GM/Biotech Crops Report – February 2017

2nd February 2017
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GM/Biotech Crops Monthly Report February 2017


The Donald Danforth Plant Centre has assembled a whole maize genome with just 2% of the spaces on the gene map yet unfilled.  I suspect this framework should allow easier and quicker modification of the maize genome to incorporate specialist traits. More


Source: Harshana W

Potato blight

Source: Ben Millett

Friendly Fire from America?

It seems obvious when you think about it but data has now come to light that shows that the cause of the potato blight that devastated Ireland originated in America.  Since that is where the potatoes came from, plant health monitoring of imports was not as good as it should have been. More

A cure for Friendly Fire?

Whilst America was the source of potato blight infection, it is also the source of the cure.  Even Bangladesh is now planning to grow blight-resistant potato varieties.  Hopefully it will not be too long before we can start to grow them in The UK as well. More

Potato crop

Gene switch

Source: CEA

How to switch off gene editing

The system of CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing is well known and widely used now but how do you stop it when you have achieved what you want to do?  Apparently bacterial viruses have already designed proteins to do this so we just have to copy them. More

New technique for gene editing

Washington State University has found a way of controlling the protein output of any gene which works on any cells from bacteria and yeasts to fruit flies and humans.  It works on the messenger RNA system of the cell. More


Source: NIH Image Gallery


Source: Sally Langstaff

China to save our badgers?

Researchers in China have used CRISPR/Cas9 editing on cattle to produce 11 cows with increased resistance to bovine tuberculosis.  Once these developments become more widespread perhaps we can stop culling the badgers here in the UK. More

The latest additions to the GM/Biotech Crops Manual database are:

  • MON87708 – soybean with glyphosate and dicamba tolerance – now approved for food, feed import in China, food use in Indonesia and food & feed use in Vietnam.
  • COT102 – cotton with Lepidopteran insect resistance now approved for food & feed import in China and food use in Columbia.
  • MON87769 – soybean with glyphosate tolerance and modified oil/fatty acid content approved for food and feed import in China, food use in Indonesia and food & feed use in Vietnam.
  • The stacked event COT102 x MON15985 x MON88913 x MON88701 – cotton with Lepidopteran resistance and tolerance of glyphosate, glufosinate and dicamba now approved for food, feed and environmental use in Australia.
  • The stacked event MON88701 x MON88913 – cotton with tolerance of glyphosate, glufosinate and dicamba approved for food, feed and environmental use in Australia.
  • GHB614 – cotton with tolerance to glyphosate approved for food and feed use in Malaysia.


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