GM/Biotech Crops Report – January 2019

3rd January 2019
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GM/Biotech Crops Monthly Report January 2019


Gene-edited medicines
A company in Cambridge has completed the sequencing of the genome of 100,000 people with rare diseases that allows accurate tailoring of treatments to control or cure the disease. This is just the start and in the not-too-distant future a visit to the doctor is likely to be preceded by the sequencing of your genome.
Pic: James H.

Virus resistance for soybeans
Evaluations under field conditions over 3 years has demonstrated that soybeans engineered for over-expression of PAC1 genes show reduced sensitivity to soybean mosaic virus, bean common mosaic virus, watermelon mosaic virus and bean pod mottle virus.  More
Pic: Sobolevnrm
Banana revival
Over half the world’s bananas are the Cavendish variety which is sterile. This means that it is not possible to breed in better disease resistance and it is very susceptible to a pandemic. However, researchers at Queensland University in Australia have successfully edited the genome using CRISPR-Cas-9 techniques, thus offering the possibility of improving the disease resistance of this valuable crop.  More
Pic: John
Tobacco mosaic virus – the new factory?
Researchers in Spain have engineered the genome of the tobacco mosaic virus so that when it is established on the leaves of Nicotiana plants it produces large quantities of new anti-fungal compounds. More
Pic: Steve Brand

Powdery mildew control in wheat
The spring wheat variety ‘Bobwhite’ is very susceptible to powdery mildew but when specific alleles of the Pm3 gene were edited into its genome it showed strong field resistance to the disease. Now this gene will be incorporated into wheat breeding programmes. More
Pic: Bayer
Send in the clones
Some 400 species of wild plants are known to produce viable seeds without fertilisation but this does not occur in most crop species. Now researchers at the University of California have discovered a way to persuade rice to form seeds by mitosis rather than meiosis and thus produce clones of the mother plant.  More
Pic:Ken Schwarz


• MON88702 – cotton with Hemipteran insect resistance approved for food use in Canada.
• GHB811 – cotton with tolerance of glyphosate and isoxaflutole herbicides approved for food use in Canada.



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