Plant Breeding

Ānand, India

Plant Breeding

Ānand, India
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According to the annals of plant genetic diversity, the world is home to more than 1 000 varieties of bananas.They come in colours ranging from red to black, from green to maroon, from sweet ones ready to be eaten directly from the tree, to starchy ones that need to be cooked.They also vary in nutritional value, including one Nigerian variety used to cure infertility. Yet shoppers are likely to find only one variety of banana in their local supermarkets. That same variety will be for sale at the market across town, in thenext district or in the next country –yes, in just about all of the world’ssupermarkets. The entire global commercial banana industry relieson one sweet, seedless banana variety, the Cavendish. The variety was adopted by the commercial industry because it had resistance to a disease that was threatening the banana world of the 1960s. Today, history repeats itself. Another banana disease, Black Sigatoka, is circling the globe, and the Cavendish, which has no resistance, is in its path. The threat is especially dire because of the way these bananas are propagated: they are all essentially clones, which means that if one plant is at risk, all plants are at risk. Fighting banana fungus is a race against time Adopting a new banana variety that is not susceptible to Black Sigatoka would require the banana industry to re-tool its entire processing infrastructure – a drastic and costly measure. So instead, banana producers are relying on a fungicide sprayed on plantations from the air every six days – a fungicide that has been associated with dire side effects for human health, including stunting children’s growth and miscarriages. The fungicide is also expensive to use, putting it out of reach for many of the some 400 million local people who rely on banana to feed their families or for extra income. Unless Black Sigatoka resistance is built into the current global variety, the fungicide spraying will continue. This is why the Joint FAO/IAEA Division, a global pioneer and leader in the field of plant genetic mutation, is in a race against time, working urgently with countries to develop new varieties with the resistant traits. Seeking resistance to fungus is a numbers game In the case of bananas, the mutation process calls for irradiating thousands of plantlets with doses of gamma rays or X-rays that cause random mutations. Then it is a matter of screening to see if the mutations have affected the genes in a way that could lead to the sought trait – in this case, resistance to Black Sigatoka. It is basically a numbers game: the better the screening technique, the faster the probability that the specific, one-of-a-kind improved banana will be detected. To date, the Joint FAO/IAEA Division Plant Breeding and GeneticsLaboratory has developed three banana plant mutations that,under laboratory conditions, show a resistance to the Black Sigatokatoxin. The next step is to take the plantlets to the field, to determine ifthe bananas they produce outside of the laboratory still have resistance. The goal of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division’s work with plant mutationsis to help small farmers and mediumsize producers. It has produced commercial bananas that provide Sudanese farmers with a 30 percent higher yield, and introduced 600 Sri Lankan families to micro-propagation techniques that increased family income 25-fold – so successful that the Sri Lankan Government has recommended that local farmers consider switching from subsistence rice to value-added banana.

News Article | May 24, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. May 24, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced five grants totaling more than $2.5 million for agricultural research that is funded jointly with national or state commodity boards. The funding is made possible through NIFA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), which was authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. "Our collaboration with commodity boards helps the U.S. agriculture industry thrive," said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. "By responding to the needs of the U.S. agricultural sector, we are investing in research that will have a positive economic impact." In FY 2016, the first year of collaboration with national and state commodity boards, topics from five commodity boards were integrated into four program area priorities within two AFRI Requests for Applications (RFAs): Improving Food Safety, Critical Agricultural Research and Extension, and Plant Breeding for Agricultural Production in the Foundational Program RFA; and Breeding and Phenomics of Food Crops and Animals in the Food Security Challenge Area RFA. The commodity boards provided half of the funding for the award in their topic area. The projects include: More information on these projects is available on the NIFA website. Commodity boards are organizations that promote, research, and share industry and consumer information on particular agricultural products, such as almonds, honey, lamb, and wheat. The 2014 Farm Bill enables commodity boards to submit topics for research supported through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, America's flagship competitive grants program for foundational and translational research, education, and extension projects in the food and agricultural sciences. Topics must relate to established AFRI priority areas: plant health and production and plant products; animal health and production and animal products; food safety, nutrition, and health; bioenergy, natural resources, and environment; agriculture systems and technology; and agriculture economics and rural communities. Once topics are approved, the resulting proposals are reviewed using NIFA's established peer-review process. NIFA welcomes commodity board topics that support AFRI priority areas throughout the year. To submit a topic for consideration for inclusion in an AFRI RFA in FY18, commodity board representatives should visit the NIFA Commodity Board webpage for more information NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education, and extension and promotes transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges. NIFA's integrated research, education, and extension programs support the best and brightest scientists and extension personnel whose work results in user-inspired, groundbreaking discoveries that combat childhood obesity, improve and sustain rural economic growth, address water availability issues, increase food production, find new sources of energy, mitigate climate variability, and ensure food safety. To learn more about NIFA's impact on agricultural science, visit http://www. , sign up for email updates or follow us on Twitter @USDA_NIFA, #NIFAimpacts. USDA is an equal opportunity lender, provider, and employer.

Rosyara U.R.,Michigan State University | Bink M.C.A.M.,Wageningen University | van de Weg E.,Plant Breeding | Zhang G.,Michigan State University | And 9 more authors.
Molecular Breeding | Year: 2013

Large fruit size is a critical trait for any new sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) cultivar, as it is directly related to grower profitability. Therefore, determining the genetic control of fruit size in relevant breeding germplasm is a high priority. The objectives of this study were (1) to determine the number and positions of quantitative trait loci (QTL) for sweet cherry fruit size utilizing data simultaneously from multiple families and their pedigreed ancestors, and (2) to estimate fruit size QTL genotype probabilities and genomic breeding values for the plant materials. The sweet cherry material used was a five-generation pedigree consisting of 23 founders and parents and 424 progeny individuals from four full-sib families, which were phenotyped for fruit size and genotyped with 78 RosCOS single nucleotide polymorphism and 86 simple sequence repeat markers. These data were analyzed by a Bayesian approach implemented in FlexQTL™ software. Six QTL were identified: three on linkage group (G) 2 with one each on groups 1, 3, and 6. Of these QTL, the second G2 QTL and the G6 QTL were previously discovered while other QTL were novel. The predicted QTL genotypes show that some QTL were segregating in all families while other QTL were segregating in a subset of the families. The progeny varied for breeding value, with some progeny having higher breeding values than their parents. The results illustrate the use of multiple pedigree-linked families for integrated QTL mapping in an outbred crop to discover novel QTL and predict QTL genotypes and breeding values. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

News Article | March 17, 2016

Fluorescent microscopy image of a root of Arabidopsis thaliana (violet) surrounded by a fungal mesh of Colletotrichum tofieldiae (green). The mesh also grows within the root cells (not shown). Credit: MPI f. Plant Breeding Research For a long time, it was thought that the sole role of the immune system was to distinguish between friend and foe and to fend off pathogens. In fact, it is more like a microbial management system that is also involved in accommodating beneficial microorganisms in the plant when required. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne in collaboration with an international consortium of other laboratories discovered this relationship between the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, or thale cress, and the fungus Colletotrichum tofieldiae. The plant tolerates the fungus when it needs help in obtaining soluble phosphate from the soil and rejects the microbe if it can accomplish this task on its own. Plants grow and thrive only if they have access to soluble phosphate in the soil. They are unable to utilize bound phosphate without help from other organisms. Most plants therefore maintain a mycorrhiza - a fungal mesh around their roots - that supplies them with vital soil-derived nutrients in exchange for carbohydrates, which they produce by photosynthesis. Arabidopsis is one of the few plants that do not have a mycorrhiza. Instead, this species engages in a beneficial relationship with the soil fungus Colletotrichum tofieldiae. This fungus colonizes thale cress through its roots and then lives within and between the root cells. It converts insoluble phosphate in the soil into soluble phosphate and releases the nutrient via the fungal mesh to its plant host, which needs it for growth. "The beneficial interaction between thale cress and Colletotrichum came as a surprise to us, because this fungal family occurs almost everywhere as a pathogen," says Paul Schulze-Lefert, Director of the Max Planck Institute in Cologne. "In maize alone, a relative of this fungus causes crop losses that run into billions of dollars. We therefore wanted to know why Colletotrichum tofieldiae doesn't harm the thale cress plant." Because Schulze-Lefert and colleagues isolated the fungus from a thale cress plant in the Central Plateau of Spain and the fungus does not occur in thale cress plants growing in other regions, they suspected from the outset that the symbiotic relationship has something to do with the local environment. They noted that very little soluble phosphate is present in the soil in the Central Plateau. The Cologne-based scientists demonstrated that an intact innate immune system is needed for the symbiosis and allows the fungus to take up residence in the plant's roots only if the plant is not able to obtain enough soil phosphate on its own. However, if phosphate is plentiful, the plant launches a massive immune response. "It's a fantastically well-regulated system," Schulze-Lefert says. "A foe is therefore recognized as such only in specific circumstances. That's an entirely new take on the immune system." The scientists were also able to show which processes are involved. One process is known as the "phosphate starvation response", by means of which the plant senses the availability of phosphate in the soil and relays this information to a circuit that accelerates or slows plant growth. If soluble phosphate becomes scarce, the nutrient sensing system communicates with one branch of the plant immune system to accommodate the fungal tenant inside roots. This branch of the immune system directs the synthesis of mustard oil glycosides. These compounds are responsible for the sharp and bitter taste of brassicas, which include thale cress, rapeseed, mustard and horseradish. Schulze-Lefert and his colleagues showed that in the absence of this synthesis pathway, C. tofieldiae becomes a life-threatening pathogen for thale cress. "The thale cress plant controls its interaction with its tenant by linking its immune system to a sensor for phosphate availability," says Schulze-Lefert. "It's an elegant solution that extends the role of the immune system to ensure an external supply of nutrients under malnutrition conditions. This has not been previously observed in the plant kingdom." Helper to one, pathogen to others As a next step, the Max Planck researchers want to clarify which molecules mediate communication between the nutrient sensing and the immune systems and how this decision-making process is organized. The only species among the brassicas that do not synthesize mustard oil glycosides, namely the shepherd's purse, does not tolerate the fungus. For the shepherd's purse, C. tofieldiae is a deadly pathogen. Evidently, absence of the synthesis pathway for mustard oil glycosides means that the molecular basis for a beneficial coexistence is missing. The findings are also remarkable in another sense. Whereas healthy plants are colonized by bacterial communities with a reproducible composition, there appears to be less selectivity in the choice of fungal tenants. It is almost as if the individual fungal species are present in the plants purely by accident, because there is no obvious pattern. "We've now shown that a Colletotrichum fungus which we discovered by accident does not take up residence in the plant by accident," says Schulze-Lefert. It serves the thale cress as a substitute for the missing mycorrhiza fungus. Without Colletotrichum, the plant would have a very poor chance of survival in low phosphate soils. The mutual coexistence is beneficial to both partners, but only as long as the right conditions prevail." More information: Hiruma, K., Gerlach, N., Sacristán, S., Nakano, R. T., Hacquard, S., Kracher, B., Neumann, U., Ramírez, D., Bucher, M., O'Connell, R. and P. Schulze-Lefert. Root endophyte Colletotrichum tofieldiae confers plant fitness benefits that are phosphate status-dependent. Cell, 2016.

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For more information or any query mail at [email protected] Market Segment by Regions, regional analysis covers  North America (USA, Canada and Mexico)  Europe (Germany, France, UK, Russia and Italy)  Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, Korea, India and Southeast Asia)  South America, Middle East and Africa Market Segment by Applications, can be divided into  Health Products  Feed  Others Global Spirulina Market by Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to 2021  1 Market Overview  1.1 Spirulina Introduction  1.2 Market Analysis by Type  1.2.1 Natural Lakes Aquaculture Spirulina  1.2.2 Plant Breeding Spirulina  1.2.3  1.3 Market Analysis by Applications  1.3.1 Health Products  1.3.2 Feed  1.3.3 Others  1.4 Market Analysis by Regions  1.4.1 North America (USA, Canada and Mexico) USA Canada Mexico  1.4.2 Europe (Germany, France, UK, Russia and Italy) Germany France UK Russia Italy  1.4.3 Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, Korea, India and Southeast Asia) China Japan Korea India Southeast Asia  1.4.4 South America, Middle East and Africa Brazil Egypt Saudi Arabia South Africa Nigeria  1.5 Market Dynamics  1.5.1 Market Opportunities  1.5.2 Market Risk  1.5.3 Market Driving Force 2 Manufacturers Profiles  2.1 DIC  2.1.1 Business Overview  2.1.2 Spirulina Type and Applications Type 1 Type 2  2.1.3 DIC Spirulina Sales, Price, Revenue, Gross Margin and Market Share  2.2 Cyanotech  2.2.1 Business Overview  2.2.2 Spirulina Type and Applications Type 1 Type 2  2.2.3 Cyanotech Spirulina Sales, Price, Revenue, Gross Margin and Market Share  2.3 Parry Nutraceuticals  2.3.1 Business Overview  2.3.2 Spirulina Type and Applications Type 1 Type 2  2.3.3 Parry Nutraceuticals Spirulina Sales, Price, Revenue, Gross Margin and Market Share  2.4 Hydrolina Biotech  2.4.1 Business Overview  2.4.2 Spirulina Type and Applications Type 1 Type 2  2.4.3 Hydrolina Biotech Spirulina Sales, Price, Revenue, Gross Margin and Market Share  2.5 King Dnarmsa  2.5.1 Business Overview  2.5.2 Spirulina Type and Applications Type 1 Type 2  2.5.3 King Dnarmsa Spirulina Sales, Price, Revenue, Gross Margin and Market Share  2.6 CBN  2.6.1 Business Overview  2.6.2 Spirulina Type and Applications Type 1 Type 2  2.6.3 CBN Spirulina Sales, Price, Revenue, Gross Margin and Market Share  2.7 Green-A  2.7.1 Business Overview  2.7.2 Spirulina Type and Applications Type 1 Type 2  2.7.3 Green-A Spirulina Sales, Price, Revenue, Gross Margin and Market Share  2.8 Spirin  2.8.1 Business Overview  2.8.2 Spirulina Type and Applications Type 1 Type 2  2.8.3 Spirin Spirulina Sales, Price, Revenue, Gross Margin and Market Share  2.9 Chenghai Bao ER  2.9.1 Business Overview  2.9.2 Spirulina Type and Applications Type 1 Type 2  2.9.3 Chenghai Bao ER Spirulina Sales, Price, Revenue, Gross Margin and Market Share  2.10 Shenliu  2.10.1 Business Overview  2.10.2 Spirulina Type and Applications Type 1 Type 2  2.10.3 Shenliu Spirulina Sales, Price, Revenue, Gross Margin and Market Share  2.11 SBD  2.11.1 Business Overview  2.11.2 Spirulina Type and Applications Type 1 Type 2  2.11.3 SBD Spirulina Sales, Price, Revenue, Gross Margin and Market Share  2.12 Lanbao  2.12.1 Business Overview  2.12.2 Spirulina Type and Applications Type 1 Type 2  2.12.3 Lanbao Spirulina Sales, Price, Revenue, Gross Margin and Market Share  2.13 Tianjian  2.13.1 Business Overview  2.13.2 Spirulina Type and Applications Type 1 Type 2  2.13.3 Tianjian Spirulina Sales, Price, Revenue, Gross Margin and Market Share  2.14 Wuli Lvqi  2.14.1 Business Overview  2.14.2 Spirulina Type and Applications Type 1 Type 2  2.14.3 Wuli Lvqi Spirulina Sales, Price, Revenue, Gross Margin and Market Share  2.15 Gangfa  2.15.1 Business Overview  2.15.2 Spirulina Type and Applications Type 1 Type 2  2.15.3 Gangfa Spirulina Sales, Price, Revenue, Gross Margin and Market Share 3 Global Spirulina Market Competition, by Manufacturer  3.1 Global Spirulina Sales and Market Share by Manufacturer  3.2 Global Spirulina Revenue and Market Share by Manufacturer  3.3 Market Concentration Rate  3.3.1 Top 3 Spirulina Manufacturer Market Share  3.3.2 Top 6 Spirulina Manufacturer Market Share  3.4 Market Competition Trend 4 Global Spirulina Market Analysis by Regions  4.1 Global Spirulina Sales, Revenue and Market Share by Regions  4.1.1 Global Spirulina Sales by Regions (2011-2016)  4.1.2 Global Spirulina Revenue by Regions (2011-2016)  4.2 North America Spirulina Sales and Growth (2011-2016)  4.3 Europe Spirulina Sales and Growth (2011-2016)  4.4 Asia-Pacific Spirulina Sales and Growth (2011-2016)  4.5 South America Spirulina Sales and Growth (2011-2016)  4.6 Middle East and Africa Spirulina Sales and Growth (2011-2016) For more information or any query mail at [email protected] Wise Guy Reports is part of the Wise Guy Consultants Pvt. 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Acuna R.,Plant Breeding | Padilla B.E.,Plant Breeding | Florez-Ramos C.P.,Plant Breeding | Rubio J.D.,Plant Breeding | And 9 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2012

Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) involves the nonsexual transmission of genetic material across species boundaries. Although often detected in prokaryotes, examples of HGT involving animals are relatively rare, and any evolutionary advantage conferred to the recipient is typically obscure. We identified a gene (HhMAN1) from the coffee berry borer beetle, Hypothenemus hampei, a devastating pest of coffee, which shows clear evidence of HGT from bacteria. HhMAN1 encodes a mannanase, representing a class of glycosyl hydrolases that has not previously been reported in insects. Recombinant HhMAN1 protein hydrolyzes coffee berry galactomannan, the major storage polysaccharide in this species and the presumed food of H. hampei. HhMAN1 was found to be widespread in a broad biogeographic survey of H. hampei accessions, indicating that the HGT event occurred before radiation of the insect from West Africa to Asia and South America. However, the gene was not detected in the closely related species H. obscurus (the tropical nut borer or "false berry borer"), which does not colonize coffee beans. Thus, HGT of HhMAN1 from bacteria represents a likely adaptation to a specific ecological niche and may have been promoted by intensive agricultural practices.

News Article | March 14, 2016

The five-year project introduced a practice known as relay sowing to communities in Bangladesh, where primed lentil seeds are broadcast into standing monsoonal rice approximately two weeks prior to rice harvest. "Three of our researchers here at UWA travelled from Perth to Dhaka several times each year," UWA's Centre for Plant Breeding and Genetics and Institute of Agriculture Professor William Erskine says. "We conducted trials with local farmers before moving into larger demonstrations in several single hectare blocks. "In Bangladesh, the land is very fertile but there is a lot of people, so the growing space that each person owns is very small." "To make a demonstration of one hectare you have to bring together several households. But we managed to do that and it has really changed the amount of dal being produced." The project funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), has seen lentil production rise from 120,000 to 173,000 tonnes each year. Lentil provides a source of protein to developing communities, Prof Erskine says, with the added bonus that the crop secures nitrogen in the soil and reduces the amount of nitrogen farmers need to apply artificially for growing rice. "It improves nutritional quality, which is particularly important for kids and pregnant women," Prof Erskine says. Prof Erskine says farmers in Bangladesh use irrigation techniques adapted for a shallow water table to grow two rice crops per year. That second rice crop supplanted the lentils that previously grew there, and required Bangladesh to import a large quantity of lentils to meet dietary requirements. "I saw that between the rice crops there was scope to grow a lentil crop without disrupting the rice production cycle," he says. Before joining the team at UWA, Prof Erskine worked in Aleppo in Syria for 27 years, in a large international agricultural research center. Much of his research has been adapted to develop Australia's own lentil export industry, which currently produces about 350,000t each year for export to Southeast Asia, making Australia one of the world's top five lentil exporting nations. "We're building both a pea model and a lentil model from this research, which is useful in the southwest of Western Australia where farmers are growing pea crops," he says. Explore further: Enhancing rice production during climate change in Malaysia

Costa F.,University of Bologna | Costa F.,Research and Innovation Center | Peace C.P.,Washington State University | Stella S.,University of Bologna | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Experimental Botany | Year: 2010

Apple fruit are well known for their storage life, although a wide range of flesh softening occurs among cultivars. Loss of firmness is genetically coordinated by the action of several cell wall enzymes, including polygalacturonase (PG) which depolymerizes cell wall pectin. By the analysis of 'Fuji' (Fj) and 'Mondial Gala' (MG), two apple cultivars characterized by a distinctive ripening behaviour, the involvement of Md-PG1 in the fruit softening process was confirmed to be ethylene dependent by its transcript being down-regulated by 1-methylcyclopropene treatment in MG and in the low ethylene-producing cultivar Fj. Comparing the PG sequence of MG and Fj, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) was discovered. Segregation of the Md-PG1 SNP marker within a full-sib population, obtained by crossing Fj and MG, positioned Md-PG1 in the linkage group 10 of MG, co-located with a quantitative trait locus (QTL) identified for fruit firmness in post-harvest ripening. Fruit firmness and softening analysed in different stages, from harvest to post-storage, determined a shift of the QTL from the top of this linkage group to the bottom, where Md-ACO1, a gene involved in ethylene biosynthesis in apple, is mapped. This PG-ethylene-related gene has beeen positioned in the apple genome on chromosome 10, which contains several QTLs controlling fruit firmness and softening, and the interplay among the allelotypes of the linked loci should be considered in the design of a markerassisted selection breeding scheme for apple texture. © 2010 The Author(s).

Srinivasa Rao N.,Computer Application | Geetha K.A.,Plant Breeding | Maiti S.,DMAPR
Computers and Electronics in Agriculture | Year: 2014

In recent years the demand for medicinal and aromatic plants has grown rapidly at national and international level because of it a vital role in supply nutrients as well as strengthen human's various VITAL systems to protect from innumerous diseases. The collection, conservation and exchange of planting material of medicinal plants are some of the major problems in this sector. Taking these things into consideration, a web based network of Herbal Garden in India (HGI) has been designed and developed at Directorate of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Research (DMAPR), Anand, Gujarat, India. HGI is a web based decision making system and provides information about the herbal gardens in India and facilitates the exchange of planting material. HGI has been developed using Tomcat6, Struts 2.0, JavaScript & MySQL and hosted at System has been designed using modular approach and has separate modules for garden curators (nodal officers) and general users. Nodal officers have the right to insert, edit/update and delete data related to their respective gardens. General users have the flexibility to access the information about the herbal gardens of India and the system facilitate to approach nearby garden for the required planting material. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

News Article | August 31, 2016

Monday morning at the annual conference European Society for Plant Breeding Research in Switzerland started as planned. Researchers presented a talk on genomics and bioinformatics to the hundreds of scientists attending. But then things took a dramatic turn. “It’s around 11 o’clock when a group of activists enters the conference room of the ETH Zürich, throwing urine on the audience while painting ‘Shit on technology’ on the wall,” said Beat Boller, the president of the society, in a released statement. “When they were gone they left considerable damage, a mess of rotten eggs and poo, and an audience full of incomprehension behind.” Police strongly suspect the activists were protesting against genetically-modified crops, according to the New Journal of Zurich, and said the masked individuals threw cow dung, urine, and rotten eggs. Some conference participants did get feces thrown on them, but no one was injured, according to the report. But if the activists really were anti-GMO, this conference probably wasn’t the place to stage their protest. It’s true, the event was sponsored by some big names in the GM crop world, like Syngenta, Monsanto’s Swiss rival. But it was attended by scientists and researchers with all kinds of backgrounds, who were coming together to look at new technology and share ideas with a specific goal in mind: finding a solution to food insecurity. The conference brought together researchers from around the world with academics and industry representatives to share ideas on how to improve crops. There were talks by scientists from UC Davis, the University of Zurich, and Australia’s Curtin University. These solutions can include genetic modification—GM crops that are more resistant to disease or climate change helps preserve food security—but it’s not the only, or even the biggest, strategy being talked about. “Plant breeding encompasses all forms of crop improvement and is designed to help growers that wish to grow using both conventional and organic cultivation methods. Very little is actually about GM crops,” said Carol Wagstaff, an Associate Professor in crop quality for health at the University of Reading, who was in attendance Monday. “Most of the delegates, whether representing academia or industry, are based in countries where GM crops are not permitted for growth in the field.” Read More: Probiotics Are Useless, GMOs Are Fine, and Gluten in Necessary Still, GMOs are a perpetual hot topic. Even though the science has made it clear that eating GM crops poses no risk to human health, there are legitimate questions to be asked about seed patents and whether or not we want all our crops to be controlled by a single, profit-driven, private company like Monsanto. But even if the protesters had those criticisms in mind, they were still at the wrong place. As Wagstaff pointed out, publicly sharing research and work at a conference like this counts as disclosure in the world of patents. “Therefore those of us talking about our work do so because we want the results to be adopted and used to improve the resilience and quality of crops available in the future, not because we are seeking to patent our findings and make vast profit from them,” Wagstaff told me via email. “I suspect these are goals that the protestors would also wish to see achieved if they thought about it.” After the protesters finished their literal smear campaign, they tried to make a run for it, but Wagstaff told me some of the attendees went after them and stopped them from getting away as police were called to the scene. After a short break, the conference moved to a different room and continued as planned, Wagstaff said. She told me her fellow attendees have been “pretty stoic and unperturbed by the whole thing.” “No one was hurt and the science was not silenced,” she said. “The meeting has not suffered in the slightest.”

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