GM/Biotech Crops Report – May 2017

2nd May 2017

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GM/Biotech Crops Monthly Report May 2017

MEPs vote against growing GM Maize

In a recent vote MEPs have decided to not allow the cultivation or the import of food or feed of GM maize in Europe. With the rest of the world quickly adopting these varieties, is this a form of backdoor protectionism? A group of 30 MEPs have also questioned the decision that there is no evidence to consider that glyphosate might be dangerous!  More

European Parliament

Source: Patrick Muller

Foxtail grass

 

Gene found that could increase maize yields

researchers at the Donald Danforth Research centre have identified a gene in green foxtail grass that seems to control seed (and therefore grain) yield.   More

Hybrid plants the easy way

Tokyo University has engineered rice plants that do not flower because of over-expression of a repressor gene.  This would mean no yield but they have also engineered an ‘on’ switch which is triggered by application of specific agrochemicals.  In this way plants can be grown in the vegetative stage before flowering is switched on at a time of the grower’s choosing!  Could this technique be of benefit in synchronising the flowering of hybrid varieties?   More

Tokyo

Source: Daverson Borja

Source: fdecomite

Source: fdecomite

Who needs Phosphorus?

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have identified two genes that help plants cope with stress and a lack of phosphorus in the soil.  Reduced levels of the SERATE gene caused root hairs to become longer while overexpression of GRP8 allowed the plants to thrive under very low phosphate levels in the soil:  More

New tool for editing the human genome

CRISPR/Cas9 editing is a useful tool for editing plant genomes but a new one, CRISPR-Cpf1 shows promise for correcting some genetic disorders in humans because of its smaller size.  It has been used to successfully correct the defect that causes Duchenne muscular dystrophy in miceome longer while overexpression of GRP8 allowed the plants to thrive under very low phosphate levels in the soil:  More

Source: NIH Image Gallery

Source: NIH Image Gallery

Source: Ivan

Source: Ivan

Genes have volume controls besides on/off switches

Besides the important genes, genomes contain a lot of rubbish dna that appears to have no function.  Now it seems that some of this ‘rubbish’ is a control system for how active a gene is in the metabolism.  More

Whoops there goes another rubber tree plant!

Rubber can come from the rubber tree plant of Asia or can be made from petroleum but small quantities can also be obtained from the guayule plant, a woody shrub that grows in southwestern USA.  Now researchers have made some genetic edits to this plant that result in greater biomass and more importantly, more rubber production.  Soon American cars could be rolling on tyres made from home-grown rubber since Bridgestones are also involved in the project.   More

Source: Pavithri Attanayake

Source: Pavithri Attanayake

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

  • T304-40 – Cotton with glufosinate tolerance and Lepidopteran insect resistance approved for food and feed use in Malaysia.
  • LLCotton25 – Cotton with glufosinate tolerance approved for food and feed use in Malaysia.
  • GHB119 – Cotton with glufosinate tolerance and Lepidopteran insect resistance approved for food and feed use in Malaysia.
  • MON88701 – Cotton with tolerance of dicamba and glufosinate approved for food, feed and environment use in Brazil and for food use in Columbia.
  • GHB614 x T304-40 x GHB119 x COT102 – Cotton with glufosinate and glyphosate tolerance and with Lepidopteran insect resistance approved for food, feed and environment use in Brazil and Japan.
  • New stacked event – MON87427 x MON89034 x TC1507 x MON87411 x 59122 – Maize with glyphosate and glufosinate tolerance and resistance to Lepidopteran and Coleopteran insects – approved for food use in South Korea.

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