GM/Biotech Crops Report – September 2019

6th September 2019
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GM/Biotech Crops Monthly Report September 2019

ALS-resistant sugarbeet launched in UK

Bayer and KWS have made available an ALS-resistant sugarbeet variety that can be selected by beet growers for the 2020 crop. The seed and herbicide are bought as a package and one application of the herbicide, Conviso One, applied when weeds are at the 2 – 4 leaf stage gives control of grass and broad-leaved weeds, including weed beet which has been a serious problem for growers for the last 25 years. It will not control Clearfield varieties of oilseed rape because these are also resistant to ALS herbicides. It can be used in sequence with other beet herbicides but should not be applied in mixture.

In variety evaluations by NIAB where all candidate varieties receive a comprehensive spray programme it shows a slight yield deficit to the best of the conventional varieties but when only sprayed with Conviso One the yield deficit is reduced. Just one application has been approved by CRD because of concerns about the development of resistance but split applications are approved elsewhere in the world. More
Pic: KWS

Gene-edited tomatoes not GM

Tomatoes that are resistant to cauliflower mosaic and spotted wilt viruses due to gene editing by Queensland University are classed as not being GM plants by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and are to start field evaluation in America. The original letter of enquiry and the USDA response are given here. More.
Pic: Emyr Jones

Herbicide tolerant rice

While most rice varieties tolerate benzobicyclon, a triketone herbicide, some varieties are sensitive to it. The gene responsible for tolerance has been identified and this knowledge will help breeders develop new varieties that are not sensitive to this class of herbicides.  More.
Pic: Yamanaki Tamaki

Is GE GM or is it not GM

In 2018 the European Court of Justice has ruled that gene-edited plants should be classed as GM (genetically modified) plants and therefore be subject to the same rules and regulations. However, the European Scientific Community has banded together to question this decision because they feel that it is limiting potential development of useful new varieties. More.
Pic: Yanni Koutsomitis

Algal photosynthesis efficiency

Algae have a more efficient method of photosynthesis that involves a CO2 concentration mechanism. The genetic basis of this mechanism has been identified and now attempts are underway to breed this mechanism in to crop plants which should boost productivity. More.
Pic: Ben Townsend

GM engineering is not newDodder is a parasitic plant that grows on other plants and now scientists have discovered that it has ‘acquired’ over 100 functional genes from the plants that it parasitizes. More.
Pic: Leonora Enking
Drought-tolerant soybeans

A variety of soybean that has been engineered to be more tolerant of drought than conventional varieties (HB4) has been granted approval for commercial use in America and is already grown in Brazil and Argentina. More.
Pic: Watt Publishing

GM Maize nutritionally equivalent to conventional maize

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has concluded that a variety of maize with five stacked genes that confer insect resistance and drought tolerance is nutritionally equivalent to the non GM standard. More.
Pic: Harvest Plus

South Australia moves on

In 2004 South Australia banned the adoption of GM varieties by farmers but this ban has now been lifted and mainland farmers in South Australia are now free to choose approved GM varieties if they wish. More.
Pic: Judith

Rain-resistant wheat

Gene-editing has been used to produce a variety of wheat that is less likely to sprout in the ear if wet conditions occur at harvest. This will mean that flour produced is less likely to present a drop in quality but no mention is made of how easy it is to establish the crop in a dry autumn. More.
Pic: Sleepy Claus

New herbicide for soybeans

BASF has launched a new variety of soybean that besides having tolerance of glyphosate and glufosinate is also claimed to tolerate post-em applications of a herbicide with a new mode of action that is currently awaiting regulatory approval. More.
Pic: Trending Topics

Gene-editing classification

A review of the legal definition of gene-edited plants across the world has identified differences between countries and moves are afoot to standardise the legal definition. More.
Pic: Foto Floridan


• HB4 – soybean with drought stress tolerance approved for food, feed and environmental use in Brazil and for feed and environmental use in USA.



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