Shiping, one of the researchers and professor of agriculture at Yangzhou University.
Read more from the Genetic Literacy Project.
Technology has become the blight of the Irish potato famine pathogen. A research team led by Professor Jonathan Jones at The Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich Research Park has successfully modified a potato to resist the devastating disease ‘late blight' by introducing a blight-resistant gene from a wild potato to the popular Maris Piper.
Blight is a serious problem globally, and was a significant contributor to the Irish Potato Famine in the 1840s. "The first year of the Maris Piper field trial has worked brilliantly", said Professor Jones. "We've observed resistance to late blight in all the lines.
This new blight-resistant gene introduced to the Maris Piper offers the promise of furthering its crop strength, and even the possibility of avoiding the use of chemical fungicides in its cultivation altogether. Field trials at Norwich are continuing, and next year the team will begin to explore the genetic traits that can improve tuber quality. The team hopes to produce a crop that is less prone to bruise damage and help improve the quality and sustainability of potato crop in the UK.
For more details, read the news article at the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council website.
Stakeholders in the cotton sub-sector in Kenya are eagerly awaiting the introduction of Bt cotton in the country. This was raised at a recent workshop to prepare officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries for the adoption of the GM crop. The workshop, also attended by representatives from Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, was held in Embu, north-east of Nairobi on October 16-17, 2017 and aimed at developing skills and capacity for effective management of the GM crop.
Dr. Charles Waturu, the principal researcher for Bt cotton in Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), informed participants that the trials for Bollgard I® and Bollgard II® cotton were successfully completed about 10 years ago. According to Dr. Waturu, the trials showed that transgenic cotton effectively controlled the populations of African bollworm and had no significant effect on non-target pest species. "Growing Bt cotton will significantly reduce the amount of insecticides used by Kenyan farmers, from 12 to about three sprays per season, thus reducing the cost of production and increasing income from cotton farming," he pointed out.
Anthony Muriithi, the head of Fibre Crops Directorate agreed that Bt cotton is the way to go for Kenya. He acknowledged that the introduction of GM crops will be a remedy to poor cotton yields recorded currently. "The country currently produces approximately 25,000 bales which is only 10.4% of her potential and once Bt cotton is commercialized, we will see an upsurge in cotton production," he noted. Some participants were, however concerned that the country's political dynamics could derail efforts to expedite the adoption of the crop. "Political leaders must show political goodwill and lead the course towards adoption and commercialization of Bt cotton," a participant said.
ISAAA Senior Programme Officer Dr. Faith Nguthi trained the stakeholders on effective science communication to promote understanding of the Bt cotton technology. Dr. Nguthi emphasized that in order to enhance trust and facilitate uptake of GM technology, there is a need to develop messages that are credible. The workshop was organized by Fibre Crops Directorate in collaboration with ISAAA and the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB-Kenya).

For more information on the article reference
Gene editing technology, such as the use of CRISPR-Cas9, could revolutionize the development of high-yielding, drought-, disease- and pest-resistant, and quality plant seeds; with lesser time of development compared to current breeding methods. These were highlighted by a panel of expert scientists at the 2017 Borlaug Dialogue conference held on October 18-20, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa.
According to Feng Zhang, the originator of the technology who is a core member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University, CRISPR-Cas9 is almost as simple as editing a Microsoft Word document on a computer. To edit genes, the Cas9 protein is programmed to create an RNA search string, which can search and edit paired DNA to change a genome to get desired results in plants, Zheng explained. "There's a lot of exciting opportunity to apply this technology in both human health and in agriculture," he said.
Scientist at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) also aim to use the breakthrough technology to help smallholder farmers in the developing world address food security, nutrition shortcomings and economic threats to their livelihoods caused by climate change, pests and disease. They acknowledge the potential of the technology to reduce the use of pesticides, and to boost nutrition through biofortification of crops.
"We want sustainable agriculture that provides food and nutrition security for all, while enabling biodiversity conservation," said Kevin Pixley, who leads the Seeds of Discovery project and the Genetic Resources Program at CIMMYT. "CRISPR-Cas9 is an affordable technology that can help us close the technology gap between the resource rich and resource poor farmers of the world." Gene-edited varieties could also lessen the risk of investing in fertilizers, grain storage or other technologies, thereby contributing to "double benefits" for smallholder farmers, Pixley stressed.
More more details, read the news release from CIMMYT.

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Thứ Tư, 25 tháng 10, 2017

Food Crops News 293

Food Crops News

Food Crops News 293 Thông tin Cây Lương thực Toàn cầu tháng 10 năm 2017. Chuyên trang thu thập, tuyển chọn thông tin Cây Lương thực giùm bạn và giúp bạn luyện học tiếng Anh nông nghiệp chuyên ngành. Hãy kiên trì làm giàu kiến thức chính của bạn.


Ngày 25 tháng 10
năm 2017 thông tin Lúa C4 của trường đại học Oxford năng suất tăng 50%.
Các nhà khoa học làm việc trong Dự án Lúa C4 của trường đại học Oxford, để cải thiện quá trình quang hợp trong lúa gạo và tăng năng suất cây trồng, bằng cách đưa một gen ngô đơn lẻ vào lúa, tiến tới trồng lúa 'supercharging' tới mức hiệu quả hơn.Cây lúa sử dụng con đường quang hợp C3, trong môi trường nóng và khô ít hiệu quả hơn con đường C4 được sử dụng trong các thực vật khác như ngô và lúa miến. Gạo 'chuyển đổi' sử dụng quang hợp C4, năng suất sẽ tăng khoảng 50%.Các nhà nghiên cứu đã thực hiện phương pháp giải phẫu 'proto-Kranz' chuyển gen ngô GOLDEN2-LIKE tới cây lúa làm tăng lượng lạp lục và ty lạp thể có chức năng trong các tế bào vỏ bọc xung quanh lá. Giáo sư Jane Langdale thuộc Đại học Oxford, và nhà nghiên cứu chính về giai đoạn này của dự án lúa gạo C4 cho biết: "Nghiên cứu này giới thiệu một gen duy nhất cho cây lúa để tái tạo bước đầu tiên dọc theo con đường tiến hoá từ C3 đến C4. Đó là một sự phát triển thực sự đáng khích lệ, và thách thức bây giờ là xây dựng trên đó và tìm ra những gen thích hợp để tiếp tục hoàn các bước còn lại trong quá trình ".Để biết thêm thông tin, đọc Đại học Oxford Tin tức & Sự kiện.

Ngày 16 tháng 10 năm 2017, VnExpress dẫn nguồn China's People's Daily cho biết Trung Quốc tạo giống lúa cao hơn đầu người cho năng suất lớn. Giống lúa có tên gọi "lúa khổng lồ" được các chuyên gia ở Viện Nông nghiệp Cận Nhiệt đới thuộc Viện Hàn lâm Khoa học Trung Quốc lai tạo với hy vọng có thể cung cấp lương thực cho nhiều người hơn . Giống lúa mới được chính thức giới thiệu hôm 16/10 sau 10 nghiên cứu, có năng suất cao hơn 50% so với các giống lúa thông thường. Nhóm nghiên cứu đã trồng thử cây lúa khổng lồ và thu hoạch trên một cánh đồng nằm ở thị trấn Jinjing thuộc huyện Trường Sa, tỉnh Hồ Nam, Trung Quốc. Cây lúa thân cao trung bình 1,8 mét, những cây lớn nhất cao tới 2,2 mét. Xia Xinjie, một nhà nghiên cứu trong dự án cho biết năng suất dự kiến có thể đạt trên 11,5 tấn/hecta. Số hạt có thể thu hoạch từ một gốc lúa là hơn 500 hạt. Các nhà khoa học Trung Quốc đã sử dụng một loạt công nghệ mới để tạo ra giống lúa mới, bao gồm đột biến, lai hữu tính và lai xa giữa nhiều loại lúa dại. Lúa khổng lồ có thể đem lại lợi ích lớn cho Trung Quốc, quốc gia đang phải đối mặt với tình trạng thiếu nông dân và dân số ngày càng tăng. "Lượng thóc lúa cần sản xuất thêm vào năm 2030 cao hơn 60% so với năm 1995. Hiện nay, một hecta đất trồng lúa cung cấp đủ thức ăn cho 27 người. Vào năm 2050, mỗi hecta phải đáp ứng nhu cầu lương thực cho 43 người", Yuan Longping, nhà nông nghiệp học nổi tiếng ở Trung Quốc, nhấn mạnh trong một cuộc phỏng vấn vào tháng trước.

Crop Biotech Update (October 25, 2017)

These short documents present the highlights of biotech crop adoption in the top five developing biotech countries.

Oxford Scientists 'Supercharge' Rice with Maize Gene; Yields to Increase by 50%

To improve photosynthesis in rice and increase crop yields, scientists working on the Oxford University-led C4 Rice Project have, by introducing a single maize gene to the plant, moved towards 'supercharging' rice to the level of more efficient crops.
Rice uses the C3 photosynthetic pathway, which in hot, dry environments is much less efficient than the C4 pathway used in other plants such as maize and sorghum. Scientists thought that if rice could be 'switched' to use C4 photosynthesis, its productivity will increase by 50%.
The researchers showed how they took the first step on this journey called the 'proto-Kranz' anatomy by introducing a single maize gene known as GOLDEN2-LIKE to the rice plant. This step increased the volume of functional chloroplasts and mitochondria in the sheath cells surrounding leaf veins, mimicking the traits seen in proto-Kanz species.
Professor Jane Langdale, Professor of Plant Development in the Department of Plant Sciences at Oxford University, and Principal Investigator on this phase of the C4 Rice Project, said: "This research introduces a single gene to the rice plant to recreate the first step along the evolutionary path from C3 to C4. It's a really encouraging development, and the challenge now is to build on that and find the right genes to tweak to complete the remaining steps in the process."
For more information, read the University of Oxford News & Events.

Seventy nine (79) members of the U.S. House of Representatives addressed some issues in the regulation of GM crops through a letter submitted to the heads of Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration, and Environmental Protection Agency.
One of the concerns they brought up is the proposed changes in the regulation of gene editing techniques. "While we appreciate the thoughtful, science based direction USDA offers on products of biotechnology and gene editing that APHIS has ample experience regulating, we are concerned that these drafts offer deeply conflicting regulatory approaches. Moreover, we do not believe they provide the consistent, appropriate system needed to promote the development of these innovative tools," the lawmakers explained in their letter.
They also added that the contradictory changes proposed are sending inconsistent signals to the country's trade partners, who are currently studying the accurate approaches to these technologies. "We are concerned that if the administration does not quickly develop a uniform position on biotechnology in agriculture, including gene editing, we will see an unworkable patchwork of international regulations emerge that will effectively further suppress American innovation and the solutions that come with it," they stressed.
Congressmen Neal P. Dunn, K. Michael Conaway, and Jimmy Panetta are three of the 79 lawmakers who submitted the letter.
Read the complete letter from Dunn's official website.
Ugandan scientists are positive that GM potatoes will be commercially available in their country in 2020.
According to Dr. Alex Barekye, Director of Kachwekano Zonal Agriculture Research Institute, research on disease resistant potato is underway. So far, three trials of Victoria potato variety have been conducted and the performance of the GM crop is good. No diseases were detected and the yield is high.
"When we look at all the products in the GMO line and look at the duration of the crop, I think potatoes will be the first GMO crop to be commercialized in Uganda. We have conducted three trials and found that the disease is not there. The yield is good and there is nothing that has changed," said Dr. Barekye.
The next phase of the project is to test the GM potato variety in three different areas in Uganda to investigate if it will thrive in different environmental conditions, upon approval of the National Biosafety Committee.
Read more from The Observer.
Breeders have long dreamed of developing genetically-enhanced breeding elites with value-adding performance as quickly as possible. With the present gene editing technologies, such as the CRISPR-Cas9 system, there is a reasonable expectation towards quickly achieving breeding goals.
To evaluate the possible application of CRISPR-Cas9 on accelerating plant breeding, the team of Qing-hui Yu from Xinjiang Academy of Agricultural Science in China aimed to develop tomatoes with long shelf-life through gene replacement via homology directed repair (HDR) using CRISPR-Cas9.
The team aimed to replace the tomato ALC gene with a recessive alc gene. The average mutation frequency reached 72.73%. However, low replacement efficiency (7.69%) was achieved in T0 transgenic plants. No homozygous recessive mutations were detected in T0 plants.  The heterozygous mutants stably transmitted the mutation to the T1 generation for segregation. The desired alc homozygous mutants were achieved in T1 generations.
This was further confirmed by characterization, highlighted by excellent storage performance. These results prove that CRISPR-Cas9-induced gene replacement via HDR could be a valuable method for breeding elite lines in tomato.
For more on this study, read the article in Scientific Reports.
GM Approval Updates
USA has approved the soybean event IND-ØØ41Ø-5 (Abiotic Stress Tolerance) for food use.
Singapore approved the canola event MON88302 (HT) and the soybean event MON87769 (PQ) for food use.
Singapore approved the maize events Bt11 (HT + IR), MIR162 (IR), MIR604 (IR), and GA21 (HT) for food use.
Singapore approved the alfalfa event KK179 (PQ) for food use.
Visit GM Approval Database for more updates
BIO-Europe 2017
November 6 - 8 , 2017
Berlin, Germany

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