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GM/Biotech Crops Report – October 2018

2nd October 2018

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GM/Biotech Crops Monthly Report October 2018

 

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Viruses to deliver gene therapy
Haemophilia is caused by a single error in the DNA of sufferers and now a way of using viruses to deliver the corrected DNA to the liver where the necessary Factor 8 is produced. Phase 2 trials have seen factor 8 levels rise to normal levels in treated patients but perhaps this method of delivering gene therapy could also be used to treat other diseases. More
Pic: Paul Makinen

Terpenoids on tap
Terpenoids are produced by plants in limited quantities but are used by industry for various purposes. Now the on/off switch has been identified promising increased production which makes me think of ’The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’.
More
Pic: Laura Bernhardt
Herbal
Sorghum Who needs herbicides?
Sorghum roots exude sorgoleone, a compound that inhibits the growth of other plants near the sorghum and scientists at the Agricultural Research Service of America are looking at ways of transferring this ability to rice and other crops. Could it also be used as a guide in the search for new residual herbicides? Would these herbicides meet approval thresholds? More
Pic: pmanaghan
Taking the waters
Stinkbugs are insect pests that attack apples, peaches and tomatoes among other crops and growers use traps to monitor for the presence of the pest to trigger control programmes. Now they have discovered that if they test the rinse water used on the produce for presence of the stinkbug DNA they can detect the pest much earlier and treatment programmes are more effective. More
Pic: Dave Hosford
Stinkbug
RiceOct Better yields with less nitrogen
A geneticist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences claims that modern crop varieties absorb nitrogen less efficiently than older varieties and that he knows why. He says that modern varieties have low levels of ‘Factor 4’ and he has bred rice plants with higher levels of this compound. These short plants need lower levels of nitrogen than conventional varieties to produce high yields. More
Pic: Audrey Law
Covering your tracks
CRISPR-Cas9 transgenes can be removed from edited annual plants by sexual segregation but it takes much longer in perennial species. Now researchers in Connecticut have discovered a method of removing them without relying on sexual segregation. Once removed, is there any way of detecting that these plants were ever edited? More
Pic:Andrei Zucrev
Magnified
Brazil Glyphosate ban in Brazil
Brazil grows a lot of glyphosate-tolerant GM crops and recently a ban was imposed on the use of glyphosate. However, a Brazilian court has now over-turned the previous injunction before it could take effect and so their agricultural industry is saved. More
Pic: Marcus Zorbis
A hoary old Chestnut
Chestnut trees were once common across America before a fungal disease called Chestnut blight decimated them. Now a team have developed a chestnut tree with heritable blight resistance and are keen to re-establish the trees throughout the land. Could something similar be done for ash and elm in the UK? More
Picf: Chris Waits
 Chestnut Tree rows

 

 Algae

Blue-green algae to the rescue
Rubisco in plants captures CO2 for conversion into sugars but it is a rate-limiting step and the rubisco in cyanobacteria (blue-green algae)works three times quicker due to a CO2 concentrating mechanism. Now researchers have inserted cyanobacteria into crop plants to form a photosynthetic system that could achieve a 60% increase in plant growth and yields. More
Pic: Isado

Verticillium wilt control
Cotton is affected by Verticillium wilt and has few resistant varieties unlike other crops. Now a way of suppressing the disease has been developed using interference RNA (RNAi) to switch off the pathogenic genes in the fungus.
More
Pic: Kimberly Vardeman
CottonOct
Drugs New anti-depressant drugs
Anti-depressant drugs were developed over 30 years ago and no new ones have been released. The site of action of these drugs has been identified as the Delta GABA receptor using gene editing techniques. It is hoped that now the structure of the site of action is known it will aid the development of more targeted drugs with fewer side effects. More
Pic: Marc Pether-Longman
Less malaria in Africa?
Malaria is endemic in Africa and is spread by the bite of the female mosquito. The release of male-sterile mosquitoes has been very effective at reducing mosquito populations in Brazil where it was spreading the Zika virus and now the technique is to be deployed in Africa. More
Pic: NIH Image Gallery
Zika Virus
MosquitoOct If that doesn’t work, try this
Researchers at Imperial College in London have turned off the fertility of female mosquitoes by gene editing and have achieved the complete elimination of mosquito populations in the lab. Could his technique one day be used on wild populations? More
Pic: Debris Field
A new weapon against antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Some bacteria are difficult to kill with antibiotics because they have double cell walls that make it difficult for the drugs to access the cell. Now a molecule labelled G0775 has been synthesised that can easily penetrate the tough outer membrane and facilitate the access of the drugs to the cell within. More
Pic:Orthonit
Bacteria

 


THE LATEST ADDITIONS TO THE  GM/BIOTECH DATABASE ARE:

  • MON87708 x MON89788 x A5547-127 – soybean with tolerance of glyphosate, glufosinate and dicamba approved for feed use in Columbia.
  • DHA Canola – oilseed rape with modified oil content and tolerance of glufosinate approved for food, feed and environmental use in America and for food use in New Zealand.
  • MON87705 x MON87708 x MON89788 – soybean with modified oil content and tolerance of glyphosate and dicamba approved for food and feed use in Mexico and South Africa.
  • Bt176 – maize with Lepidopteran insect resistance and tolerance of glyphosate approved for food use in Zambia.
  • New stacked event – MIR162 x MON89034 – maize with Lepidopteran insect resistance approved for food, feed and environment use in Argentina and Brazil, food and feed in Mexico and food use in Taiwan.
  • MON87427 x MON89034 x MIR162 x MON87411 – maize with resistance to Coleopteran and Lepidopteran insects and tolerance of glyphosate approved for food and feed use in Mexico and food use in Taiwan.
  • MS11 – oilseed rape with tolerance of glufosinate approved for food use in Taiwan.
  • FG72 x A5547-127 – soybean with tolerance of glyphosate, glufosinate and isoxaflutole herbicides approved for food, feed and processing in the Philippines.
  • MON89034 x TC1507 x NK603 x MIR162 – maize with Lepidopteran insect resistance and tolerance of glufosinate and glyphosate approved for food and feed use in Mexico, food use in Taiwan and feed and processing use in Columbia.
  • MON87419 – maize with tolerance of glufosinate and dicamba approved for food and feed use in Mexico and for feed use in Columbia.
  • MON87751 x MON87701 x MON87708 x MON89788 – soybean with Lepidopteran insect resistance and tolerance of glyphosate and dicamba approved for food and feed use in Mexico and for feed use in Columbia.
  • MZIR098 – maize with Coleopteran and lepidopteran insect resistance and tolerance of glufosinate approved for food use in Japan and for feed use in Columbia.
  • New stacked event – MON87427 x MON89034 x MON88017 – maize with Coleopteran and Lepidopteran insect resistance and tolerance of glyphosate approved for food, feed and environmental use in Argentina and Japan, food use in Mexico and Taiwan and food and feed use in South Korea.
  • New stacked event – 281-24-236 x 3006-210-23 x COT102 – cotton with Lepidopteran insect resistance approved for food, feed and environmental use in Brazil.
  • DP305423 x GTS-40-3-2 – soybean with modified oil content and tolerance of glyphosate and sulfonyl urea herbicides approved for commercial use in Brazil.

 

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