WorldWideScience

Sample records for crop improvement genetic

  1. An Integrated Approach to Crop Genetic Improvement

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Martin A. J. Parry; Malcolm J. Hawkesford

    2012-01-01

    The balance between the supply and demand of the major food crops is fragile,fueling concerns for long-term global food security.The rising population,increasing wealth and a proliferation of nonfood uses (e.g.bioenergy) has led to growing demands on agriculture,while increased production is limited by greater urbanization,and the degradation of land.Furthermore,global climate change with increasing temperatures and lower,more erratic rainfall is projected to decrease agricultural yields.There is a predicted need to increase food production by at least 70% by 2050 and therefore an urgent need to develop novel and integrated approaches,incorporating high-throughput phenotyping that will both increase production per unit area and simultaneously improve the resource use efficiency of crops.Yield potential,yield stability,nutrient and water use are all complex multigenic traits and while there is genetic variability,their complexity makes such traits difficult to breed for directly.Nevertheless molecular plant breeding has the potential to deliver substantial improvements,once the component traits and the genes underlying these traits have been identified.In addition,interactions between the individual traits must also be taken into account,a demand that is difficult to fulfill with traditional screening approaches.Identified traits will be incorporated into new cultivars using conventional or biotechnological tools.In order to better understand the relationship between genotype,component traits,and environment over time,a multidisciplinary approach must be adopted to both understand the underlying processes and identify candidate genes,QTLs and traits that can be used to develop improved crops.

  2. Regulation of Leaf Senescence and Crop Genetic Improvement

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiao-Yuan Wu; Ben-Ke Kuai; Ji-Zeng Jia; Hai-Chun Jing

    2012-01-01

    Leaf senescence can impact crop production by either changing photosynthesis duration,or by modifying the nutrient remobilization efficiency and harvest index.The doubling of the grain yield in major cereals in the last 50 years was primarily achieved through the extension of photosynthesis duration and the increase in crop biomass partitioning,two things that are intrinsically coupled with leaf senescence.In this review,we consider the functionality of a leaf as a function of leaf age,and divide a leaf's life into three phases:the functionality increasing phase at the early growth stage,the full functionality phase,and the senescence and functionality decreasing phase.A genetic framework is proposed to describe gene actions at various checkpoints to regulate leaf development and senescence.Four categories of genes contribute to crop production:those which regulate (Ⅰ) the speed and transition of early leaf growth,(Ⅱ) photosynthesis rate,(Ⅲ) the onset and (Ⅳ) the progression of leaf senescence.Current advances in isolating and characterizing senescence regulatory genes are discussed in the leaf aging and crop production context.We argue that the breeding of crops with leaf senescence ideotypes should be an essential part of further crop genetic improvement.

  3. Genetically modified (GM) crops: milestones and new advances in crop improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamthan, Ayushi; Chaudhuri, Abira; Kamthan, Mohan; Datta, Asis

    2016-09-01

    New advances in crop genetic engineering can significantly pace up the development of genetically improved varieties with enhanced yield, nutrition and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Genetically modified (GM) crops can act as powerful complement to the crops produced by laborious and time consuming conventional breeding methods to meet the worldwide demand for quality foods. GM crops can help fight malnutrition due to enhanced yield, nutritional quality and increased resistance to various biotic and abiotic stresses. However, several biosafety issues and public concerns are associated with cultivation of GM crops developed by transgenesis, i.e., introduction of genes from distantly related organism. To meet these concerns, researchers have developed alternative concepts of cisgenesis and intragenesis which involve transformation of plants with genetic material derived from the species itself or from closely related species capable of sexual hybridization, respectively. Recombinase technology aimed at site-specific integration of transgene can help to overcome limitations of traditional genetic engineering methods based on random integration of multiple copy of transgene into plant genome leading to gene silencing and unpredictable expression pattern. Besides, recently developed technology of genome editing using engineered nucleases, permit the modification or mutation of genes of interest without involving foreign DNA, and as a result, plants developed with this technology might be considered as non-transgenic genetically altered plants. This would open the doors for the development and commercialization of transgenic plants with superior phenotypes even in countries where GM crops are poorly accepted. This review is an attempt to summarize various past achievements of GM technology in crop improvement, recent progress and new advances in the field to develop improved varieties aimed for better consumer acceptance.

  4. Recent trends on crop genetic improvement using mutation techniques

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kang, Siyong [Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2008-04-15

    The radiation breeding technology has been significantly achieved on creation of mutation genetic resources of plants for commercial cultivation and genomic study since 1920s. According to the FAO-IAEA Mutant Variety Database, more than 2600 varieties have been released in the world. Induction of mutations with radiation has been the most frequently used by sources of X-ray and gamma ray, but in recent Japanese scientist have been used the heavy ion beam as a new radiation sources. And China has been made remarkable outcomes in the mutant creation using new space breeding technology since 1990s. In Korea, more about 40 varieties have been developed by using the mutation breeding method since the mid-1960s. Most of the released mutant varieties in Korea were food and oil seed crops, especially for improving agronomic traits such as yield, lodging tolerance, maturity, and functional compounds. Currently the mutation breeding program in Korea has assigned more resources to develop high functional crops and ornamental plants. These functional and ornamental plants are ideal systems for a mutation breeding. A research program for the development of potential varieties of flowering and ornamental crops as rose, chrysanthemum, lily, carnation, orchids, and wild flowers was started with financial support from the Bio green 21 project of Korean government. The potential outcomes from the program will be new highly valued-added varieties which will provide greater money gains to Korean farmers and lots of valued mutants used for a gene isolation of interest and reverse genetics or functional genomic. Scientific interest in mutation breeding has drastically be ed focused to the field of functional genomic. Scientific interest in mutation breeding has drastically be ed focused to the field of functional genomic after a completion of genome sequencing of some model plant species. A direct approach of discovering the function of a novel gene is to use a mutant which has altered

  5. Lab to farm: applying research on plant genetics and genomics to crop improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronald, Pamela C

    2014-06-01

    Over the last 300 years, plant science research has provided important knowledge and technologies for advancing the sustainability of agriculture. In this Essay, I describe how basic research advances have been translated into crop improvement, explore some lessons learned, and discuss the potential for current and future contribution of plant genetic improvement technologies to continue to enhance food security and agricultural sustainability.

  6. Energy crops for biofuel feedstocks: facts and recent patents on genetic manipulation to improve biofuel crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Suresh

    2013-12-01

    Burning fossil-fuels to meet the global energy requirements by human being has intensified the concerns of increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases. Therefore, serious efforts are required to develop nonfossil-based renewable energy sources. Plants are more efficient in utilizing solar energy to convert it into biomass which can be used as feedstocks for biofuel production. Hence with the increasing demands of energy and the needs of cost-effective, sustainable production of fuels, it has become necessary to switch over to plant biomass as a renewable source of energy. Biofuels derived from more sustainable biological materials such as lignocellulosic plant residues, considered as second generation biofuels, are more dependable. However, there are technical challenges such as pretreatment and hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass to convert it into fermentable sugars. Plant genetic engineering has already proven its potential in modifying cell wall composition of plants for enhancing the efficiency of biofuel production. Interest and potential in the area are very much evident from the growing number of patents in the recent years on the subject. In this review, recent trends in genetic engineering of energy crops for biofuel production have been introduced, and strategies for the future developments have been discussed.

  7. Genetically engineered microorganisms for improved crop production. (Latest citations from the Biobusiness data base). Published Search

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1992-05-01

    The bibliography contains citations concerning the use of genetically altered bacteria and viruses to improve and increase crop production. The uses of microorganisms to transport desirable genes into the subject plant, and the external applications of microorganisms for frost protection, insect repellent properties, or conversion of nitrogen to fertilizer are among the topics discussed. (Contains 250 citations and includes a subject term index and title list.)

  8. Genetically Engineered Crops and Certified Organic Agriculture for Improving Nutrition Security in Africa and South Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pray, Carl; Ledermann, Samuel

    2016-01-01

    In Africa and South Asia, where nutrition insecurity is severe, two of the most prominent production technologies are genetically modified (GM) crops and certified organic agriculture. We analyze the potential impact pathways from agricultural production to nutrition. Our review of data and the literature reveals increasing farm-level income from cash crop production as the main pathway by which organic agriculture and GM agriculture improve nutrition. Potential secondary pathways include reduced prices of important food crops like maize due to GM maize production and increased food production using organic technology. Potential tertiary pathways are improvements in health due to reduced insecticide use. Challenges to the technologies achieving their impact include the politics of GM agriculture and the certification costs of organic agriculture. Given the importance of agricultural production in addressing nutrition security, accentuated by the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, the chapter concludes by stressing the importance of private and public sector research in improving the productivity and adoption of both GM and organic crops. In addition, the chapter reminds readers that increased farm income and productivity require complementary investments in health, education, food access and women's empowerment to actually improve nutrition security.

  9. Intragenic crop improvement: combining the benefits of traditional breeding and genetic engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rommens, Caius M

    2007-05-30

    New crop varieties are developed by applying traditional breeding methods that rely on random genome modifications. These varieties combine multiple traits that support farm efficiency and acceptable yields but also contain genes associated with the production of toxins, allergens, and/or antinutritional compounds that were not considered during the selection process. Furthermore, existing cultivars frequently lack the functional genes required for specific sensory traits and the formation of health-promoting antioxidants. One new method efficiently addresses some of these issues by either silencing undesirable genes or enhancing the expression of genes that are linked to dormant beneficial traits. Rather than incorporating foreign DNA into the plant's genome, these methods transform crops with plant-derived transfer (P-) DNAs that consist of only native genetic elements. The genetic modification can be characterized molecularly so that any inadvertent transfer of undesirable DNA, as may be the case with traditional methods, is excluded. A recently developed intragenic potato plant is silenced for the polyphenol oxidase, dikinase R1, and phosphorylase-L genes in a tuber-specific manner. French fries derived from these tubers lack discolorations, display an enhanced potato flavor, and produce greatly reduced amounts of the suspected carcinogen acrylamide. It is argued that intragenic modification is unlikely to trigger phenotypic, biochemical, or physiological variation that is new to the species. Similarly, the targeted traits are similar to those that breeders select for and often have a history of domestication and reduced fitness. For these reasons, an updated regulatory system is proposed whereby intragenic crops are considered as low risk and should be cleared for commercial release in a timely and cost-effective manner. By using modern techniques to modify the same genetic material that is used by breeders, intragenic approaches may be perceived as an

  10. How can we harness quantitative genetic variation in crop root systems for agricultural improvement?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Christopher N. Topp; Adam L. Bray

    2016-01-01

    Root systems are a black box obscuring a comprehensive understanding of plant function, from the ecosystem scale down to the individual. In particular, a lack of knowledge about the genetic mechanisms and environmental effects that condition root system growth hinders our ability to develop the next generation of crop plants for improved agricultural productivity and sustainability. We discuss how the methods and metrics we use to quantify root systems can affect our ability to understand them, how we can bridge knowledge gaps and accelerate the derivation of structure-function relationships for roots, and why a detailed mecha-nistic understanding of root growth and function will be important for future agricultural gains.

  11. Looking forward to genetically edited fruit crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagamangala Kanchiswamy, Chidananda; Sargent, Daniel James; Velasco, Riccardo; Maffei, Massimo E; Malnoy, Mickael

    2015-02-01

    The availability of genome sequences for many fruit crops has redefined the boundaries of genetic engineering and genetically modified (GM) crop plants. However commercialization of GM crops is hindered by numerous regulatory and social hurdles. Here, we focus on recently developed genome-editing tools for fruit crop improvement and their importance from the consumer perspective. Challenges and opportunities for the deployment of new genome-editing tools for fruit plants are also discussed.

  12. Root system architecture: opportunities and constraints for genetic improvement of crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Dorlodot, Sophie; Forster, Brian; Pagès, Loïc; Price, Adam; Tuberosa, Roberto; Draye, Xavier

    2007-10-01

    Abiotic stresses increasingly curtail crop yield as a result of global climate change and scarcity of water and nutrients. One way to minimize the negative impact of these factors on yield is to manipulate root system architecture (RSA) towards a distribution of roots in the soil that optimizes water and nutrient uptake. It is now established that most of the genetic variation for RSA is driven by a suite of quantitative trait loci. As we discuss here, marker-assisted selection and quantitative trait loci cloning for RSA are underway, exploiting genomic resources, candidate genes and the knowledge gained from Arabidopsis, rice and other crops. Nonetheless, efficient and accurate phenotyping, modelling and collaboration with breeders remain important challenges, particularly when defining ideal RSA for different crops and target environments.

  13. Future contributions of crop modelling : from heuristics and supporting decision making to understanding genetic regulation and aiding crop improvement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hammer, G.L.; Kropff, M.J.; Sinclair, T.R.; Porter, J.R.

    2002-01-01

    Crop modelling has evolved over the last 30 or so years in concert with advances in crop physiology, crop ecology and computing technology. Having reached a respectable degree of acceptance, it is appropriate to review briefly the course of developments in crop modelling and to project what might be

  14. Future contributions of crop modelling : from heuristics and supporting decision making to understanding genetic regulation and aiding crop improvement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hammer, G.L.; Kropff, M.J.; Sinclair, T.R.; Porter, J.R.

    2002-01-01

    Crop modelling has evolved over the last 30 or so years in concert with advances in crop physiology, crop ecology and computing technology. Having reached a respectable degree of acceptance, it is appropriate to review briefly the course of developments in crop modelling and to project what might be

  15. Wild Barley,Hordeum spontaneum,a Genetic Resource for Crop Improvement in Cold and Arid Regions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Eviatar; Nevo

    2008-01-01

    Food security in cold and arid regions in the world is threatened by stressful and unpredictable environments.The sus-tainable and economically viable solution for increasing stability of food productivity in cold and arid regions is genetic improvement of crops towards high resistance to abiotic stresses,mainly cold and drought resistance.It is often empha-sized that crop genetic improvement lies in exploiting the gene pools of the wild relatives of the crop plant.Wild barley,H.spontaneum,the progenitor of cultivated barley,is a selfing annual grass of predominantly Mediterranean and Irano-Turanian distribution that penetrates into desert environments where it maintains stable populations.Wild barley is also found in cold regions,such as in Tibet.The adaptation of wild barley to the arid region in Israel and Jordan,and the cold region in Tibet has accumulated rich genetic diversities for drought,salt,and cold resistances in wild barley,which is the genetic resource for barley and other crop improvement in arid and cold regions.These genetic diversities are revealed by allozymes,DNA-based molecular markers,and morphological and physiological traits of wild barley plants.Quantita-tive trait loci(QTLs) related to drought resistance were identified in wild barley via the QTL mapping approach.Drought resistance genes such as dehydrins,hsdr4,and eibi1 were identified in wild barley based on the candidate gene approach,gene differential expression approach,and molecular genetic approach,respectively.Genetics and genomics of wild bar-ley cold resistance have not been exploited yet,remaining a huge treasure for future crop improvement of cold resistance.Advanced backcross QTL analysis,the introgression libraries based on wild barley as donors,a QTL approach based on wide crosses using wild barley,and positional cloning of natural QTLs will play prevailing roles to help us understand the molecular control of cold and drought tolerance.Integration of QTL information into a

  16. A new mutant genetic resource for tomato crop improvement by TILLING technology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sozio Giovanni

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In the last decade, the availability of gene sequences of many plant species, including tomato, has encouraged the development of strategies that do not rely on genetic transformation techniques (GMOs for imparting desired traits in crops. One of these new emerging technology is TILLING (Targeting Induced Local Lesions In Genomes, a reverse genetics tool, which is proving to be very valuable in creating new traits in different crop species. Results To apply TILLING to tomato, a new mutant collection was generated in the genetic background of the processing tomato cultivar Red Setter by treating seeds with two different ethylemethane sulfonate doses (0.7% and 1%. An associated phenotype database, LycoTILL, was developed and a TILLING platform was also established. The interactive and evolving database is available online to the community for phenotypic alteration inquiries. To validate the Red Setter TILLING platform, induced point mutations were searched in 7 tomato genes with the mismatch-specific ENDO1 nuclease. In total 9.5 kb of tomato genome were screened and 66 nucleotide substitutions were identified. The overall mutation density was estimated and it resulted to be 1/322 kb and 1/574 kb for the 1% EMS and 0.7% EMS treatment respectively. Conclusions The mutation density estimated in our collection and its comparison with other TILLING populations demonstrate that the Red Setter genetic resource is suitable for use in high-throughput mutation discovery. The Red Setter TILLING platform is open to the research community and is publicly available via web for requesting mutation screening services.

  17. Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation of yam (Dioscorea rotundata: an important tool for functional study of genes and crop improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evans eNyaboga

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Although genetic transformation of clonally propagated crops has been widely studied as a tool for crop improvement and as a vital part of the development of functional genomics resources, there has been no report of any existing Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of yam (Dioscorea spp. with evidence of stable integration of T-DNA. Yam is an important crop in the tropics and subtropics providing food security and income to over 300 million people. However, yam production remains constrained by increasing levels of field and storage pests and diseases. A major constraint to the development of biotechnological approaches for yam improvement has been the lack of an efficient and robust transformation and regeneration system. In this study, we developed an Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of Dioscorea rotundata using axillary buds as explants. Two cultivars of D. rotundata were transformed using Agrobacterium tumefaciens harboring the binary vectors containing selectable marker and reporter genes. After selection with appropriate concentrations of antibiotic, shoots were developed on shoot induction and elongation medium. The elongated antibiotic-resistant shoots were subsequently rooted on medium supplemented with selection agent. Successful transformation was confirmed by PCR, Southern blot analysis and reporter genes assay. Expression of gusA gene in transgenic plants was also verified by RT-PCR analysis. Transformation efficiency varied from 9.4% to 18.2% depending on the cultivars, selectable marker genes and the Agrobacterium strain used for transformation. It took 3–4 months from Agro-infection to regeneration of complete transgenic plant. Here we report an efficient, fast and reproducible protocol for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of D. rotundata using axillary buds as explants, which provides a useful platform for future genetic engineering studies in this economically important crop.

  18. Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation of yam (Dioscorea rotundata): an important tool for functional study of genes and crop improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyaboga, Evans; Tripathi, Jaindra N; Manoharan, Rajesh; Tripathi, Leena

    2014-01-01

    Although genetic transformation of clonally propagated crops has been widely studied as a tool for crop improvement and as a vital part of the development of functional genomics resources, there has been no report of any existing Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of yam (Dioscorea spp.) with evidence of stable integration of T-DNA. Yam is an important crop in the tropics and subtropics providing food security and income to over 300 million people. However, yam production remains constrained by increasing levels of field and storage pests and diseases. A major constraint to the development of biotechnological approaches for yam improvement has been the lack of an efficient and robust transformation and regeneration system. In this study, we developed an Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of Dioscorea rotundata using axillary buds as explants. Two cultivars of D. rotundata were transformed using Agrobacterium tumefaciens harboring the binary vectors containing selectable marker and reporter genes. After selection with appropriate concentrations of antibiotic, shoots were developed on shoot induction and elongation medium. The elongated antibiotic-resistant shoots were subsequently rooted on medium supplemented with selection agent. Successful transformation was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction, Southern blot analysis, and reporter genes assay. Expression of gusA gene in transgenic plants was also verified by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction analysis. Transformation efficiency varied from 9.4 to 18.2% depending on the cultivars, selectable marker genes, and the Agrobacterium strain used for transformation. It took 3-4 months from Agro-infection to regeneration of complete transgenic plant. Here we report an efficient, fast and reproducible protocol for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of D. rotundata using axillary buds as explants, which provides a useful platform for future genetic engineering studies in this economically important

  19. GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOOD CROPS AND PUBLIC HEALTH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Acosta Orlando

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available The progress made in plant biotechnology has provided an opportunity to new food crops being developed having desirable traits for improving crop yield, reducing the use of agrochemicals and adding nutritional properties to staple crops. However, genetically modified (GM crops have become a subject of intense debate in which opponents argue that GM crops represent a threat to individual freedom, the environment, public health and traditional economies. Despite the advances in food crop agriculture, the current world situation is still characterised by massive hunger and chronic malnutrition, representing a major public health problem. Biofortified GM crops have been considered an important and complementary strategy for delivering naturally-fortified staple foods to malnourished populations. Expert advice and public concern have led to designing strategies for assessing the potential risks involved in cultivating and consuming GM crops. The present critical review was aimed at expressing some conflicting points of view about the potential risks of GM crops for public health. It was concluded that GM food crops are no more risky than those genetically modified by conventional methods and that these GM crops might contribute towards reducing the amount of malnourished people around the world. However, all this needs to be complemented by effective political action aimed at increasing the income of people living below the poverty-line.

  20. Genetic Engineering and Crop Production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Helen C.; Frost, S.

    1991-01-01

    With a spotlight upon current agricultural difficulties and environmental dilemmas, this paper considers both the extant and potential applications of genetic engineering with respect to crop production. The nonagricultural factors most likely to sway the impact of this emergent technology upon future crop production are illustrated. (JJK)

  1. Genetic Engineering and Crop Production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Helen C.; Frost, S.

    1991-01-01

    With a spotlight upon current agricultural difficulties and environmental dilemmas, this paper considers both the extant and potential applications of genetic engineering with respect to crop production. The nonagricultural factors most likely to sway the impact of this emergent technology upon future crop production are illustrated. (JJK)

  2. Crop Genetics: The Seeds of Revolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeYoung, H. Garrett

    1983-01-01

    Current research in plant genetics is described. Benefits of this research (which includes genetic engineering applications) will include reduction/elimination of crop diseases, assurance of genetic stability, and the creation of new crop varieties. (JN)

  3. ZFN/TALEN Technology and Crop Genetic Improvement%ZFN/TALEN技术与作物遗传改良

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李奇; 安海龙

    2013-01-01

    近年来,以锌指核酸酶(zinc-finger nucleases,ZFNs)和TALE核酸酶(transcription activator-like effector nucleases,TAL-ENs)为代表的基因组编辑技术开始出现并快速发展.这种技术把锌指或TALE (DNA识别结构域)与核酸酶融合,使之能够在特定的位点切开基因组DNA,随后利用基因组的修复/重组机制人工编辑基因组序列.利用ZFN/TALEN基因组编辑技术,可以实现基因敲除、片段置换、片段删除、定点插入等遗传操作.本文对ZFN/TALEN技术的工作原理和其在植物上的成功案例进行了综述,并对其在作物遗传改良研究中的应用前景进行了探讨.%In recent years,genome-editing technologies represented by ZFN (zinc-finger nucleases) and TAL-EN (transcription activator-like effector nucleases) were developed rapidly and used to facilitate the research of crop genetic improvement.These technologies rely mainly on the fusion of zinc fingers or TALEs (DNA-binding domains) to a non-specific nuclease,which could cut genomic DNA at a given site and induce site-directed genome modifications through DNA repair/recombination mechanisms.Using the ZFN/TALEN technology,it is easy to produce desirable genetic modifications such as indels,deletions,fragment insertions and substitutions in the plant genomes.In this review,the principle and evolution of ZFN and TALEN technologies are described and their potentials for crop improvement are also discussed.

  4. Genetic control of chromosome behaviour: Implications in evolution, crop improvement, and human biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chromosomes and chromosome pairing are pivotal to all biological sciences. The study of chromosomes helps unravel several aspects of an organism. Although the foundation of genetics occurred with the formulation of the laws of heredity in 1865, long before the discovery of chromosomes, their subsequ...

  5. Genetic engineering represents a safe approach for innovations improving nutritional contents of major food crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Werner Arber

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available About 70 years ago early microbial genetic research revealed that inherited phenotypic traits become determined by DNA filaments composed of 4 different nucleotides that are linearly arranged. In the meantime we know that genes, the determinants of specific life functions, are genomic segments of an average size of about 1000 nucleotides, i.e. a very small part of a genome. Fundamental insights into the structures and functions of selected genes can be reached by sorting out the relevant short DNA segment, splicing this fragment into a natural gene vector such as a viral genome or a fertility plasmid. This allows the researchers to transfer the genetic hybrid into an appropriate host cell in order to produce many copies that can then serve for functional and structural analysis. This research approach became efficient in the 1970s. On the request of involved researchers, safety guidelines became proposed 1975 at the Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA (Berg, Baltimore, Brenner, Roblin, & Singer, 1975, then generally introduced and still largely followed nowadays. Carefully carried out genetic engineering by horizontally transferring a selected and functionally well known DNA segment into the genome of another organism has in many published biosafety investigations never shown any unexpected harmful effect. We will present below selected examples of research contributions enabling innovations for the benefit of human life conditions.

  6. Plant genetics: increasing crop yield.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, P R

    1977-09-30

    Cell cultures of crop plants provide new opportunities to recover induced mutations likely to increase crop yield. Approaches include regulating respiration to conserve carbon fixed by photosynthesis, and increasing the nutritive value of seed protein. They depend on devising selecting conditions which only desired mutant cells can survive. Protoplast fusion offers some promise of tapping sources of genetic variation now unavailable because of sterility barriers between species and genera. Difficulties in regenerating cell lines from protoplasts, and plants from cells, still hamper progress but are becoming less severe. Recombinant DNA techniques may allow detection and selection of bacterial cell lines carrying specific DNA sequences. Isolation and amplification of crop plant genes could then lead to ways of transforming plants that will be useful to breeders.

  7. Metabolomics of Genetically Modified Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simó, Carolina; Ibáñez, Clara; Valdés, Alberto; Cifuentes, Alejandro; García-Cañas, Virginia

    2014-01-01

    Metabolomic-based approaches are increasingly applied to analyse genetically modified organisms (GMOs) making it possible to obtain broader and deeper information on the composition of GMOs compared to that obtained from traditional analytical approaches. The combination in metabolomics of advanced analytical methods and bioinformatics tools provides wide chemical compositional data that contributes to corroborate (or not) the substantial equivalence and occurrence of unintended changes resulting from genetic transformation. This review provides insight into recent progress in metabolomics studies on transgenic crops focusing mainly in papers published in the last decade. PMID:25334064

  8. Metabolomics of Genetically Modified Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Simó

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Metabolomic-based approaches are increasingly applied to analyse genetically modified organisms (GMOs making it possible to obtain broader and deeper information on the composition of GMOs compared to that obtained from traditional analytical approaches. The combination in metabolomics of advanced analytical methods and bioinformatics tools provides wide chemical compositional data that contributes to corroborate (or not the substantial equivalence and occurrence of unintended changes resulting from genetic transformation. This review provides insight into recent progress in metabolomics studies on transgenic crops focusing mainly in papers published in the last decade.

  9. Metabolomics of genetically modified crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simó, Carolina; Ibáñez, Clara; Valdés, Alberto; Cifuentes, Alejandro; García-Cañas, Virginia

    2014-10-20

    Metabolomic-based approaches are increasingly applied to analyse genetically modified organisms (GMOs) making it possible to obtain broader and deeper information on the composition of GMOs compared to that obtained from traditional analytical approaches. The combination in metabolomics of advanced analytical methods and bioinformatics tools provides wide chemical compositional data that contributes to corroborate (or not) the substantial equivalence and occurrence of unintended changes resulting from genetic transformation. This review provides insight into recent progress in metabolomics studies on transgenic crops focusing mainly in papers published in the last decade.

  10. Genetically modified crops and food security.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matin Qaim

    Full Text Available The role of genetically modified (GM crops for food security is the subject of public controversy. GM crops could contribute to food production increases and higher food availability. There may also be impacts on food quality and nutrient composition. Finally, growing GM crops may influence farmers' income and thus their economic access to food. Smallholder farmers make up a large proportion of the undernourished people worldwide. Our study focuses on this latter aspect and provides the first ex post analysis of food security impacts of GM crops at the micro level. We use comprehensive panel data collected over several years from farm households in India, where insect-resistant GM cotton has been widely adopted. Controlling for other factors, the adoption of GM cotton has significantly improved calorie consumption and dietary quality, resulting from increased family incomes. This technology has reduced food insecurity by 15-20% among cotton-producing households. GM crops alone will not solve the hunger problem, but they can be an important component in a broader food security strategy.

  11. Genetically modified crops and food security.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qaim, Matin; Kouser, Shahzad

    2013-01-01

    The role of genetically modified (GM) crops for food security is the subject of public controversy. GM crops could contribute to food production increases and higher food availability. There may also be impacts on food quality and nutrient composition. Finally, growing GM crops may influence farmers' income and thus their economic access to food. Smallholder farmers make up a large proportion of the undernourished people worldwide. Our study focuses on this latter aspect and provides the first ex post analysis of food security impacts of GM crops at the micro level. We use comprehensive panel data collected over several years from farm households in India, where insect-resistant GM cotton has been widely adopted. Controlling for other factors, the adoption of GM cotton has significantly improved calorie consumption and dietary quality, resulting from increased family incomes. This technology has reduced food insecurity by 15-20% among cotton-producing households. GM crops alone will not solve the hunger problem, but they can be an important component in a broader food security strategy.

  12. Genomic Databases for Crop Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Edwards

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Genomics is playing an increasing role in plant breeding and this is accelerating with the rapid advances in genome technology. Translating the vast abundance of data being produced by genome technologies requires the development of custom bioinformatics tools and advanced databases. These range from large generic databases which hold specific data types for a broad range of species, to carefully integrated and curated databases which act as a resource for the improvement of specific crops. In this review, we outline some of the features of plant genome databases, identify specific resources for the improvement of individual crops and comment on the potential future direction of crop genome databases.

  13. Incentive Design for Introducing Genetically Modified Crops

    OpenAIRE

    Kingwell, Ross S.

    2000-01-01

    The introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops raises several issues. This paper looks at incentives required to reduce problems of illegal and improper use of GM proprietary technology used in growing GM crops. A simple model of producer behaviour describes some key influences of a farmer’s response to GM crops. The model is illustrated using the example of INGARD cotton grown in Australia. The key findings are that legitimate adoption of a GM crop by a farmer depends on their attitude ...

  14. Global Status of Genetically Modified Crops: Current Trends and Prospects

    OpenAIRE

    Hautea, Randy A.

    2002-01-01

    Modern biotechnology-facilitated crop improvement is undoubtedly one of the most significant technological developments in agriculture. The first wave of genetically-modified (GM) or transgenic crops include cultivars with important input traits such as herbicide tolerance and insect resistance. Future products are expected to provide benefits that could include tolerance to environmental stresses and enhanced nutritional content, which can be particularly valuable in crops that are important...

  15. Genetically Modified Crops and Food Security

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    The role of genetically modified (GM) crops for food security is the subject of public controversy. GM crops could contribute to food production increases and higher food availability. There may also be impacts on food quality and nutrient composition. Finally, growing GM crops may influence farmers' income and thus their economic access to food. Smallholder farmers make up a large proportion of the undernourished people worldwide. Our study focuses on this latter aspect and provides the firs...

  16. Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giller, K.E.

    2016-01-01

    Since their introduction in the mid-1990s, genetically engineered (GE) crops have been the topic of much debate. This report reviews evidence accumulated from experiences on the most widely grown GE crops to date: herbicide-resistant and insect-resistant varieties of maize, soybean, and cotton. Whil

  17. Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giller, K.E.

    2016-01-01

    Since their introduction in the mid-1990s, genetically engineered (GE) crops have been the topic of much debate. This report reviews evidence accumulated from experiences on the most widely grown GE crops to date: herbicide-resistant and insect-resistant varieties of maize, soybean, and cotton.

  18. Development of Genomic and Genetic Tools for Foxtail Millet, and Use of These Tools in the Improvement of Biomass Production for Bioenergy Crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Doust, Andrew, N.

    2011-11-11

    The overall aim of this research was to develop genomic and genetic tools in foxtail millet that will be useful in improving biomass production in bioenergy crops such as switchgrass, napier grass, and pearl millet. A variety of approaches have been implemented, and our lab has been primarily involved in genome analysis and quantitative genetic analysis. Our progress in these activities has been substantially helped by the genomic sequence of foxtail millet produced by the Joint Genome Institute (Bennetzen et al., in prep). In particular, the annotation and analysis of candidate genes for architecture, biomass production and flowering has led to new insights into the control of branching and flowering time, and has shown how closely related flowering time is to vegetative architectural development and biomass accumulation. The differences in genetic control identified at high and low density plantings have direct relevance to the breeding of bioenergy grasses that are tolerant of high planting densities. The developmental analyses have shown how plant architecture changes over time and may indicate which genes may best be manipulated at various times during development to obtain required biomass characteristics. This data contributes to the overall aim of significantly improving genetic and genomic tools in foxtail millet that can be directed to improvement of bioenergy grasses such as switchgrass, where it is important to maximize vegetative growth for greatest biomass production.

  19. Towards domestication of Dimorphotheca pluvialis : Studies on the genetic improvement of a potential oilseed crop for industrial applications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hof, L.

    2000-01-01

    World-wide, but particularly in Western Europe and the USA, the interest in arable crops for non-food use has increased substantially over the past few decades. Surpluses of the major food crops and the industrial interest for renewable resources have led to research and development programmes aimin

  20. Genetically modified crops: the fastest adopted crop technology in the history of modern agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khush Gurdev S

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The major scientific advances of the last century featured the identification of the structure of DNA, the development of molecular biology and the technology to exploit these advances. These breakthroughs gave us new tools for crop improvement, including molecular marker-aided selection (MAS and genetic modification (GM. MAS improves the efficiency of breeding programs, and GM allows us to accomplish breeding objectives not possible through conventional breeding approaches. MAS is not controversial and is now routinely used in crop improvement programs. However, the international debate about the application of genetic manipulation to crop improvement has slowed the adoption of GM crops in developing as well as in European countries. Since GM crops were first introduced to global agriculture in 1996, Clive James has published annual reports on the global status of commercialized GM crops as well as special reports on individual GM crops for The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA. His 34th report, Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/ GM crops: 2011 [1] is essential reading for those who are concerned about world food security.

  1. Genetics and consequences of crop domestication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint-Garcia, Sherry A

    2013-09-01

    Phenotypic variation has been manipulated by humans during crop domestication, which occurred primarily between 3000 and 10000 years ago in the various centers of origin around the world. The process of domestication has profound consequences on crops, where the domesticate has moderately reduced genetic diversity relative to the wild ancestor across the genome, and severely reduced diversity for genes targeted by domestication. The question that remains is whether reduction in genetic diversity has affected crop production today. A case study in maize ( Zea mays ) demonstrates the application of understanding relationships between genetic diversity and phenotypic diversity in the wild ancestor and the domesticate. As an outcrossing species, maize has tremendous genetic variation. The complementary combination of genome-wide association mapping (GWAS) approaches, large HapMap data sets, and germplasm resources is leading to important discoveries of the relationship between genetic diversity and phenotypic variation and the impact of domestication on trait variation.

  2. Genetically Modified Crops: Risks and Promise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gordon Conway

    2000-07-01

    Full Text Available GM foods have the potential to provide significant benefits for developing countries. Over 800 million people are chronically undernourished, and 180 million children are severely underweight for their age. By 2020, there will be an extra two billion mouths to feed. Ecological approaches that underpin sustainable agriculture (e.g., integrated pest management and participatory approaches that strengthen farmers' own experimentation and decision making are key. Biotechnology will be an essential partner, if yield ceilings are to be raised, if crops are to be grown without excessive reliance on pesticides, and if farmers on less favored lands are to be provided with crops that are resistant to drought and salinity, and that can use nitrogen and other nutrients more efficiently. Over the past 10 years, in addition supporting ecological approaches, the Rockefeller Foundation has funded the training of some 400 developing-country scientists in the techniques of biotechnology. Most of the new crop varieties are the result of tissue culture and marker-aided selection. The Foundation also supports the production of genetically engineered rices, including a new rice engineered for beta carotene (the precursor of Vitamin A in the grain. Some specific steps can be taken by Monsanto that would improve acceptance of plant biotechnology in both the developing and the industrialized worlds: label; disavow gene protection (terminator systems; phase out the use of antibiotic resistance markers; agree (with big seed companies to use the plant variety protection system, rather than patents, in developing countries; establish an independently administered fellowship program to train developing-country scientists in crop biotechnology, biosafety, and intellectual property; donate useful technologies to developing countries; agree to share financial rewards from intellectual property rights on varieties such as basmati or jasmine rice with the countries of origin; and

  3. Genetic progress in Dutch crop yields

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rijk, H.C.A.; Ittersum, van M.K.; Withagen, J.C.M.

    2013-01-01

    Crop yields are a result of interactions between genetics, environment and management (G × E × M). As in the Netherlands differences between potential yield and actual farm yields (yield gaps) are relatively small, progress in genetic potential is essential to further increase farm yields. In this p

  4. Connecting Biochemical Photosynthesis Models with Crop Models to Support Crop Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Alex; Song, Youhong; van Oosterom, Erik J.; Hammer, Graeme L.

    2016-01-01

    The next advance in field crop productivity will likely need to come from improving crop use efficiency of resources (e.g., light, water, and nitrogen), aspects of which are closely linked with overall crop photosynthetic efficiency. Progress in genetic manipulation of photosynthesis is confounded by uncertainties of consequences at crop level because of difficulties connecting across scales. Crop growth and development simulation models that integrate across biological levels of organization and use a gene-to-phenotype modeling approach may present a way forward. There has been a long history of development of crop models capable of simulating dynamics of crop physiological attributes. Many crop models incorporate canopy photosynthesis (source) as a key driver for crop growth, while others derive crop growth from the balance between source- and sink-limitations. Modeling leaf photosynthesis has progressed from empirical modeling via light response curves to a more mechanistic basis, having clearer links to the underlying biochemical processes of photosynthesis. Cross-scale modeling that connects models at the biochemical and crop levels and utilizes developments in upscaling leaf-level models to canopy models has the potential to bridge the gap between photosynthetic manipulation at the biochemical level and its consequences on crop productivity. Here we review approaches to this emerging cross-scale modeling framework and reinforce the need for connections across levels of modeling. Further, we propose strategies for connecting biochemical models of photosynthesis into the cross-scale modeling framework to support crop improvement through photosynthetic manipulation.

  5. Connecting Biochemical Photosynthesis Models with Crop Models to Support Crop Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex Wu

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The next advance in field crop productivity will likely need to come from improving crop use efficiency of resources (e.g. light, water and nitrogen, aspects of which are closely linked with overall crop photosynthetic efficiency. Progress in genetic manipulation of photosynthesis is confounded by uncertainties of consequences at crop level because of difficulties connecting across scales. Crop growth and development simulation models that integrate across biological levels of organization and use a gene-to-phenotype modelling approach may present a way forward. There has been a long history of development of crop models capable of simulating dynamics of crop physiological attributes. Many crop models incorporate canopy photosynthesis (source as a key driver for crop growth, while others derive crop growth from the balance between source- and sink-limitations. Modelling leaf photosynthesis has progressed from empirical modelling via light response curves to a more mechanistic basis, having clearer links to the underlying biochemical processes of photosynthesis. Cross-scale modelling that connects models at the biochemical and crop levels and utilises developments in upscaling leaf-level models to canopy models has the potential to bridge the gap between photosynthetic manipulation at the biochemical level and its consequences on crop productivity. Here we review approaches to this emerging cross-scale modelling framework and reinforce the need for connections across levels of modelling. Further, we propose strategies for connecting biochemical models of photosynthesis into the cross-scale modelling framework to support crop improvement through photosynthetic manipulation.

  6. Stress-tolerant Wild Plants: a Source of Knowledge and Biotechnological Tools for the Genetic Improvement of Stress Tolerance in Crop Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica BOSCAIU

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Over the next few decades we must boost crop productivity if we are to feed a growing world population, which will reach more than 9×109 people by 2050; and we should do it in the frame of a sustainable agriculture, with an increasing scarcity of new arable land and of water for irrigation. For all important crops, average yields are only a fraction-somewhere between 20% and 50%-of record yields; these losses are mostly due to drought and high soil salinity, environmental conditions which will worsen in many regions because of global climate change. Therefore, the simplest way to increase agricultural productivity would be to improve the abiotic stress tolerance of crops. Considering the limitations of traditional plant breeding, the most promising strategy to achieve this goal will rely on the generation of transgenic plants expressing genes conferring tolerance. However, advances using this approach have been slow, since it requires a deep understanding of the mechanisms of plant stress tolerance, which are still largely unknown. Paradoxically, most studies on the responses of plants to abiotic stress have been performed using stress-sensitive species-such as Arabidopsis thaliana-although there are plants (halophytes, gypsophytes, xerophytes adapted to extremely harsh environmental conditions in their natural habitats. We propose these wild stress-tolerant species as more suitable models to investigate these mechanisms, as well as a possible source of biotechnological tools (‘stress tolerance’ genes, stress-inducible promoters for the genetic engineering of stress tolerance in crop plants.

  7. Proteomic evaluation of genetically modified crops: current status and challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun Yan Gong

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Hectares of genetically modified (GM crops have increased exponentially since 1996, when such crops began to be commercialized. GM biotechnology, together with conventional breeding, has become the main approach to improving agronomic traits of crops. However, people are concerned about the safety of GM crops, especially GM-derived food and feed. Many efforts have been made to evaluate the unintended effects caused by the introduction of exogenous genes. Omics techniques have advantages over targeted analysis in evaluating such crops because of their use of high-throughput screening. Proteins are key players in gene function and are directly involved in metabolism and cellular development or have roles as toxins, antinutrients or allergens, which are essential for human health. Thus, proteomics can be expected to become one of the most useful tools in safety assessment. This review assesses the potential of proteomics in evaluating various GM crops. We further describe the challenges in ensuring homogeneity and sensitivity in detection techniques.

  8. Promise and issues of genetically modified crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Hao; Lin, Yongjun

    2013-05-01

    The growing area of genetically modified (GM) crops has substantially expanded since they were first commercialized in 1996. Correspondingly, the adoption of GM crops has brought huge economic and environmental benefits. All these achievements have been primarily supported by two simple traits of herbicide tolerance and insect resistance in the past 17 years. However, this situation will change soon. Recently, the advance of new products, technologies and safety assessment approaches has provided new opportunities for development of GM crops. In this review, we focus on the developmental trend in various aspects of GM crops including new products, technical innovation and risk assessment approaches, as well as potential challenges that GM crops are currently encountering.

  9. Introgression of transgenic crop alleles: Its evolutionary impacts on conserving genetic diversity of crop wild relatives

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Bao-Rong LU

    2013-01-01

    Effective conservation of crop wild relative (CWR) species is essential for the sustainable use and genetic improvement of crop varieties,which offers greater opportunities for world food security,particularly in modem agroecosystems where CWR diversity is under severe threat.Factors such as habitat fragmentation,human disturbances,global climate change,and invasion of harmful alien species have been identified to be responsible for losses and threats to CWR diversity.However,a neglected factor,gene introgression from domesticated species through repeated outcrossing,may have a significant impact on CWR diversity.Introgression can influence genetic diversity and evolutionary processes of CWR populations through effects such as demographic swarming,genetic assimilation,and selective sweep.When largely enhancing or reducing fitness of wild plants,the introgression of crop genes will impose more significant genetic and evolutionary impacts on CWR populations,leading to undesired consequences for conserved CWR populations and species.This situation is particularly true when genetically engineered (GE) crops are deployed for commercial cultivation.It is argued that a GE crop usually contains transgenes with strong natural selection advantages,and such transgenes introgressed into CWR populations may have strong impacts on their genetic diversity and evolutionary processes,threatening their conservation.This article reviews the challenge of crop-wild gene flow,and particularly transgene introgression from GE crops,for the in situ conservation of wild relative species.The design of effective management strategies for conserving CWR species under the scenario of extensive cultivation of GE crops is also discussed.

  10. An Integrated Approach to Identify and Deploy Novel Genetic Determinants From Resurrection Plants for Improved Dehydration Tolerance of Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    An understanding of plant responses to dehydration has important consequences not only for plant biology in general but also more directly for agriculture and bioenergy. Over 10% of arable lands are affected by drought and salinity, declining average yields for most crops by more than 50%. In 2000 c...

  11. Sequencing Crop Genomes: A Gateway to Improve Tropical Agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thottathil, Gincy Paily; Jayasekaran, Kandakumar; Othman, Ahmad Sofiman

    2016-02-01

    Agricultural development in the tropics lags behind development in the temperate latitudes due to the lack of advanced technology, and various biotic and abiotic factors. To cope with the increasing demand for food and other plant-based products, improved crop varieties have to be developed. To breed improved varieties, a better understanding of crop genetics is necessary. With the advent of next-generation DNA sequencing technologies, many important crop genomes have been sequenced. Primary importance has been given to food crops, including cereals, tuber crops, vegetables, and fruits. The DNA sequence information is extremely valuable for identifying key genes controlling important agronomic traits and for identifying genetic variability among the cultivars. However, massive DNA re-sequencing and gene expression studies have to be performed to substantially improve our understanding of crop genetics. Application of the knowledge obtained from the genomes, transcriptomes, expression studies, and epigenetic studies would enable the development of improved varieties and may lead to a second green revolution. The applications of next generation DNA sequencing technologies in crop improvement, its limitations, future prospects, and the features of important crop genome projects are reviewed herein.

  12. Metabolomics of Genetically Modified Crops

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Metabolomic-based approaches are increasingly applied to analyse genetically modified organisms (GMOs) making it possible to obtain broader and deeper information on the composition of GMOs compared to that obtained from traditional analytical approaches. The combination in metabolomics of advanced analytical methods and bioinformatics tools provides wide chemical compositional data that contributes to corroborate (or not) the substantial equivalence and occurrence of unintended changes resul...

  13. Genetic Enhancement of Polyploid Crops Using Tools of Classical Cytogenetics and Modern Biotechnology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traditional plant breeding has been mainly instrumental in the genetic improvement of crop plants. Sustained improvement of crop species has been achieved through hybridization with landraces and allied species resulting in high-yielding, superior cultivars of staple food crops. Although plant bre...

  14. Genetic diversity and population structure of collard landraces and their relationship to other Brassica oleracea crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landraces have the potential to provide a reservoir of genetic diversity for crop improvement to combat the genetic erosion of the food supply. A landrace collection of the vitamin-rich specialty crop collard (Brassica oleracea var. viridis) was genetically characterized to assess its potential for ...

  15. Heritable tissue culture induced genetic variation in sunflower (helianthus annuus l) as a tool for crop improvement

    OpenAIRE

    Encheva Julia; Tsvetkova F.; Ivanov Petar

    2004-01-01

    Immature zygotic embryos from the Bulgarian fertility restorer line R 147 (male component of the commercial hybrid Albena) were used as donor material for induction of direct organogenesis in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L). Range of spontaneous somaclonal variation among the progenies of regenerants has been assessed. Genetic modifications observed in the regenerants included agronomic traits such as oil content in seed, 1000-seed weight, plant height petiole length, internode length, number...

  16. Exploiting induced and natural epigenetic variation for crop improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Springer, Nathan M; Schmitz, Robert J

    2017-09-01

    Plant breeding has traditionally relied on combining the genetic diversity present within a species to develop combinations of alleles that provide desired traits. Epigenetic diversity may provide additional sources of variation within a species that could be captured or created for crop improvement. It will be important to understand the sources of epigenetic variation and the stability of newly formed epigenetic variants over generations to fully use the potential of epigenetic variation to improve crops. The development and application of methods for widespread epigenome profiling and engineering may generate new avenues for using the full potential of epigenetics in crop improvement.

  17. Commercializing genetically modified crops under EU regulations: objectives and barriers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raybould, Alan; Poppy, Guy M

    2012-01-01

    Agriculture faces serious problems in feeding 9 billion people by 2050: production must be increased and ecosystem services maintained under conditions for growing crops that are predicted to worsen in many parts of the world. A proposed solution is sustainable intensification of agriculture, whereby yields are increased on land that is currently cultivated, so sparing land to deliver other ecosystem services. Genetically modified (GM) crops are already contributing to sustainable intensification through higher yields and lower environmental impacts, and have potential to deliver further significant improvements. Despite their widespread successful use elsewhere, the European Union (EU) has been slow to introduce GM crops: decisions on applications to import GM commodities are lengthy, and decision-making on applications to cultivate GM crops has virtually ceased. Delayed import approvals result in economic losses, particularly in the EU itself as a result of higher commodity prices. Failure to grant cultivation approvals costs EU farmers opportunities to reduce inputs, and results in loss of agricultural research and development from the EU to countries such as the United States and China. Delayed decision-making in the EU ostensibly results from scientific uncertainty about the effects of using GM crops; however, scientific uncertainty may be a means to justify a political decision to restrict cultivation of GM crops in the EU. The problems associated with delayed decision-making will not improve until there is clarity about the EU's agricultural policy objectives, and whether the use of GM crops will be permitted to contribute to achieving those objectives.

  18. Genetic Modification in Dedicated Bioenergy Crops and Strategies for Gene Confinement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genetic modification of dedicated bioenergy crops is in its infancy; however, there are numerous advantages to the use of these tools to improve crops used for biofuels. Potential improved traits through genetic engineering (GE) include herbicide resistance, pest, drought, cold and salt tolerance, l...

  19. Genetically modified crops: the fastest adopted crop technology in the history of modern agriculture

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    Abstract The major scientific advances of the last century featured the identification of the structure of DNA, the development of molecular biology and the technology to exploit these advances. These breakthroughs gave us new tools for crop improvement, including molecular marker-aided selection (MAS) and genetic modification (GM). MAS improves the efficiency of breeding programs, and GM allows us to accomplish breeding objectives not possible through conventional breeding approaches. MAS is...

  20. Genomics of crop wild relatives: expanding the gene pool for crop improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brozynska, Marta; Furtado, Agnelo; Henry, Robert J

    2016-04-01

    Plant breeders require access to new genetic diversity to satisfy the demands of a growing human population for more food that can be produced in a variable or changing climate and to deliver the high-quality food with nutritional and health benefits demanded by consumers. The close relatives of domesticated plants, crop wild relatives (CWRs), represent a practical gene pool for use by plant breeders. Genomics of CWR generates data that support the use of CWR to expand the genetic diversity of crop plants. Advances in DNA sequencing technology are enabling the efficient sequencing of CWR and their increased use in crop improvement. As the sequencing of genomes of major crop species is completed, attention has shifted to analysis of the wider gene pool of major crops including CWR. A combination of de novo sequencing and resequencing is required to efficiently explore useful genetic variation in CWR. Analysis of the nuclear genome, transcriptome and maternal (chloroplast and mitochondrial) genome of CWR is facilitating their use in crop improvement. Genome analysis results in discovery of useful alleles in CWR and identification of regions of the genome in which diversity has been lost in domestication bottlenecks. Targeting of high priority CWR for sequencing will maximize the contribution of genome sequencing of CWR. Coordination of global efforts to apply genomics has the potential to accelerate access to and conservation of the biodiversity essential to the sustainability of agriculture and food production.

  1. Proteomic evaluation of genetically modified crops: current status and challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Chun Yan; Wang, Tai

    2013-01-01

    Hectares of genetically modified (GM) crops have increased exponentially since 1996, when such crops began to be commercialized. GM biotechnology, together with conventional breeding, has become the main approach to improving agronomic traits of crops. However, people are concerned about the safety of GM crops, especially GM-derived food and feed. Many efforts have been made to evaluate the unintended effects caused by the introduction of exogenous genes. “Omics” techniques have advantages over targeted analysis in evaluating such crops because of their use of high-throughput screening. Proteins are key players in gene function and are directly involved in metabolism and cellular development or have roles as toxins, antinutrients, or allergens, which are essential for human health. Thus, proteomics can be expected to become one of the most useful tools in safety assessment. This review assesses the potential of proteomics in evaluating various GM crops. We further describe the challenges in ensuring homogeneity and sensitivity in detection techniques. PMID:23471542

  2. Regulatory options for genetically modified crops in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhary, Bhagirath; Gheysen, Godelieve; Buysse, Jeroen; van der Meer, Piet; Burssens, Sylvia

    2014-02-01

    The introduction of semi-dwarfing, high-yielding and nutrients-responsive crop varieties in the 1960s and 1970s alleviated the suffering of low crop yield, food shortages and epidemics of famine in India and other parts of the Asian continent. Two semi-dwarfing genes, Rht in wheat and Sd-1 in rice heralded the green revolution for which Dr. Norman Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970. In contrast, the revolutionary new genetics of crop improvement shamble over formidable obstacles of regulatory delays, political interferences and public misconceptions. India benefited immensely from the green revolution and is now grappling to deal with the nuances of GM crops. The development of GM mustard discontinued prematurely in 2001 and insect-resistant Bt cotton varieties were successfully approved for commercial cultivation in 2002 in an evolving nature of regulatory system. However, the moratorium on Bt brinjal by MOEF in 2010 meant a considerable detour from an objective, science-based, rigorous institutional process of regulatory approval to a more subjective, nonscience-driven, political decision-making process. This study examines what ails the regulatory system of GM crops in India and the steps that led to the regulatory logjam. Responding to the growing challenges and impediments of existing biosafety regulation, it suggests options that are critical for GM crops to take roots for a multiplier harvest.

  3. Improving selenium nutritional value of major crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Micronutrient efficiency and development of nutrient-dense crops continue to be one of the most important global challenges. Se is an essential micronutrient to humans and serves as a cancer preventative agent. In order to improve Se nutritional and health promoting values in food crops, a better un...

  4. Modeling evolution of insect resistance to genetically modified crops

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Genetically modified crops producing insecticidal proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) for insect control have been planted on more than 200 million ha worldwide since 1996 [1]. Evolution of resistance by insect pests threatens the continued success of Bt crops [2, 3]. To delay pest resistance, refuges of non-Bt crops are planted near Bt crops to allow survival of susceptible pests [4, 5]. We used computer simulations of a population genetic model to determine if predictions from the the...

  5. Genetic erosion in crops: concept, research results and challenges

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wouw, van de M.J.; Kik, C.; Hintum, van T.J.L.; Treuren, van R.; Visser, L.

    2010-01-01

    The loss of variation in crops clue to the modernization of agriculture has been described as genetic erosion The current paper discusses the different views that exist on the concept of genetic erosion in crops Genetic erosion of cultivated diversity is reflected in a modernization bottleneck in th

  6. Genetically modified crops: Brazilian law and overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marinho, C D; Martins, F J O; Amaral Júnior, A T; Gonçalves, L S A; dos Santos, O J A P; Alves, D P; Brasileiro, B P; Peternelli, L A

    2014-07-07

    In Brazil, the first genetically modified (GM) crop was released in 1998, and it is estimated that 84, 78, and 50% of crop areas containing soybean, corn, and cotton, respectively, were transgenic in 2012. This intense and rapid adoption rate confirms that the choice to use technology has been the main factor in developing national agriculture. Thus, this review focuses on understanding these dynamics in the context of farmers, trade relations, and legislation. To accomplish this goal, a survey was conducted using the database of the National Cultivar Registry and the National Service for Plant Variety Protection of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply [Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento (MAPA)] between 1998 and October 13, 2013. To date, 36 events have been released: five for soybeans, 18 for corn, 12 for cotton, and one for beans. From these events, 1395 cultivars have been developed and registered: 582 for soybean, 783 for corn and 30 for cotton. Monsanto owns 73.05% of the technologies used to develop these cultivars, while the Dow AgroScience - DuPont partnership and Syngenta have 16.34 and 4.37% ownership, respectively. Thus, the provision of transgenic seeds by these companies is an oligopoly supported by legislation. Moreover, there has been a rapid replacement of conventional crops by GM crops, whose technologies belong almost exclusively to four multinational companies, with the major ownership by Monsanto. These results reflect a warning to the government of the increased dependence on multinational corporations for key agricultural commodities.

  7. Understanding crop genetic diversity under modern plant breeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Yong-Bi

    2015-11-01

    Maximizing crop yield while at the same time minimizing crop failure for sustainable agriculture requires a better understanding of the impacts of plant breeding on crop genetic diversity. This review identifies knowledge gaps and shows the need for more research into genetic diversity changes under plant breeding. Modern plant breeding has made a profound impact on food production and will continue to play a vital role in world food security. For sustainable agriculture, a compromise should be sought between maximizing crop yield under changing climate and minimizing crop failure under unfavorable conditions. Such a compromise requires better understanding of the impacts of plant breeding on crop genetic diversity. Efforts have been made over the last three decades to assess crop genetic diversity using molecular marker technologies. However, these assessments have revealed some temporal diversity patterns that are largely inconsistent with our perception that modern plant breeding reduces crop genetic diversity. An attempt was made in this review to explain such discrepancies by examining empirical assessments of crop genetic diversity and theoretical investigations of genetic diversity changes over time under artificial selection. It was found that many crop genetic diversity assessments were not designed to assess diversity impacts from specific plant breeding programs, while others were experimentally inadequate and contained technical biases from the sampling of cultivars and genomes. Little attention has been paid to theoretical investigations on crop genetic diversity changes from plant breeding. A computer simulation of five simplified breeding schemes showed the substantial effects of plant breeding on the retention of heterozygosity over generations. It is clear that more efforts are needed to investigate crop genetic diversity in space and time under plant breeding to achieve sustainable crop production.

  8. Safety aspects of genetically modified crops with abiotic stress tolerance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liang, C.; Prins, T.W.; Wiel, van de C.C.M.; Kok, E.J.

    2014-01-01

    Abiotic stress, such as drought, salinity, and temperature extremes, significantly reduce crop yields. Hence, development of abiotic stress-tolerant crops by modern biotechnology may contribute to global food security. Prior to introducing genetically modified crops with abiotic stress tolerance to

  9. Safety aspects of genetically modified crops with abiotic stress tolerance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liang, C.; Prins, T.W.; Wiel, van de C.C.M.; Kok, E.J.

    2014-01-01

    Abiotic stress, such as drought, salinity, and temperature extremes, significantly reduce crop yields. Hence, development of abiotic stress-tolerant crops by modern biotechnology may contribute to global food security. Prior to introducing genetically modified crops with abiotic stress tolerance to

  10. Potential Uses of Wild Germplasms of Grain Legumes for Crop Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Nacira; Liu, Ailin; Kan, Leo; Li, Man-Wah; Lam, Hon-Ming

    2017-01-01

    Challenged by population increase, climatic change, and soil deterioration, crop improvement is always a priority in securing food supplies. Although the production of grain legumes is in general lower than that of cereals, the nutritional value of grain legumes make them important components of food security. Nevertheless, limited by severe genetic bottlenecks during domestication and human selection, grain legumes, like other crops, have suffered from a loss of genetic diversity which is essential for providing genetic materials for crop improvement programs. Illustrated by whole-genome-sequencing, wild relatives of crops adapted to various environments were shown to maintain high genetic diversity. In this review, we focused on nine important grain legumes (soybean, peanut, pea, chickpea, common bean, lentil, cowpea, lupin, and pigeonpea) to discuss the potential uses of their wild relatives as genetic resources for crop breeding and improvement, and summarized the various genetic/genomic approaches adopted for these purposes. PMID:28165413

  11. Potential Uses of Wild Germplasms of Grain Legumes for Crop Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nacira Muñoz

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Challenged by population increase, climatic change, and soil deterioration, crop improvement is always a priority in securing food supplies. Although the production of grain legumes is in general lower than that of cereals, the nutritional value of grain legumes make them important components of food security. Nevertheless, limited by severe genetic bottlenecks during domestication and human selection, grain legumes, like other crops, have suffered from a loss of genetic diversity which is essential for providing genetic materials for crop improvement programs. Illustrated by whole-genome-sequencing, wild relatives of crops adapted to various environments were shown to maintain high genetic diversity. In this review, we focused on nine important grain legumes (soybean, peanut, pea, chickpea, common bean, lentil, cowpea, lupin, and pigeonpea to discuss the potential uses of their wild relatives as genetic resources for crop breeding and improvement, and summarized the various genetic/genomic approaches adopted for these purposes.

  12. Potential Uses of Wild Germplasms of Grain Legumes for Crop Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Nacira; Liu, Ailin; Kan, Leo; Li, Man-Wah; Lam, Hon-Ming

    2017-02-04

    Challenged by population increase, climatic change, and soil deterioration, crop improvement is always a priority in securing food supplies. Although the production of grain legumes is in general lower than that of cereals, the nutritional value of grain legumes make them important components of food security. Nevertheless, limited by severe genetic bottlenecks during domestication and human selection, grain legumes, like other crops, have suffered from a loss of genetic diversity which is essential for providing genetic materials for crop improvement programs. Illustrated by whole-genome-sequencing, wild relatives of crops adapted to various environments were shown to maintain high genetic diversity. In this review, we focused on nine important grain legumes (soybean, peanut, pea, chickpea, common bean, lentil, cowpea, lupin, and pigeonpea) to discuss the potential uses of their wild relatives as genetic resources for crop breeding and improvement, and summarized the various genetic/genomic approaches adopted for these purposes.

  13. Assessing ecological risks and benefits of genetically modified crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bošković Jelena V.

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Genetically modified (GM crops and biotechnology are providing new opportunities for increasing crop productivity and tackling agriculture problems, such as diseases, pests and weeds, abiotic stress and nutritional limitations of staple food crops. As GM crops are being adopted in various locations with different ecosystems, a scientifically based understanding of the environmental effects of cultivations of GM crops would assist decision makers worldwide in ensuring environmental safety and sustainability. In this paper are discussed some of the most important problems related to the GM crops into the environment such as: plant protection, hybridisation, ecological effects of HRCs, gene flow, biodiversity, stress, ecological risks (ERA, effects on the soil ecosystem etc.

  14. Cisgenesis and intragenesis: new tools for improving crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinoza, C; Schlechter, R; Herrera, D; Torres, E; Serrano, A; Medina, C; Arce-Johnson, P

    2013-01-01

    Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) could be the answer for many relevant problems affecting crops. However, improving crops through GMO is also often associated with safety concerns, environmental risks and health issues due to the presence of foreign DNA. These limitations have prompted the development of alternative technologies. Recently, cisgenesis and intragenesis have been developed as new tools aimed to modify crops. While cisgenesis involves genetic modification using a complete copy of natural genes with their regulatory elements that belong exclusively to sexually compatible plants, intragenesis refers to the transference of new combinations of genes and regulatory sequences belonging to that particular species. So far, application of cisgenesis and intragenesis as alternatives to conventional transgenesis are limited to a few species, mainly due to the lack of knowledge of the regulatory sequences required. The grape is one of the most cultivated crops worldwide and is the most economically relevant crop in Chile. Its genomic sequence has been completed, making available new sources of information to improve grape traits by genetic manipulation. This review is focused on the current alternatives to transgenesis in plants, including new approaches to develop marker-free crops, their application to economically relevant crops and future perspectives in the area. Also, the identification of grapevine promoters with a wide range of expression profiles is shown. The expression pattern of these genes was analyzed in different tissues and developmental stages, as well as under several stresses and stimuli, giving a broad range of expression patterns, including genes expressed exclusively during ripening, in response to sugars, senescence and biotic stress, among others. Genes with strong and constitutive expression were also identified. Functional analysis using reporter genes has been conducted in order to confirm the promoter's transcription activity

  15. Renegotiating GM crop regulation: Targeted gene-modification technology raises new issues for the oversight of genetically modified crops

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    Targeted genetic modification, which enables scientists to genetically engineer plants more efficiently and precisely, challenges current process-based regulatory frameworks for genetically modified crops.

  16. RELEVANCE OF CROP BIOLOGY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RISK ASSESSMENT OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS IN AFRICA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olalekan eAkinbo

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge about the crop biology of economic crops in Africa is needed for regulators to accurately review dossiers and conduct comprehensive environmental risk assessments (ERA. This information allows regulators to decide whether biotech crops present a risk to biodiversity, since crossing between domesticated crops and their wild relatives could affect the adaptations of the wild species. The criteria that should be used in the evaluation of African crops for environmental risk assessment (ERA include: growth habit, centre of origin, centre of genetic diversity, proximity of wild relatives, inter-fertility, mode of pollen dispersal, length of pollen viability, mating system, invasiveness, weediness, mode of propagation, mode of seed dispersal and length of seed dormancy. In this paper, we discuss the crops being genetic engineered in Africa and describe the crop biology of those with native relatives.

  17. Genetically modified crops for biomass increase. Genes and strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rojas, Cristian Antonio; Hemerly, Adrianna Silva; Ferreira, Paulo Cavalcanti Gomes

    2010-01-01

    Genetically modified crops (GMCs) have been developed to accelerate the creation of new varieties with improved characteristics such as disease resistance, stress tolerance and higher quality composition. However, agriculture, without minimizing its role in food, feed and fiber source, has become important for the energy matrix of many countries. GMCs are also attractive systems that could fulfill the requirements for these new necessities. An increase of crop yields in an environmental friendly system is a new goal for plant biology research in the twenty-first century. In particular, biomass yield improvement is needed to render the use of biofuels economically feasible. In this context, research directed toward increasing biomass production has attracted much attention and a considerable effort is being made to reach new goals. Nonetheless, in some cases differentiated strategies are needed, as biomass improvement requires approaches other than those employed with traditional crops. This review summarizes the various approaches applied so far to modulate plant growth applying molecular biology-based strategies and increase biomass production, and it highlights several outstanding issues about the developmental constraints that must be addressed.

  18. Proteomics: A Biotechnology Tool for Crop Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moustafa eEldakak

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available A sharp decline in the availability of arable land and sufficient supply of irrigation water along with a continuous steep increase in food demands have exerted a pressure on farmers to produce more with fewer resources. A viable solution to release this pressure is to speed up the plant breeding process by employing biotechnology in breeding programs. The majority of biotechnological applications rely on information generated from various -omic technologies. The latest outstanding improvements in proteomic platforms and many other but related advances in plant biotechnology techniques offer various new ways to encourage the usage of these technologies by plant scientists for crop improvement programs. A combinatorial approach of accelerated gene discovery through genomics, proteomics, and other associated -omic branches of biotechnology, as an applied approach, is proving to be an effective way to speed up the crop improvement programs worldwide. In the near future, swift improvements in -omic databases are becoming critical and demand immediate attention for the effective utilization of these techniques to produce next-generation crops for the progressive farmers. Here, we have reviewed the recent advances in proteomics, as tools of biotechnology, which are offering great promise and leading the path towards crop improvement for sustainable agriculture.

  19. GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS: INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND TRADE POLICY EFFECTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Frisvold

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Where approved, producers have adopted genetically modified (GM crops extensively. Yet, areas not adopting GM crops account for large shares of production and consumption. GM crops differ from previous agricultural innovations because consumers may perceive them as fundamentally different from (and potentially inferior to conventionally grown crops. Many countries maintain restrictions on production and importation of GM crops. GM crop adoption affects producers and consumers, not only through technological change, but also through trade policy responses. This article reviews open economy analyses of impacts of GM crops. To varying degrees, commodities are segmented into GM, conventionally grown, and organic product markets. Recent advances in trade modeling consider the consequences of market segmentation, along with consequences of GM crop import restrictions, product segregation requirements, and coexistence policies.

  20. Molecular Approaches to Genetically Improve the Accumulation of Health-Promoting Secondary Metabolites in Staple Crops-A Case Study: The Lipoxygenase-B1 Genes and Regulation of the Carotenoid Content in Pasta Products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borrelli, Grazia M; Trono, Daniela

    2016-07-21

    Secondary metabolites, also known as phytochemicals, represent a large subset of plant molecules that include compounds with health-promoting effects. Indeed, a number of epidemiological studies have shown that, when taken regularly and in adequate amounts, these molecules can have long-term beneficial effects on human health, through reduction of the incidence of degenerative diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, and cancer. As the dietary intake of these phytochemicals is often inadequate, various strategies are in use to improve their content in staple crops, and the end-products thereof. One of the most effective strategies is crop improvement through genetic approaches, as this is the only way to generate new cultivars in which the high accumulation of a given phytochemical is stably fixed. Efforts to genetically improve quality traits are rapidly evolving, from classical breeding to molecular-assisted approaches; these require sound understanding of the molecular bases underlying the traits, to identify the genes/alleles that control them. This can be achieved through global analysis of the metabolic pathway responsible for phytochemical accumulation, to identify the link between phytochemical content and the activities of key enzymes that regulate the metabolic pathway, and between the key enzymes and their encoding genes/alleles. Once these have been identified, they can be used as markers for selection of new improved genotypes through biotechnological approaches. This review provides an overview of the major health-promoting properties shown to be associated with the dietary intake of phytochemicals, and describes how molecular approaches provide means for improving the health quality of edible crops. Finally, a case study is illustrated, of the identification in durum wheat of the Lipoxygenase-B1 genes that control the final carotenoid content in semolina-based foods, such as pasta products.

  1. DEVELOPMENT OF GENOMIC AND GENETIC TOOLS FOR FOXTAIL MILLET, AND USE OF THESE TOOLS IN THE IMPROVEMENT OF BIOMASS PRODUCTION FOR BIOENERGY CROPS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Xinlu; Zale, Janice; Chen, Feng

    2013-01-22

    Foxtail millet (Setaria italica L.) is a warm-season, C4 annual crop commonly grown for grain and forage worldwide. It has a relatively short generation time, yet produces hundreds of seeds per inflorescence. The crop is inbred and it has a small-size genome (~500 Mb). These features make foxtail millet an attractive grass model, especially for bioenergy crops. While a number of genomic tools have been established for foxtail millet, including a fully sequenced genome and molecular markers, the objectives of this project were to develop a tissue culture system, determine the best explant(s) for tissue culture, optimize transient gene expression, and establish a stable transformation system for foxtail millet cultivar Yugu1. In optimizing a tissue culture medium for the induction of calli and somatic embryos from immature inflorescences and mature seed explants, Murashige and Skoog medium containing 2.5 mg l-1 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid and 0.6 mg l-1 6- benzylaminopurine was determined to be optimal for callus induction of foxtail millet. The efficiency of callus induction from explants of immature inflorescences was significantly higher at 76% compared to that of callus induction from mature seed explants at 68%. The calli induced from this medium were regenerated into plants at high frequency (~100%) using 0.2 mg l-1 kinetin in the regeneration media. For performing transient gene expression, immature embryos were first isolated from inflorescences. Transient expression of the GUS reporter gene in immature embryos was significantly increased after sonication, a vacuum treatment, centrifugation and the addition of L-cysteine and dithiothreitol, which led to the efficiency of transient expression at levels greater than 70% after Agrobacterium inoculation. Inoculation with Agrobacterium was also tested with germinated seeds. The radicals of germinated seeds were pierced with needles and dipped into Agrobacterium solution. This method achieved a 10% transient

  2. A Large-Scale Screen for Artificial Selection in Maize Identifies Candidate Agronomic Loci for Domestication and Crop Improvement

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Masanori Yamasaki; Maud I. Tenaillon; Irie Vroh Bi; Steve G. Schroeder; Hector Sanchez-Villeda; John F. Doebley; Brandon S. Gaut; Michael D. McMullen

    2005-01-01

    .... Both domestication and crop improvement involved selection of specific alleles at genes controlling key morphological and agronomic traits, resulting in reduced genetic diversity relative to unselected genes...

  3. The state of genetically modified crop regulation in Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smyth, Stuart J

    2014-01-01

    Genetically modified (GM) crops were first commercialized in Canada in 1995 and the 2014 crop represents the 20th year of successful production. Prior to the first commercialization of GM crops, Canada reviewed its existing science-based regulatory framework and adapted the existing framework to allow for risk assessments on the new technology to be undertaken in a timely and efficient manner. The result has been the rapid and widespread adoption of GM varieties of canola, corn and soybeans. The first decade of GM crop production precipitated 2 landmark legal cases relating to patent infringement and economic liability, while the second decade witnessed increased political efforts to have GM crops labeled in Canada as well as significant challenges from the low level comingling of GM crops with non-GM commodities. This article reviews the 20 y of GM crop production in Canada from a social science perspective that includes intellectual property, consumer acceptance and low level presence. PMID:25437238

  4. The state of genetically modified crop regulation in Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smyth, Stuart J

    2014-07-03

    Genetically modified (GM) crops were first commercialized in Canada in 1995 and the 2014 crop represents the 20th year of successful production. Prior to the first commercialization of GM crops, Canada reviewed its existing science-based regulatory framework and adapted the existing framework to allow for risk assessments on the new technology to be undertaken in a timely and efficient manner. The result has been the rapid and widespread adoption of GM varieties of canola, corn and soybeans. The first decade of GM crop production precipitated 2 landmark legal cases relating to patent infringement and economic liability, while the second decade witnessed increased political efforts to have GM crops labeled in Canada as well as significant challenges from the low level comingling of GM crops with non-GM commodities. This article reviews the 20 y of GM crop production in Canada from a social science perspective that includes intellectual property, consumer acceptance and low level presence.

  5. Investigating an Ethical Approach to Genetically Modified Crops in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    4carolinebell@gmail.com

    Genetically modified (GM) crops gained attention in southern Africa in the ... cited in Webster, 1999:414) states that political institutions find themselves .... means that risks are socially invisible and must clearly be brought to consciousness, ...

  6. Genetically modified crops: success, safety assessment, and public concern.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Om V; Ghai, Shivani; Paul, Debarati; Jain, Rakesh K

    2006-08-01

    With the emergence of transgenic technologies, new ways to improve the agronomic performance of crops for food, feed, and processing applications have been devised. In addition, ability to express foreign genes using transgenic technologies has opened up options for producing large quantities of commercially important industrial or pharmaceutical products in plants. Despite this high adoption rate and future promises, there is a multitude of concerns about the impact of genetically modified (GM) crops on the environment. Potential contamination of the environment and food chains has prompted detailed consideration of how such crops and the molecules that they produce can be effectively isolated and contained. One of the reasonable steps after creating a transgenic plant is to evaluate its potential benefits and risks to the environment and these should be compared to those generated by traditional agricultural practices. The precautionary approach in risk management of GM plants may make it necessary to monitor significant wild and weed populations that might be affected by transgene escape. Effective risk assessment and monitoring mechanisms are the basic prerequisites of any legal framework to adequately address the risks and watch out for new risks. Several agencies in different countries monitor the release of GM organisms or frame guidelines for the appropriate application of recombinant organisms in agro-industries so as to assure the safe use of recombinant organisms and to achieve sound overall development. We feel that it is important to establish an internationally harmonized framework for the safe handling of recombinant DNA organisms within a few years.

  7. Genetic engineering of crops: a ray of hope for enhanced food security.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gill, Sarvajeet Singh; Gill, Ritu; Tuteja, Renu; Tuteja, Narendra

    2014-01-01

    Crop improvement has been a basic and essential chase since organized cultivation of crops began thousands of years ago. Abiotic stresses as a whole are regarded as the crucial factors restricting the plant species to reach their full genetic potential to deliver desired productivity. The changing global climatic conditions are making them worse and pointing toward food insecurity. Agriculture biotechnology or genetic engineering has allowed us to look into and understand the complex nature of abiotic stresses and measures to improve the crop productivity under adverse conditions. Various candidate genes have been identified and transformed in model plants as well as agriculturally important crop plants to develop abiotic stress-tolerant plants for crop improvement. The views presented here are an attempt toward realizing the potential of genetic engineering for improving crops to better tolerate abiotic stresses in the era of climate change, which is now essential for global food security. There is great urgency in speeding up crop improvement programs that can use modern biotechnological tools in addition to current breeding practices for providing enhanced food security.

  8. Perspectives on genetically modified crops and food detection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chih-Hui Lin

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Genetically modified (GM crops are a major product of the global food industry. From 1996 to 2014, 357 GM crops were approved and the global value of the GM crop market reached 35% of the global commercial seed market in 2014. However, the rapid growth of the GM crop-based industry has also created controversies in many regions, including the European Union, Egypt, and Taiwan. The effective detection and regulation of GM crops/foods are necessary to reduce the impact of these controversies. In this review, the status of GM crops and the technology for their detection are discussed. As the primary gap in GM crop regulation exists in the application of detection technology to field regulation, efforts should be made to develop an integrated, standardized, and high-throughput GM crop detection system. We propose the development of an integrated GM crop detection system, to be used in combination with a standardized international database, a decision support system, high-throughput DNA analysis, and automated sample processing. By integrating these technologies, we hope that the proposed GM crop detection system will provide a method to facilitate comprehensive GM crop regulation.

  9. DEVELOPMENT OF GENOMIC AND GENETIC TOOLS FOR FOXTAIL MILLET, AND USE OF THESE TOOLS IN THE IMPROVEMENT OF BIOMASS PRODUCTION FOR BIOENERGY CROPS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Xinlu; Zale, Janice; Chen, Feng

    2013-01-22

    Foxtail millet (Setaria italica L.) is a warm-season, C4 annual crop commonly grown for grain and forage worldwide. It has a relatively short generation time, yet produces hundreds of seeds per inflorescence. The crop is inbred and it has a small-size genome (~500 Mb). These features make foxtail millet an attractive grass model, especially for bioenergy crops. While a number of genomic tools have been established for foxtail millet, including a fully sequenced genome and molecular markers, the objectives of this project were to develop a tissue culture system, determine the best explant(s) for tissue culture, optimize transient gene expression, and establish a stable transformation system for foxtail millet cultivar Yugu1. In optimizing a tissue culture medium for the induction of calli and somatic embryos from immature inflorescences and mature seed explants, Murashige and Skoog medium containing 2.5 mg l-1 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid and 0.6 mg l-1 6- benzylaminopurine was determined to be optimal for callus induction of foxtail millet. The efficiency of callus induction from explants of immature inflorescences was significantly higher at 76% compared to that of callus induction from mature seed explants at 68%. The calli induced from this medium were regenerated into plants at high frequency (~100%) using 0.2 mg l-1 kinetin in the regeneration media. For performing transient gene expression, immature embryos were first isolated from inflorescences. Transient expression of the GUS reporter gene in immature embryos was significantly increased after sonication, a vacuum treatment, centrifugation and the addition of L-cysteine and dithiothreitol, which led to the efficiency of transient expression at levels greater than 70% after Agrobacterium inoculation. Inoculation with Agrobacterium was also tested with germinated seeds. The radicals of germinated seeds were pierced with needles and dipped into Agrobacterium solution. This method achieved a 10% transient

  10. An analytical approach to the implementation of genetically modified crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borch, K.; Rasmussen, B.

    2000-01-01

    Public scepticism towards genetically modified (GM) crops is increasing. To address this, the risks and benefits of GM crops must be examined across scientific disciplines, and be discussed with the authorities, the agricultural industry and the consumers. In a feasibility study we have...... systematically analysed the challenges of the development and marketing of GM crops in Europe. A life-cycle inventory was used together with established technology foresight techniques in an interdisciplinary and empirical framework. The approach taken in this study established a dialogue between stakeholders...... and provided a framework for discussions about the future direction of GM crops....

  11. Photosynthetic antenna engineering to improve crop yields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirst, Henning; Gabilly, Stéphane T; Niyogi, Krishna K; Lemaux, Peggy G; Melis, Anastasios

    2017-05-01

    Evidence shows that decreasing the light-harvesting antenna size of the photosystems in tobacco helps to increase the photosynthetic productivity and plant canopy biomass accumulation under high-density cultivation conditions. Decreasing, or truncating, the chlorophyll antenna size of the photosystems can theoretically improve photosynthetic solar energy conversion efficiency and productivity in mass cultures of algae or plants by up to threefold. A Truncated Light-harvesting chlorophyll Antenna size (TLA), in all classes of photosynthetic organisms, would help to alleviate excess absorption of sunlight and the ensuing wasteful non-photochemical dissipation of excitation energy. Thus, solar-to-biomass energy conversion efficiency and photosynthetic productivity in high-density cultures can be increased. Applicability of the TLA concept was previously shown in green microalgae and cyanobacteria, but it has not yet been demonstrated in crop plants. In this work, the TLA concept was applied in high-density tobacco canopies. The work showed a 25% improvement in stem and leaf biomass accumulation for the TLA tobacco canopies over that measured with their wild-type counterparts grown under the same ambient conditions. Distinct canopy appearance differences are described between the TLA and wild type tobacco plants. Findings are discussed in terms of concept application to crop plants, leading to significant improvements in agronomy, agricultural productivity, and application of photosynthesis for the generation of commodity products in crop leaves.

  12. Strategies and tools to improve crop productivity by targeting photosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuccio, Michael L; Potter, Laura; Stiegelmeyer, Suzy M; Curley, Joseph; Cohn, Jonathan; Wittich, Peter E; Tan, Xiaoping; Davis, Jimena; Ni, Junjian; Trullinger, Jon; Hall, Rick; Bate, Nicholas J

    2017-09-26

    Crop productivity needs to substantially increase to meet global food and feed demand for a rapidly growing world population. Agricultural technology developers are pursuing a variety of approaches based on both traditional technologies such as genetic improvement, pest control and mechanization as well as new technologies such as genomics, gene manipulation and environmental modelling to develop crops that are capable of meeting growing demand. Photosynthesis is a key biochemical process that, many suggest, is not yet optimized for industrial agriculture or the modern global environment. We are interested in identifying control points in maize photoassimilation that are amenable to gene manipulation to improve overall productivity. Our approach encompasses: developing and using novel gene discovery techniques, translating our discoveries into traits and evaluating each trait in a stepwise manner that reflects a modern production environment. Our aim is to provide step change advancement in overall crop productivity and deliver this new technology into the hands of growers.This article is part of the themed issue 'Enhancing photosynthesis in crop plants: targets for improvement'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  13. Oil palm genetic improvement and sustainable development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cochard Benoît

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available Genetic improvement of the oil palm may have a role to play in the sustainability of this crop. Given the criticism aimed at this commodity chain, notably due to the extension of oil palm plantations to the detriment of forests, providing very high-yielding planting material might be a solution, particularly as world demand is continually increasing. This crop is mostly managed by agroindustrialists, but the smallholder sector is developing. It happens that this sector is classed as a sustainable type of agriculture by numerous NGOs, which are also asking plant breeders to take the specificities of smallholdings into consideration. Oil palm genetic improvement takes numerous criteria into account, many of which fit in with sustainable agriculture. For example, this crop is subject to pressure from different pests and diseases. In each case, a genetic hence eco-friendly approach has been taken and, in particular, vascular wilttolerant planting material has been a successfully produced. Moreover, for the future of this crop, planting material needs to be developed that requires fewer inputs, and consideration has to be given to extending this crop in less favourable zones, by developing planting material that consumes less water. Lastly, it is important to disseminate genetically diversified planting material.

  14. MS-based analytical methodologies to characterize genetically modified crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Cañas, Virginia; Simó, Carolina; León, Carlos; Ibáñez, Elena; Cifuentes, Alejandro

    2011-01-01

    The development of genetically modified crops has had a great impact on the agriculture and food industries. However, the development of any genetically modified organism (GMO) requires the application of analytical procedures to confirm the equivalence of the GMO compared to its isogenic non-transgenic counterpart. Moreover, the use of GMOs in foods and agriculture faces numerous criticisms from consumers and ecological organizations that have led some countries to regulate their production, growth, and commercialization. These regulations have brought about the need of new and more powerful analytical methods to face the complexity of this topic. In this regard, MS-based technologies are increasingly used for GMOs analysis to provide very useful information on GMO composition (e.g., metabolites, proteins). This review focuses on the MS-based analytical methodologies used to characterize genetically modified crops (also called transgenic crops). First, an overview on genetically modified crops development is provided, together with the main difficulties of their analysis. Next, the different MS-based analytical approaches applied to characterize GM crops are critically discussed, and include "-omics" approaches and target-based approaches. These methodologies allow the study of intended and unintended effects that result from the genetic transformation. This information is considered to be essential to corroborate (or not) the equivalence of the GM crop with its isogenic non-transgenic counterpart.

  15. [Assessment of allergenicity of genetically modified food crops].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schauzu, M; Pöting, A; Rubin, D; Lampen, A

    2012-03-01

    The placing on the European Union's market of genetically modified crops requires authorization by the European Commission which is based on the proof that the derived foods are as safe as their conventional counterparts. The assessment of potential allergenicity is part of the necessary investigations recommended in the updated Guidance Document of the Scientific Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which is based on internationally agreed recommendations. All genetically modified crops which so far have been authorized in the European Union were evaluated by the EFSA GMO Panel which considered it unlikely that their overall allergenicity has been altered.

  16. Crop Resources Ethic in Plant Genetic Engineering and Fortune Transfer Between Generations

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Xiaowei; DING Guangzhou; LIANG Xueqing

    2006-01-01

    The relation between human and crop resources belongs to the ethic of resources exploitation. The purposes of discussing the ethic of crop resources are to protect the ecology and safety of crops, to gain sustainable development, furthermore, to choose and form the production structure that is favorable to saving crop resources and protecting the ecology of crops. Plant genetic engineering is the technology of molecule breeding of rearrangement of inheritance materials at the level of molecule directionally, of improving plant properties and of breeding high quality and yield varieties of crops. The prominent effects of the technology on the crop ecological system are human subjective factors increasing as well as violating the nature and intensifying the conflict between human being and nature.Therefore, in plant genetic engineering, crop resources exploitation should follow certain ethic principles. Under the theory of ethics of natural resources, by the means of biologioal statistics, the author systematically analyzed the possible model of crop resources transfer between generations as well as the transfer mode of magnitude of real materials and magnitude of value.

  17. Current perspectives on genetically modified crops and detection methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamle, Madhu; Kumar, Pradeep; Patra, Jayanta Kumar; Bajpai, Vivek K

    2017-07-01

    Genetically modified (GM) crops are the fastest adopted commodities in the agribiotech industry. This market penetration should provide a sustainable basis for ensuring food supply for growing global populations. The successful completion of two decades of commercial GM crop production (1996-2015) is underscored by the increasing rate of adoption of genetic engineering technology by farmers worldwide. With the advent of introduction of multiple traits stacked together in GM crops for combined herbicide tolerance, insect resistance, drought tolerance or disease resistance, the requirement of reliable and sensitive detection methods for tracing and labeling genetically modified organisms in the food/feed chain has become increasingly important. In addition, several countries have established threshold levels for GM content which trigger legally binding labeling schemes. The labeling of GM crops is mandatory in many countries (such as China, EU, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Korea, Chile, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand), whereas in Canada, Hong Kong, USA, South Africa, and Argentina voluntary labeling schemes operate. The rapid adoption of GM crops has increased controversies, and mitigating these issues pertaining to the implementation of effective regulatory measures for the detection of GM crops is essential. DNA-based detection methods have been successfully employed, while the whole genome sequencing using next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies provides an advanced means for detecting genetically modified organisms and foods/feeds in GM crops. This review article describes the current status of GM crop commercialization and discusses the benefits and shortcomings of common and advanced detection systems for GMs in foods and animal feeds.

  18. Role of classical breeding in improvement of pulse crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Nadarajan and Sanjeev Gupta

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Classical breeding of many crops has been instrumental for ensuring food security by developing new varieties that are higheryielding,resistant to pests and diseases, drought-resistant or regionally adapted to different environments and growingconditions. A total of 513 cultivars of different pulse crops including chickpea, pigeonpea, mungbean, urdbean, lentil, fieldpeaand rajmash were developed in India itself during last three decades. Adoption of high yielding varieties in early 1980'sincreased the average productivity of the country by 34 % now. Significant achievements have been made in developing shortduration cultivars in almost all pulse crops with incorporation of photo- thermo insensitivity. Genetic resistance for most of thediseases have been identified and incorporated in development of disease resistant cultivars. In fieldpea, a major breakthroughhas been made by developing dwarf and afila plant type which led to increase in yield by 30%. Although cultivar developmenthas traditionally emphasized improvement through pedigree selection, mass –pedigree method and backcross breeding,interspecific hybridization has also received much attention in 1980s. So far eight genotypes in different pulse crops have beendeveloped in the country using interspecific hybridization. In pigeonpea a trait cytoplasmic male sterility has been introducedthrough wild gene introgression. Using this, a hybrid GTH 1 in pigeonpea has been developed in India which has yielded 27%yield superiority than the traditional cultivars.

  19. Regulating innovative crop technologies in Canada: the case of regulating genetically modified crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smyth, Stuart; McHughen, Alan

    2008-04-01

    The advent of genetically modified crops in the late 1980s triggered a regulatory response to the relatively new field of plant genetic engineering. Over a 7-year period, a new regulatory framework was created, based on scientific principles that focused on risk mitigation. The process was transparent and deliberately sought the input of those involved in crop development from non-governmental organizations, industry, academia and federal research laboratories. The resulting regulations have now been in place for over a decade, and the resilience of the risk-mitigating regulations is evident as there has been no documented case of damage to either environment or human health.

  20. Molecular Breeding for Improved Second Generation Bioenergy Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allwright, Mike R; Taylor, Gail

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing urgency to develop and deploy sustainable sources of energy to reduce our global dependency on finite, high-carbon fossil fuels. Lignocellulosic feedstocks, used in power and liquid fuel generation, are valuable sources of non-food plant biomass. They are cultivated with minimal inputs on marginal or degraded lands to prevent competition with arable agriculture and offer significant potential for sustainable intensification (the improvement of yield without the necessity for additional inputs) through advanced molecular breeding. This article explores progress made in next generation sequencing, advanced genotyping, association genetics, and genetic modification in second generation bioenergy production. Using poplar as an exemplar where most progress has been made, a suite of target traits is also identified giving insight into possible routes for crop improvement and deployment in the immediate future.

  1. Biotechnological approach in crop improvement by mutation breeding in Indonesia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Soeranto, H.; Sobrizal; Sutarto, Ismiyati; Manurung, Simon; Mastrizal [National Nuclear Energy Agency, Center for Research and Development of Isotope and Radiation Technology, Jakarta (Indonesia)

    2002-02-01

    Mutation breeding has become a proven method of improving crop varieties. Most research on plant mutation breeding in Indonesia is carried out at the Center for Research and Development of Isotope and Radiation Technology, National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN). Nowadays, a biotechnological approach has been incorporated in some mutation breeding researches in order to improve crop cultivars. This approach is simply based on cellular totipotency, or the ability to regenerate whole, flowering plants from isolated organs, pieces of tissue, individual cells, and protoplasts. Tissue culture technique has bee extensively used for micro propagation of disease-free plants. Other usage of this technique involves in various steps of the breeding process such as germplasm preservation, clonal propagation, and distant hybridization. Mutation breeding combined with tissue culture technique has made a significant contribution in inducing plant genetic variation, by improving selection technology, and by accelerating breeding time as for that by using anther or pollen culture. In Indonesia, research on mutation breeding combined with tissue culture techniques has been practiced in different crop species including rice, ginger, banana, sorghum etc. Specially in rice, a research on identification of DNA markers linked to blast disease resistance is now still progressing. A compiled report from some research activities is presented in this paper. (author)

  2. DNA-free genome editing methods for targeted crop improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanchiswamy, Chidananda Nagamangala

    2016-07-01

    Evolution of the next-generation clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeat/Cas9 (CRISPR/Cas9) genome editing tools, ribonucleoprotein (RNA)-guided endonuclease (RGEN) RNPs, is paving the way for developing DNA-free genetically edited crop plants. In this review, I discuss the various methods of RGEN RNPs tool delivery into plant cells and their limitations to adopt this technology to numerous crop plants. Furthermore, focus is given on the importance of developing DNA-free genome edited crop plants, including perennial crop plants. The possible regulation on the DNA-free, next-generation genome-edited crop plants is also highlighted.

  3. New Approaches for Crop Genetic Adaptation to the Abiotic Stresses Predicted with Climate Change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Redden

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Extreme climatic variation is predicted with climate change this century. In many cropping regions, the crop environment will tend to be warmer with more irregular rainfall and spikes in stress levels will be more severe. The challenge is not only to raise agricultural production for an expanding population, but to achieve this under more adverse environmental conditions. It is now possible to systematically explore the genetic variation in historic local landraces by using GPS locators and world climate maps to describe the natural selection for local adaptation, and to identify candidate germplasm for tolerances to extreme stresses. The physiological and biochemical components of these expressions can be genomically investigated with candidate gene approaches and next generation sequencing. Wild relatives of crops have largely untapped genetic variation for abiotic and biotic stress tolerances, and could greatly expand the available domesticated gene pools to assist crops to survive in the predicted extremes of climate change, a survivalomics strategy. Genomic strategies can assist in the introgression of these valuable traits into the domesticated crop gene pools, where they can be better evaluated for crop improvement. The challenge is to increase agricultural productivity despite climate change. This calls for the integration of many disciplines from eco-geographical analyses of genetic resources to new advances in genomics, agronomy and farm management, underpinned by an understanding of how crop adaptation to climate is affected by genotype × environment interaction.

  4. How can we improve Mediterranean cropping systems?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Benlhabib, O.; Yazar, A.; Qadir, M.;

    2014-01-01

    In the Mediterranean region, crop productivity and food security are closely linked to the adaptation of cropping systems to multiple abiotic stresses. Limited and unpredictable rainfall and low soil fertility have reduced agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability. For this reaso...

  5. Using genetically modified tomato crop plants with purple leaves for absolute weed/crop classification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lati, Ran N; Filin, Sagi; Aly, Radi; Lande, Tal; Levin, Ilan; Eizenberg, Hanan

    2014-07-01

    Weed/crop classification is considered the main problem in developing precise weed-management methodologies, because both crops and weeds share similar hues. Great effort has been invested in the development of classification models, most based on expensive sensors and complicated algorithms. However, satisfactory results are not consistently obtained due to imaging conditions in the field. We report on an innovative approach that combines advances in genetic engineering and robust image-processing methods to detect weeds and distinguish them from crop plants by manipulating the crop's leaf color. We demonstrate this on genetically modified tomato (germplasm AN-113) which expresses a purple leaf color. An autonomous weed/crop classification is performed using an invariant-hue transformation that is applied to images acquired by a standard consumer camera (visible wavelength) and handles variations in illumination intensities. The integration of these methodologies is simple and effective, and classification results were accurate and stable under a wide range of imaging conditions. Using this approach, we simplify the most complicated stage in image-based weed/crop classification models. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry.

  6. Genome editing for crop improvement: Challenges and opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdallah, Naglaa A; Prakash, Channapatna S; McHughen, Alan G

    2015-01-01

    the genome. Due to its precision, gene editing is more precise than either conventional crop breeding methods or standard genetic engineering methods. Thus this technology is a very powerful tool that can be used toward securing the world's food supply. In addition to improving the nutritional value of crops, it is the most effective way to produce crops that can resist pests and thrive in tough climates. There are 3 types of modifications produced by genome editing; Type I includes altering a few nucleotides, Type II involves replacing an allele with a pre-existing one and Type III allows for the insertion of new gene(s) in predetermined regions in the genome. Because most genome-editing techniques can leave behind traces of DNA alterations evident in a small number of nucleotides, crops created through gene editing could avoid the stringent regulation procedures commonly associated with GM crop development. For this reason many scientists believe plants improved with the more precise gene editing techniques will be more acceptable to the public than transgenic plants. With genome editing comes the promise of new crops being developed more rapidly with a very low risk of off-target effects. It can be performed in any laboratory with any crop, even those that have complex genomes and are not easily bred using conventional methods.

  7. Physiological phenotyping of plants for crop improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghanem, Michel Edmond; Marrou, Hélène; Sinclair, Thomas R

    2015-03-01

    Future progress in crop breeding requires a new emphasis in plant physiological phenotyping for specific, well-defined traits. Success in physiological phenotyping to identify parents for use in breeding efforts for improved cultivars has been achieved by employing a multi-tier screening approach with different levels of sophistication and trait resolution. Subsequently, cultivar development required an integrated mix of classical breeding approaches and one or more tiers of phenotyping to identify genotypes expressing the desired trait. The role of high throughput systems can be useful; here, we emphasize that this approach is likely to offer useful results at an initial tier of phenotyping and will need to be complemented with more directed tiers of phenotyping. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Genetically modified crops and small-scale farmers: main opportunities and challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azadi, Hossein; Samiee, Atry; Mahmoudi, Hossein; Jouzi, Zeynab; Khachak, Parisa Rafiaani; De Maeyer, Philippe; Witlox, Frank

    2016-01-01

    Although some important features of genetically modified (GM) crops such as insect resistance, herbicide tolerance, and drought tolerance might seem to be beneficial for small-scale farmers, the adoption of GM technology by smallholders is still slight. Identifying pros and cons of using this technology is important to understand the impacts of GM crops on these farmers. This article reviews the main opportunities and challenges of GM crops for small-scale farmers in developing countries. The most significant advantages of GM crops include being independent to farm size, environment protection, improvement of occupational health issues, and the potential of bio-fortified crops to reduce malnutrition. Challenges faced by small-scale farmers for adoption of GM crops comprise availability and accessibility of GM crop seeds, seed dissemination and price, and the lack of adequate information. In addition, R&D and production costs in using GM crops make it difficult for these farmers to adopt the use of these crops. Moreover, intellectual property right regulations may deprive resource poor farmers from the advantages of GM technology. Finally, concerns on socio-economic and environment safety issues are also addressed in this paper.

  9. Genetic basis and detection of unintended effects in genetically modified crop plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladics, Gregory S; Bartholomaeus, Andrew; Bregitzer, Phil; Doerrer, Nancy G; Gray, Alan; Holzhauser, Thomas; Jordan, Mark; Keese, Paul; Kok, Esther; Macdonald, Phil; Parrott, Wayne; Privalle, Laura; Raybould, Alan; Rhee, Seung Yon; Rice, Elena; Romeis, Jörg; Vaughn, Justin; Wal, Jean-Michel; Glenn, Kevin

    2015-08-01

    In January 2014, an international meeting sponsored by the International Life Sciences Institute/Health and Environmental Sciences Institute and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency titled "Genetic Basis of Unintended Effects in Modified Plants" was held in Ottawa, Canada, bringing together over 75 scientists from academia, government, and the agro-biotech industry. The objectives of the meeting were to explore current knowledge and identify areas requiring further study on unintended effects in plants and to discuss how this information can inform and improve genetically modified (GM) crop risk assessments. The meeting featured presentations on the molecular basis of plant genome variability in general, unintended changes at the molecular and phenotypic levels, and the development and use of hypothesis-driven evaluations of unintended effects in assessing conventional and GM crops. The development and role of emerging "omics" technologies in the assessment of unintended effects was also discussed. Several themes recurred in a number of talks; for example, a common observation was that no system for genetic modification, including conventional methods of plant breeding, is without unintended effects. Another common observation was that "unintended" does not necessarily mean "harmful". This paper summarizes key points from the information presented at the meeting to provide readers with current viewpoints on these topics.

  10. The Environmental Benefits and Costs of Genetically Modified (GM) Crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wesseler, J.H.H.; Scatasta, S.; Fall, E.H.

    2011-01-01

    The widespread introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops may change the effect of agriculture on the environment. The magnitude and direction of expected effects are still being hotly debated, and the interests served in this discussion arena are often far from those of science and social welf

  11. The Environmental Benefits and Costs of Genetically Modified (GM) Crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wesseler, J.H.H.; Scatasta, S.; Fall, E.H.

    2011-01-01

    The widespread introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops may change the effect of agriculture on the environment. The magnitude and direction of expected effects are still being hotly debated, and the interests served in this discussion arena are often far from those of science and social welf

  12. Non-GMO genetically edited crop plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanchiswamy, Chidananda Nagamangala; Malnoy, Mickael; Velasco, Riccardo; Kim, Jin-Soo; Viola, Roberto

    2015-09-01

    Direct delivery of purified Cas9 protein with guide RNA into plant cells, as opposed to plasmid-mediated delivery, displays high efficiency and reduced off-target effects. Following regeneration from edited cells, the ensuing plant is also likely to bypass genetically modified organism (GMO) legislation as the genome editing complex is degraded in the recipient cells. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. CRISPR/Cas9 Mediated Genome Engineering for Improvement of Horticultural Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suhas G. Karkute

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Horticultural crops are an important part of agriculture for food as well as nutritional security. However, several pests and diseases along with adverse abiotic environmental factors pose a severe threat to these crops by affecting their quality and productivity. This warrants the effective and accelerated breeding programs by utilizing innovative biotechnological tools that can tackle aforementioned issues. The recent technique of genome editing by Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats/CRISPR associated 9 (CRISPR/Cas9 has greatly advanced the breeding for crop improvement due to its simplicity and high efficiency over other nucleases such as Zinc Finger Nucleases and Transcription Activator Like Effector Nucleases. CRISPR/Cas9 tool contains a non-specific Cas9 nuclease and a single guide RNA that directs Cas9 to the specific genomic location creating double-strand breaks and subsequent repair process creates insertion or deletion mutations. This is currently the widely adopted tool for reverse genetics, and crop improvement in large number of agricultural crops. The use of CRISPR/Cas9 in horticultural crops is limited to few crops due to lack of availability of regeneration protocols and sufficient sequence information in many horticultural crops. In this review, the present status of applicability of CRISPR/Cas9 in horticultural crops was discussed along with the challenges and future potential for possible improvement of these crops for their yield, quality, and resistance to biotic and abiotic stress.

  14. The potential of cover crops for improving soil function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoate, Chris; Crotty, Felicity

    2017-04-01

    Cover crops can be grown over the autumn and winter ensuring green cover throughout the year. They have been described as improving soil structure, reducing soil erosion and potentially even a form of grass weed control. These crops retain nutrients within the plant, potentially making them available for future crops, as well as increasing soil organic matter. Over the last three years, we have investigated how different cover crop regimes affect soil quality. Three separate experiments over each autumn/winter period have investigated how different cover crops affect soil biology, physics and chemistry, with each experiment building on the previous one. There have been significant effects of cover crops on soil structure, as well as significantly lower weed biomass and increased yields in the following crop - in comparison to bare stubble. For example, the effect of drilling the cover crops on soil structure in comparison to a bare stubble control that had not been driven on by machinery was quantified, and over the winter period the soil structure of the cover crop treatments changed, with compaction reduced in the cover crop treatments, whilst the bare stubble control remained unchanged. Weeds were found in significantly lower biomass in the cover crop mixes in comparison to the bare stubble control, and significantly lower weed biomass continued to be found in the following spring oat crop where the cover crops had been, indicating a weed suppressive effect that has a continued legacy in the following crop. The following spring oats have shown similar results in the last two years, with higher yields in the previous cover crop areas compared to the bare stubble controls. Overall, these results are indicating that cover crops have the potential to provide improvements to soil quality, reduce weeds and improve yields. We discuss the economic implications.

  15. The role of Molecular Markers in Improvement of Fruit Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zahoor Ahmad BHAT

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Markers have been used over the years for the classification of plants. Markers are any trait of an organism that can be identified with confidence and relative easy, and can be followed in a mapping population on another hand markers be defined as heritable entities associated with the economically important trait under the control of polygenes. Morphological markers can be detected with naked eye (naked eye polymorphism or as difference in physical or chemical properties of the macromolecules. In other words, there are two types of genetic markers viz. morphological markers or naked eye polymorphism and non-morphological markers or molecular markers. Morphological markers include traits such as plant height, disease response, photoperiod, sensitivity, shape or colour of flowers, fruits or seeds etc. Molecular markers include biochemical constituents. Morphological markers have many limitations for being used as markers particularly in fruit crops because of long generation time and large size of fruit trees besides being influenced by environment. Consequently, molecular markers could be appropriate choice to study and preserve the diversity in any germplasm. Molecular markers have diverse applications in fruit crop improvement, particularly in the areas of genetic diversity and varietal identification studies, gene tagging, disease diagnostics, pedigree analysis, hybrid detection, sex differentiation and marker assisted selection.

  16. Attitudes of Agricultural Experts Toward Genetically Modified Crops: A Case Study in Southwest Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghanian, Mansour; Ghoochani, Omid M; Kitterlin, Miranda; Jahangiry, Sheida; Zarafshani, Kiumars; Van Passel, Steven; Azadi, Hossein

    2016-04-01

    The production of genetically modified (GM) crops is growing around the world, and with it possible opportunities to combat food insecurity and hunger, as well as solutions to current problems facing conventional agriculture. In this regard the use of GMOs in food and agricultural applications has increased greatly over the past decade. However, the development of GM crops has been a matter of considerable interest and worldwide public controversy. This, in addition to skepticism, has stifled the use of this practice on a large scale in many areas, including Iran. It stands to reason that a greater understanding of this practice could be formed after a review of the existing expert opinions surrounding GM crops. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to analyze the predictors that influence agricultural experts' attitudes toward the development of and policies related to GM crops. Using a descriptive correlational research method, questionnaire data was collected from 65 experts from the Agricultural Organization in the Gotvand district in Southwest Iran. Results indicated that agricultural experts were aware of the environmental benefits and possible risks associated with GM crops. The majority of participants agreed that GM crops could improve food security and accelerate rural development, and were proponents of labeling practices for GM crops. Finally, there was a positive correlation between the perception of benefits and attitudes towards GM crops.

  17. The impact of genetically modified crops on soil microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giovannetti, Manuela; Sbrana, Cristiana; Turrini, Alessandra

    2005-01-01

    Genetically modified (GM) plants represent a potential benefit for environmentally friendly agriculture and human health. Though, poor knowledge is available on potential hazards posed by unintended modifications occurring during genetic manipulation. The increasing amount of reports on ecological risks and benefits of GM plants stresses the need for experimental works aimed at evaluating the impact of GM crops on natural and agro-ecosystems. Major environmental risks associated with GM crops include their potential impact on non-target soil microorganisms playing a fundamental role in crop residues degradation and in biogeochemical cycles. Recent works assessed the effects of GM crops on soil microbial communities on the basis of case-by-case studies, using multimodal experimental approaches involving different target and non-target organisms. Experimental evidences discussed in this review confirm that a precautionary approach should be adopted, by taking into account the risks associated with the unpredictability of transformation events, of their pleiotropic effects and of the fate of transgenes in natural and agro-ecosystems, weighing benefits against costs.

  18. Relevance of sexual polyploidization for crop improvement - A review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ramanna, M.S.; Jacobsen, E.

    2003-01-01

    Colchicine induced polyploids have not directly contributed for crop improvement in the past. On the other hand, the so-called natural polyploids, derived from the functioning of numerically unreduced (2n) gametes have been shown to be more relevant for crop improvement in many cases. Different type

  19. Relevance of sexual polyploidization for crop improvement - A review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ramanna, M.S.; Jacobsen, E.

    2003-01-01

    Colchicine induced polyploids have not directly contributed for crop improvement in the past. On the other hand, the so-called natural polyploids, derived from the functioning of numerically unreduced (2n) gametes have been shown to be more relevant for crop improvement in many cases. Different

  20. Status of Agricultural Production and Crop Variety Improvement in Thailand

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    JIAO Chun-hai; GUO Ying; YAO Ming-hua; WAN Zheng-huang

    2012-01-01

    We introduced basic conditions of agricultural production in Thailand, and variety improvement of major crops, including rice, cassava, rubber, and vegetable, in the hope of providing reference for agricultural production and crop variety improvement in Hubei Province and even in the whole country.

  1. Assessment of the safety of foods derived from genetically modified (GM) crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    König, A; Cockburn, A; Crevel, R W R; Debruyne, E; Grafstroem, R; Hammerling, U; Kimber, I; Knudsen, I; Kuiper, H A; Peijnenburg, A A C M; Penninks, A H; Poulsen, M; Schauzu, M; Wal, J M

    2004-07-01

    This paper provides guidance on how to assess the safety of foods derived from genetically modified crops (GM crops); it summarises conclusions and recommendations of Working Group 1 of the ENTRANSFOOD project. The paper provides an approach for adapting the test strategy to the characteristics of the modified crop and the introduced trait, and assessing potential unintended effects from the genetic modification. The proposed approach to safety assessment starts with the comparison of the new GM crop with a traditional counterpart that is generally accepted as safe based on a history of human food use (the concept of substantial equivalence). This case-focused approach ensures that foods derived from GM crops that have passed this extensive test-regime are as safe and nutritious as currently consumed plant-derived foods. The approach is suitable for current and future GM crops with more complex modifications. First, the paper reviews test methods developed for the risk assessment of chemicals, including food additives and pesticides, discussing which of these methods are suitable for the assessment of recombinant proteins and whole foods. Second, the paper presents a systematic approach to combine test methods for the safety assessment of foods derived from a specific GM crop. Third, the paper provides an overview on developments in this area that may prove of use in the safety assessment of GM crops, and recommendations for research priorities. It is concluded that the combination of existing test methods provides a sound test-regime to assess the safety of GM crops. Advances in our understanding of molecular biology, biochemistry, and nutrition may in future allow further improvement of test methods that will over time render the safety assessment of foods even more effective and informative. Copryright 2004 Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Cross-fertilization between genetically modified and non-genetically modified maize crops in Uruguay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galeano, Pablo; Debat, Claudio Martínez; Ruibal, Fabiana; Fraguas, Laura Franco; Galván, Guillermo A

    2010-01-01

    The cultivation of genetically modified (GM) Bt maize (Zea mays L.) events MON810 and Bt11 is permitted in Uruguay. Local regulations specify that 10% of the crop should be a non-GM cultivar as refuge area for biodiversity, and the distance from other non-GM maize crops should be more than 250 m in order to avoid cross-pollination. However, the degree of cross-fertilization between maize crops in Uruguay is unknown. The level of adventitious presence of GM material in non-GM crops is a relevant issue for organic farming, in situ conservation of genetic resources and seed production. In the research reported here, the occurrence and frequency of cross-fertilization between commercial GM and non-GM maize crops in Uruguay was assessed. The methodology comprised field sampling and detection using DAS-ELISA and PCR. Five field-pair cases where GM maize crops were grown near non-GM maize crops were identified. These cases had the potential to cross-fertilize considering the distance between crops and the similarity of the sowing dates. Adventitious presence of GM material in the offspring of non-GM crops was found in three of the five cases. Adventitious presence of event MON810 or Bt11 in non-GM maize, which were distinguished using specific primers, matched the events in the putative sources of transgenic pollen. Percentages of transgenic seedlings in the offspring of the non-GM crops were estimated as 0.56%, 0.83% and 0.13% for three sampling sites with distances of respectively 40, 100 and 330 m from the GM crops. This is a first indication that adventitious presence of transgenes in non-GM maize crops will occur in Uruguay if isolation by distance and/or time is not provided. These findings contribute to the evaluation of the applicability of the "regulated coexistence policy" in Uruguay.

  3. Energy sorghum--a genetic model for the design of C4 grass bioenergy crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullet, John; Morishige, Daryl; McCormick, Ryan; Truong, Sandra; Hilley, Josie; McKinley, Brian; Anderson, Robert; Olson, Sara N; Rooney, William

    2014-07-01

    Sorghum is emerging as an excellent genetic model for the design of C4 grass bioenergy crops. Annual energy Sorghum hybrids also serve as a source of biomass for bioenergy production. Elucidation of Sorghum's flowering time gene regulatory network, and identification of complementary alleles for photoperiod sensitivity, enabled large-scale generation of energy Sorghum hybrids for testing and commercial use. Energy Sorghum hybrids with long vegetative growth phases were found to accumulate more than twice as much biomass as grain Sorghum, owing to extended growing seasons, greater light interception, and higher radiation use efficiency. High biomass yield, efficient nitrogen recycling, and preferential accumulation of stem biomass with low nitrogen content contributed to energy Sorghum's elevated nitrogen use efficiency. Sorghum's integrated genetics-genomics-breeding platform, diverse germplasm, and the opportunity for annual testing of new genetic designs in controlled environments and in multiple field locations is aiding fundamental discovery, and accelerating the improvement of biomass yield and optimization of composition for biofuels production. Recent advances in wide hybridization between Sorghum and other C4 grasses could allow the deployment of improved genetic designs of annual energy Sorghums in the form of wide-hybrid perennial crops. The current trajectory of energy Sorghum genetic improvement indicates that it will be possible to sustainably produce biofuels from C4 grass bioenergy crops that are cost competitive with petroleum-based transportation fuels.

  4. Could a crop model be useful for improving sunflower crop management?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flénet Francis

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available In France, there is a need for improved sunflower crop management, in order to meet the greater requirement for oil by increasing both seed yields and the area of this crop. The objective of this article is to review the main characteristics of sunflower crop management in France and in other countries, in order to emphasize the need for improvement, and to evaluate if the recent advances in crop modelling could help to find solutions. In France, a better adaptation of crop management to water availability is needed, as well as a more efficient control of diseases without applying more fungicides. The results of these objectives would also trigger major improvements in other countries, but there is also a need to control insects and to adapt crop management to the goals of oil quality. The main sunflower crop models are reviewed in this article, with an emphasis on the most recent ones. Their ability to contribute to improving sunflower crop management, although they do not take into account diseases and insects, is discussed. Confidence in the decisions based on simulations, and the way to evaluate it, is also examined.

  5. Conservation and Use of Genetic Resources of Underutilized Crops in the Americas—A Continental Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gea Galluzzi

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Latin America is home to dramatically diverse agroecological regions which harbor a high concentration of underutilized plant species, whose genetic resources hold the potential to address challenges such as sustainable agricultural development, food security and sovereignty, and climate change. This paper examines the status of an expert-informed list of underutilized crops in Latin America and analyses how the most common features of underuse apply to these. The analysis pays special attention to if and how existing international policy and legal frameworks on biodiversity and plant genetic resources effectively support or not the conservation and sustainable use of underutilized crops. Results show that not all minor crops are affected by the same degree of neglect, and that the aspects under which any crop is underutilized vary greatly, calling for specific analyses and interventions. We also show that current international policy and legal instruments have so far provided limited stimulus and funding for the conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of these crops. Finally, the paper proposes an analytical framework for identifying and evaluating a crop’s underutilization, in order to define the most appropriate type and levels of intervention (international, national, local for improving its status.

  6. Status of market, regulation and research of genetically modified crops in Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, Miguel A; León, Gabriel

    2016-12-25

    Agricultural biotechnology and genetically modified (GM) crops are effective tools to substantially increase productivity, quality, and environmental sustainability in agricultural farming. Furthermore, they may contribute to improving the nutritional content of crops, addressing needs related to public health. Chile has become one of the most important global players for GM seed production for counter-season markets and research purposes. It has a comprehensive regulatory framework to carry out this activity, while at the same time there are numerous regulations from different agencies addressing several aspects related to GM crops. Despite imports of GM food/feed or ingredients for the food industry being allowed without restrictions, Chilean farmers are not using GM seeds for farming purposes because of a lack of clear guidelines. Chile is in a rather contradictory situation about GM crops. The country has invested considerable resources to fund research and development on GM crops, but the lack of clarity in the current regulatory situation precludes the use of such research to develop new products for Chilean farmers. Meanwhile, a larger scientific capacity regarding GM crop research continues to build up in the country. The present study maps and analyses the current regulatory environment for research and production of GM crops in Chile, providing an updated overview of the current status of GM seeds production, research and regulatory issues. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Cover crops and crop residue management under no-till systems improve soils and environmental quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Sandeep; Wegner, Brianna; Vahyala, Ibrahim; Osborne, Shannon; Schumacher, Thomas; Lehman, Michael

    2015-04-01

    Crop residue harvest is a common practice in the Midwestern USA for the ethanol production. However, excessive removal of crop residues from the soil surface contributes to the degradation of important soil quality indicators such as soil organic carbon (SOC). Addition of a cover crop may help to mitigate these negative effects. The present study was set up to assess the impacts of corn (Zea mays L.) residue removal and cover crops on various soil quality indicators and surface greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes. The study was being conducted on plots located at the North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory (NCARL) in Brookings, South Dakota, USA. Three plots of a corn and soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) rotation under a no-till (NT) system are being monitored for soils and surface gas fluxes. Each plot has three residue removal (high residue removal, HRR; medium residue removal, MRR; and low residue removal, LRR) treatments and two cover crops (cover crops and no cover crops) treatments. Both corn and soybean are represented every year. Gas flux measurements were taken weekly using a closed static chamber method. Data show that residue removal significantly impacted soil quality indicators while more time was needed for an affect from cover crop treatments to be noticed. The LRR treatment resulted in higher SOC concentrations, increased aggregate stability, and increased microbial activity. The LRR treatment also increased soil organic matter (SOM) and particulate organic matter (POM) concentrations. Cover crops used in HRR (high corn residue removal) improved SOC (27 g kg-1) by 6% compared to that without cover crops (25.4 g kg-1). Cover crops significantly impacted POM concentration directly after the residue removal treatments were applied in 2012. CO2 fluxes were observed to increase as temperature increased, while N2O fluxes increased as soil moisture increased. CH4 fluxes were responsive to both increases in temperature and moisture. On average, soils under

  8. Allergenicity assessment of genetically modified crops - what makes sense?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goodman, Richard E.; Vieths, Stefan; Sampson, Hugh A.; Hill, David; Ebisawa, Motohiro; Taylor, Steve L.; van Ree, Ronald

    2008-01-01

    GM crops have great potential to improve food quality, increase harvest yields and decrease dependency on certain chemical pesticides. Before yields and decrease dependency on certain chemical Before entering the market their safety needs to be This includes a detailed analysis of allergenic risks,

  9. Progress in TILLING as a tool for functional genomics and improvement of crops

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Liang Chen; Liugen Hao; Martin A.J.Parry; Andrew L. Phillips; Yin-Gang Hu

    2014-01-01

    Food security is a global concern and substantial yield increases in crops are required to feed the growing world population. Mutagenesis is an important tool in crop improve-ment and is free of the regulatory restrictions imposed on genetical y modified organisms. Targeting Induced Local Lesions in Genomes (TILLING), which combines traditional chemical mutagenesis with high-throughput genome-wide screening for point mutations in desired genes, offers a powerful way to create novel mutant al eles for both functional genomics and improvement of crops. TILLING is general y applicable to genomes whether smal or large, diploid or even al ohexaploid, and shows great potential to address the major chal enge of linking sequence information to the function of genes and to modulate key traits for plant breeding. TILLING has been successful y applied in many crop species and recent progress in TILLING is summarized below, especial y on the developments in mutation detection technology, application of TILLING in gene functional studies and crop breeding. The potential of TILLING/EcoTILLING for functional genetics and crop improvement is also discussed. Furthermore, a smal-scale forward strategy including backcross and selfing was con-ducted to release the potential mutant phenotypes masked in M2 (or M3) plants.

  10. Crop improvement using life cycle datasets acquired under field conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keiichi eMochida

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Crops are exposed to various environmental stresses in the field throughout their life cycle. Modern plant science has provided remarkable insights into the molecular networks of plant stress responses in laboratory conditions, but the responses of different crops to environmental stresses in the field need to be elucidated. Recent advances in omics analytical techniques and information technology have enabled us to integrate data from a spectrum of physiological metrics of field crops. The interdisciplinary efforts of plant science and data science enable us to explore factors that affect crop productivity and identify stress tolerance-related genes and alleles. Here, we describe recent advances in technologies that are key components for data driven crop design, such as population genomics, chronological omics analyses, and computer-aided molecular network prediction. Integration of the outcomes from these technologies will accelerate our understanding of crop phenology under practical field situations and identify key characteristics to represent crop stress status. These elements would help us to genetically engineer designed crops to prevent yield shortfalls because of environmental fluctuations due to future climate change.

  11. Increasing Crop Diversity Mitigates Weather Variations and Improves Yield Stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaudin, Amélie C. M.; Tolhurst, Tor N.; Ker, Alan P.; Janovicek, Ken; Tortora, Cristina; Martin, Ralph C.; Deen, William

    2015-01-01

    Cropping sequence diversification provides a systems approach to reduce yield variations and improve resilience to multiple environmental stresses. Yield advantages of more diverse crop rotations and their synergistic effects with reduced tillage are well documented, but few studies have quantified the impact of these management practices on yields and their stability when soil moisture is limiting or in excess. Using yield and weather data obtained from a 31-year long term rotation and tillage trial in Ontario, we tested whether crop rotation diversity is associated with greater yield stability when abnormal weather conditions occur. We used parametric and non-parametric approaches to quantify the impact of rotation diversity (monocrop, 2-crops, 3-crops without or with one or two legume cover crops) and tillage (conventional or reduced tillage) on yield probabilities and the benefits of crop diversity under different soil moisture and temperature scenarios. Although the magnitude of rotation benefits varied with crops, weather patterns and tillage, yield stability significantly increased when corn and soybean were integrated into more diverse rotations. Introducing small grains into short corn-soybean rotation was enough to provide substantial benefits on long-term soybean yields and their stability while the effects on corn were mostly associated with the temporal niche provided by small grains for underseeded red clover or alfalfa. Crop diversification strategies increased the probability of harnessing favorable growing conditions while decreasing the risk of crop failure. In hot and dry years, diversification of corn-soybean rotations and reduced tillage increased yield by 7% and 22% for corn and soybean respectively. Given the additional advantages associated with cropping system diversification, such a strategy provides a more comprehensive approach to lowering yield variability and improving the resilience of cropping systems to multiple environmental

  12. Increasing crop diversity mitigates weather variations and improves yield stability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amélie C M Gaudin

    Full Text Available Cropping sequence diversification provides a systems approach to reduce yield variations and improve resilience to multiple environmental stresses. Yield advantages of more diverse crop rotations and their synergistic effects with reduced tillage are well documented, but few studies have quantified the impact of these management practices on yields and their stability when soil moisture is limiting or in excess. Using yield and weather data obtained from a 31-year long term rotation and tillage trial in Ontario, we tested whether crop rotation diversity is associated with greater yield stability when abnormal weather conditions occur. We used parametric and non-parametric approaches to quantify the impact of rotation diversity (monocrop, 2-crops, 3-crops without or with one or two legume cover crops and tillage (conventional or reduced tillage on yield probabilities and the benefits of crop diversity under different soil moisture and temperature scenarios. Although the magnitude of rotation benefits varied with crops, weather patterns and tillage, yield stability significantly increased when corn and soybean were integrated into more diverse rotations. Introducing small grains into short corn-soybean rotation was enough to provide substantial benefits on long-term soybean yields and their stability while the effects on corn were mostly associated with the temporal niche provided by small grains for underseeded red clover or alfalfa. Crop diversification strategies increased the probability of harnessing favorable growing conditions while decreasing the risk of crop failure. In hot and dry years, diversification of corn-soybean rotations and reduced tillage increased yield by 7% and 22% for corn and soybean respectively. Given the additional advantages associated with cropping system diversification, such a strategy provides a more comprehensive approach to lowering yield variability and improving the resilience of cropping systems to multiple

  13. ECOGEN - Soil ecological and economic evaluation of genetically modified crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krogh, P. H

    2007-01-01

    ECOGEN is a project funded by the EU under the 6th Framework Programme. Based on results obtained from soil biodiversity studies and economic evaluations, ECOGEN assessed the impact on soil organisms of different agricultural management practices, including those involving genetically modified (GM...... where non-GM conventional maize (8 different varieties) was planted. In addition, economic assessments of the GM crop were performed by quantifying the differences in variable costs, revenues and external effects in comparison with the conventional variety. The implications for the EU Common Agriculture...... corn borer, was chosen as the model GM crop since it has been approved for planting in the EU and been available to growers in Europe since 2003 (introduced first in Spain), with commercial plantings being conducted in five Member States in 2006 on more than 63,000 ha. MON 810 maize was first...

  14. Risk assessment of genetically modified crops for nutrition and health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magaña-Gómez, Javier A; de la Barca, Ana M Calderón

    2009-01-01

    The risk assessment of genetically modified (GM) crops for human nutrition and health has not been systematic. Evaluations for each GM crop or trait have been conducted using different feeding periods, animal models, and parameters. The most common result is that GM and conventional sources induce similar nutritional performance and growth in animals. However, adverse microscopic and molecular effects of some GM foods in different organs or tissues have been reported. Diversity among the methods and results of the risk assessments reflects the complexity of the subject. While there are currently no standardized methods to evaluate the safety of GM foods, attempts towards harmonization are on the way. More scientific effort is necessary in order to build confidence in the evaluation and acceptance of GM foods.

  15. Polyphenol Oxidases in Crops: Biochemical, Physiological and Genetic Aspects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca Taranto

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Enzymatic browning is a colour reaction occurring in plants, including cereals, fruit and horticultural crops, due to oxidation during postharvest processing and storage. This has a negative impact on the colour, flavour, nutritional properties and shelf life of food products. Browning is usually caused by polyphenol oxidases (PPOs, following cell damage caused by senescence, wounding and the attack of pests and pathogens. Several studies indicated that PPOs play a role in plant immunity, and emerging evidence suggested that PPOs might also be involved in other physiological processes. Genomic investigations ultimately led to the isolation of PPO homologs in several crops, which will be possibly characterized at the functional level in the near future. Here, focusing on the botanic families of Poaceae and Solanaceae, we provide an overview on available scientific literature on PPOs, resulting in useful information on biochemical, physiological and genetic aspects.

  16. Opportunities for improving phosphorus-use efficiency in crop plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veneklaas, Erik J; Lambers, Hans; Bragg, Jason; Finnegan, Patrick M; Lovelock, Catherine E; Plaxton, William C; Price, Charles A; Scheible, Wolf-Rüdiger; Shane, Michael W; White, Philip J; Raven, John A

    2012-07-01

    Limitation of grain crop productivity by phosphorus (P) is widespread and will probably increase in the future. Enhanced P efficiency can be achieved by improved uptake of phosphate from soil (P-acquisition efficiency) and by improved productivity per unit P taken up (P-use efficiency). This review focuses on improved P-use efficiency, which can be achieved by plants that have overall lower P concentrations, and by optimal distribution and redistribution of P in the plant allowing maximum growth and biomass allocation to harvestable plant parts. Significant decreases in plant P pools may be possible, for example, through reductions of superfluous ribosomal RNA and replacement of phospholipids by sulfolipids and galactolipids. Improvements in P distribution within the plant may be possible by increased remobilization from tissues that no longer need it (e.g. senescing leaves) and reduced partitioning of P to developing grains. Such changes would prolong and enhance the productive use of P in photosynthesis and have nutritional and environmental benefits. Research considering physiological, metabolic, molecular biological, genetic and phylogenetic aspects of P-use efficiency is urgently needed to allow significant progress to be made in our understanding of this complex trait.

  17. Gene flow in genetically engineered perennial grasses: Lessons for modification of dedicated bioenergy crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    The potential ecological consequences of the commercialization of genetically engineered (GD) crops have been the subject of intense debate, particularly when the GE crops are perennial and capable of outcrossing to wild relatives. The essential ecological impact issues for engi...

  18. Future-proof crops: challenges and strategies for climate resilience improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kissoudis, Christos; van de Wiel, Clemens; Visser, Richard Gf; van der Linden, Gerard

    2016-04-01

    Breeding for stress-resilient crops strongly depends on technological and biological advancements that have provided a wealth of information on genetic variants and their contribution to stress tolerance. In the context of the upcoming challenges for agriculture due to climate change, such as prolonged and/or increased stress intensities, CO2 increase and stress combinations, hierarchizing this information is key to accelerating crop improvement towards sustained or even increased productivity. We propose traits with high scalability to yield and crop performance that can be targeted for improvement and provide examples of recent discoveries with potential applicability in breeding. Critical to success is the integrated analysis of the phenotypes of genetic variants across different environmental variables using modelling approaches and high-throughput phenotyping.

  19. Unintended effects and their detection in genetically modified crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cellini, F; Chesson, A; Colquhoun, I; Constable, A; Davies, H V; Engel, K H; Gatehouse, A M R; Kärenlampi, S; Kok, E J; Leguay, J-J; Lehesranta, S; Noteborn, H P J M; Pedersen, J; Smith, M

    2004-07-01

    The commercialisation of GM crops in Europe is practically non-existent at the present time. The European Commission has instigated changes to the regulatory process to address the concerns of consumers and member states and to pave the way for removing the current moratorium. With regard to the safety of GM crops and products, the current risk assessment process pays particular attention to potential adverse effects on human and animal health and the environment. This document deals with the concept of unintended effects in GM crops and products, i.e. effects that go beyond that of the original modification and that might impact primarily on health. The document first deals with the potential for unintended effects caused by the processes of transgene insertion (DNA rearrangements) and makes comparisons with genetic recombination events and DNA rearrangements in traditional breeding. The document then focuses on the potential value of evolving "profiling" or "omics" technologies as non-targeted, unbiased approaches, to detect unintended effects. These technologies include metabolomics (parallel analysis of a range of primary and secondary metabolites), proteomics (analysis of polypeptide complement) and transcriptomics (parallel analysis of gene expression). The technologies are described, together with their current limitations. Importantly, the significance of unintended effects on consumer health are discussed and conclusions and recommendations presented on the various approaches outlined.

  20. Unintended effects in genetically modified crops: revealed by metabolomics?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rischer, Heiko; Oksman-Caldentey, Kirsi-Marja

    2006-03-01

    In Europe the commercialization of food derived from genetically modified plants has been slow because of the complex regulatory process and the concerns of consumers. Risk assessment is focused on potential adverse effects on humans and the environment, which could result from unintended effects of genetic modifications: unintended effects are connected to changes in metabolite levels in the plants. One of the major challenges is how to analyze the overall metabolite composition of GM plants in comparison to conventional cultivars, and one possible solution is offered by metabolomics. The ultimate aim of metabolomics is the identification and quantification of all small molecules in an organism; however, a single method enabling complete metabolome analysis does not exist. Given a comprehensive extraction method, a hierarchical strategy--starting with global fingerprinting and followed by complementary profiling attempts--is the most logical and economic approach to detect unintended effects in GM crops.

  1. Molecular approaches to improvement of Jatropha curcas Linn. as a sustainable energy crop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudhakar Johnson, T; Eswaran, Nalini; Sujatha, M

    2011-09-01

    With the increase in crude oil prices, climate change concerns and limited reserves of fossil fuel, attention has been diverted to alternate renewable energy sources such as biofuel and biomass. Among the potential biofuel crops, Jatropha curcas L, a non-domesticated shrub, has been gaining importance as the most promising oilseed, as it does not compete with the edible oil supplies. Economic relevance of J. curcas for biodiesel production has promoted world-wide prospecting of its germplasm for crop improvement and breeding. However, lack of adequate genetic variation and non-availability of improved varieties limited its prospects of being a successful energy crop. In this review, we present the progress made in molecular breeding approaches with particular reference to tissue culture and genetic transformation, genetic diversity assessment using molecular markers, large-scale transcriptome and proteome studies, identification of candidate genes for trait improvement, whole genome sequencing and the current interest by various public and private sector companies in commercial-scale cultivation, which highlights the revival of Jatropha as a sustainable energy crop. The information generated from molecular markers, transcriptome profiling and whole genome sequencing could accelerate the genetic upgradation of J. curcas through molecular breeding.

  2. RNA interference: concept to reality in crop improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saurabh, Satyajit; Vidyarthi, Ambarish S; Prasad, Dinesh

    2014-03-01

    The phenomenon of RNA interference (RNAi) is involved in sequence-specific gene regulation driven by the introduction of dsRNA resulting in inhibition of translation or transcriptional repression. Since the discovery of RNAi and its regulatory potentials, it has become evident that RNAi has immense potential in opening a new vista for crop improvement. RNAi technology is precise, efficient, stable and better than antisense technology. It has been employed successfully to alter the gene expression in plants for better quality traits. The impact of RNAi to improve the crop plants has proved to be a novel approach in combating the biotic and abiotic stresses and the nutritional improvement in terms of bio-fortification and bio-elimination. It has been employed successfully to bring about modifications of several desired traits in different plants. These modifications include nutritional improvements, reduced content of food allergens and toxic compounds, enhanced defence against biotic and abiotic stresses, alteration in morphology, crafting male sterility, enhanced secondary metabolite synthesis and seedless plant varieties. However, crop plants developed by RNAi strategy may create biosafety risks. So, there is a need for risk assessment of GM crops in order to make RNAi a better tool to develop crops with biosafety measures. This article is an attempt to review the RNAi, its biochemistry, and the achievements attributed to the application of RNAi in crop improvement.

  3. Improvement of Selenium Status of Pasture Crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Gunnar Gissel

    1984-01-01

    Selenium was applied to pasture crops in a field experiment (1) by foliar application of 10 g Se/ha as selenite in the spring, (2) or by 5 g Se/ha in the spring plus 5 g in early August, (3) as selenite-enriched calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) at 4 g Se/ha after each cut, and (4) as 4 g Se after...... every second cut. The experiment covered 2 yr. The results showed that applying 4 g Se in CAN/ha five times and spraying with 10 g Se/ha were efficient and safe measures to raise the average Se concentrations from about 0.04 ppm to 0.06-0.1 ppm. The yield of dry matter was lower in 1981 than in 1980...

  4. Increased production of nutriments by genetically engineered crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sevenier, R.E.; Meer, van der I.M.; Bino, R.J.; Koops, A.J.

    2002-01-01

    Plants are the basis of human nutrition and have been selected and improved to assure this purpose. Nowadays, new technologies such as genetic engineering and genomics approaches allow further improvement of plants. We describe here three examples for which these techniques have been employed. We in

  5. Gaining perspective on the allergenicity assessment of genetically modified food crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Richard E; Hefle, Sue L

    2005-11-01

    Genetically modified plants are created by the insertion of foreign genes into plant cells followed by the generation of reproductively stable stock plants for rapid and precise improvements in agricultural crops. Current products provide resistance to insect pests, plant viruses or herbicides. Future products include nutritionally enhanced crops, salt and draught tolerant crops and plant produced industrial enzymes or pharmaceuticals. The risk that a newly expressed protein might cause serious allergic reactions is real, but the probability is relatively small. Regulatory agencies require a premarket evaluation of the genetically modified crop to reduce the potential for increased risks of food allergy. While absolute proof of safety is not possible, the major risk - transfer of a potent major allergen or nearly identical crossreactive protein - is minimized by allergen-specific serum immunoglobulin E tests that evaluate proteins taken from major allergenic sources or proteins with sequences highly similar to any allergen. Other tests are performed to identify proteins that are likely to sensitize consumers. Experience indicates the current assessment process is working effectively. However, further guidance on bioinformatics and immunoglobulin E assays could increase the reliability of the assessment. Further development of alternative assays may be needed to assess the next generation of products.

  6. Transgenic crops with an improved resistance to biotic stresses. A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tohidfar, M.

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Pests, diseases and weeds (biotic stresses are significant limiting factors for crop yield and production. However, the limitations associated with conventional breeding methods necessitated the development of alternative methods for improving new varieties with higher resistance to biotic stresses. Molecular techniques have developed applicable methods for genetic transformation of a wide range of plants. Genetic engineering approach has been demonstrated to provide enormous options for the selection of the resistance genes from different sources to introduce them into plants to provide resistance against different biotic stresses. Literature. In this review, we focus on strategies to achieve the above mentioned objectives including expression of insecticidal, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral resistance and herbicide detoxification for herbicide resistance. Conclusion. Regardless of the concerns about commercialization of products from genetically modified (GM crops resistant to biotic stresses, it is observed that the cultivation area of these crops is growing fast each year. Considering this trend, it is expected that production and commercialization of GM crops resistant to biotic stresses will continue to increase but will also extend to production of crops resistant to abiotic stresses (e.g. drought, salinity, etc. in a near future.

  7. ECOGEN - Soil ecological and economic evaluation of genetically modified crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krogh, P. H

    2007-01-01

    ECOGEN is a project funded by the EU under the 6th Framework Programme. Based on results obtained from soil biodiversity studies and economic evaluations, ECOGEN assessed the impact on soil organisms of different agricultural management practices, including those involving genetically modified (GM...... Policy were then evaluated. These two major factors - ecological and economic - were then integrated into decision support models for predicting the overall consequences of introducing GM crops into an agricultural system. Bt-maize line MON 810, resistant to a widespread insect pest called the European...... indicate that the EU corn growing farmers would forego direct economic benefits in the area of 150 million Euro per year by postponing the full introduction of MON 810. The direct economic benefits are high enough to compensate for possible but highly unlikely irreversible costs of full introduction...

  8. Relevance of Crop Biology for Environmental Risk Assessment of Genetically Modified Crops in Africa

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge about the crop biology of economic crops in Africa is needed for regulators to accurately review dossiers and conduct comprehensive environmental risk assessments (ERAs). This information allows regulators to decide whether biotech crops present a risk to biodiversity, since crossing between domesticated crops and their wild relatives could affect the adaptations of the wild species. The criteria that should be used in the evaluation of African crops for ERA include growth habit, ce...

  9. RELEVANCE OF CROP BIOLOGY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RISK ASSESSMENT OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS IN AFRICA

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge about the crop biology of economic crops in Africa is needed for regulators to accurately review dossiers and conduct comprehensive environmental risk assessments (ERA). This information allows regulators to decide whether biotech crops present a risk to biodiversity, since crossing between domesticated crops and their wild relatives could affect the adaptations of the wild species. The criteria that should be used in the evaluation of African crops for environmental risk assessmen...

  10. Improving Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Crops for Sustainable Agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter J. Lea

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available In this review, we present the recent developments and future prospects of improving nitrogen use efficiency (NUE in crops using various complementary approaches. These include conventional breeding and molecular genetics, in addition to alternative farming techniques based on no-till continuous cover cropping cultures and/or organic nitrogen (N nutrition. Whatever the mode of N fertilization, an increased knowledge of the mechanisms controlling plant N economy is essential for improving NUE and for reducing excessive input of fertilizers, while maintaining an acceptable yield and sufficient profit margin for the farmers. Using plants grown under agronomic conditions, with different tillage conditions, in pure or associated cultures, at low and high N mineral fertilizer input, or using organic fertilization, it is now possible to develop further whole plant agronomic and physiological studies. These can be combined with gene, protein and metabolite profiling to build up a comprehensive picture depicting the different steps of N uptake, assimilation and recycling to produce either biomass in vegetative organs or proteins in storage organs. We provide a critical overview as to how our understanding of the agro-ecophysiological, physiological and molecular controls of N assimilation in crops, under varying environmental conditions, has been improved. We have used combined approaches, based on agronomic studies, whole plant physiology, quantitative genetics, forward and reverse genetics and the emerging systems biology. Long-term sustainability may require a gradual transition from synthetic N inputs to legume-based crop rotation, including continuous cover cropping systems, where these may be possible in certain areas of the world, depending on climatic conditions. Current knowledge and prospects for future agronomic development and application for breeding crops adapted to lower mineral fertilizer input and to alternative farming techniques are

  11. Bee pollination improves crop quality, shelf life and commercial value.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klatt, Björn K; Holzschuh, Andrea; Westphal, Catrin; Clough, Yann; Smit, Inga; Pawelzik, Elke; Tscharntke, Teja

    2014-01-22

    Pollination improves the yield of most crop species and contributes to one-third of global crop production, but comprehensive benefits including crop quality are still unknown. Hence, pollination is underestimated by international policies, which is particularly alarming in times of agricultural intensification and diminishing pollination services. In this study, exclusion experiments with strawberries showed bee pollination to improve fruit quality, quantity and market value compared with wind and self-pollination. Bee-pollinated fruits were heavier, had less malformations and reached higher commercial grades. They had increased redness and reduced sugar-acid-ratios and were firmer, thus improving the commercially important shelf life. Longer shelf life reduced fruit loss by at least 11%. This is accounting for 0.32 billion US$ of the 1.44 billion US$ provided by bee pollination to the total value of 2.90 billion US$ made with strawberry selling in the European Union 2009. The fruit quality and yield effects are driven by the pollination-mediated production of hormonal growth regulators, which occur in several pollination-dependent crops. Thus, our comprehensive findings should be transferable to a wide range of crops and demonstrate bee pollination to be a hitherto underestimated but vital and economically important determinant of fruit quality.

  12. Improving crop nutrient efficiency through root architecture modifications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xinxin; Zeng, Rensen; Liao, Hong

    2016-03-01

    Improving crop nutrient efficiency becomes an essential consideration for environmentally friendly and sustainable agriculture. Plant growth and development is dependent on 17 essential nutrient elements, among them, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are the two most important mineral nutrients. Hence it is not surprising that low N and/or low P availability in soils severely constrains crop growth and productivity, and thereby have become high priority targets for improving nutrient efficiency in crops. Root exploration largely determines the ability of plants to acquire mineral nutrients from soils. Therefore, root architecture, the 3-dimensional configuration of the plant's root system in the soil, is of great importance for improving crop nutrient efficiency. Furthermore, the symbiotic associations between host plants and arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi/rhizobial bacteria, are additional important strategies to enhance nutrient acquisition. In this review, we summarize the recent advances in the current understanding of crop species control of root architecture alterations in response to nutrient availability and root/microbe symbioses, through gene or QTL regulation, which results in enhanced nutrient acquisition.

  13. Improving crop nutrient efficiency through root architecture modifications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xinxin Li; Rensen Zeng; Hong Liao

    2016-01-01

    Improving crop nutrient efficiency becomes an essential consideration for environmentally friendly and sustainable agriculture. Plant growth and development is dependent on 17 essential nutrient elements, among them, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are the two most important mineral nutrients. Hence it is not surprising that low N and/or low P availability in soils severely constrains crop growth and productivity, and thereby have become high priority targets for improving nutrient efficiency in crops. Root exploration largely determines the ability of plants to acquire mineral nutrients from soils. Therefore, root architecture, the 3-dimensional configuration of the plant’s root system in the soil, is of great importance for improving crop nutrient efficiency. Furthermore, the symbiotic associations between host plants and arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi/rhizobial bacteria, are additional important strategies to enhance nutrient acquisition. In this review, we summarize the recent advances in the current understanding of crop species control of root architecture alterations in response to nutrient availability and root/microbe symbioses, through gene or QTL regulation, which results in enhanced nutrient acquisition.

  14. Possible effects of (trans)gene flow from crops on the genetic diversity from landraces and wild relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gepts, Paul; Papa, Roberto

    2003-01-01

    Gene flow is a potential concern associated with the use of transgenic crops because it could affect genetic diversity of related landraces and wild relatives. This concern has taken on added importance with the looming introduction of transgenic crops in centers of crop domestication (Mexico, China) and those producing pharmaceutical compounds. For gene flow to take place among cultivars and their wild relatives, several steps have to be fulfilled, including the presence of cultivars or wild relatives within pollen or seed dispersal range, the ability to produce viable and fertile hybrids, at least partial overlap in flowering time, actual gene flow by pollen or seed, and the establishment of crop genes in the domesticated or wild recipient populations. In contrast with domestication genes, which often make crops less adapted to natural ecosystems, transgenes frequently represent gains of function, which might release wild relatives from constraints that limit their fitness. In most sexually reproducing organisms, the chromosomal region affected by selection of a single gene amounts to a small percentage of the total genome size. Because of gene flow, the level of genetic diversity present in the domesticated gene pool becomes a crucial factor affecting the genetic diversity of the wild gene pool. For some crops, such as cotton and maize, the introduction of transgenic technologies has led to a consolidation of the seed industry and a reduction in the diversity of the elite crop gene pool. Thus, diversity in improved varieties grown by farmers needs to be monitored. Several areas deserve further study, such as the actual magnitude of gene flow and its determinants in different agroecosystems, the long-term effects of gene flow on genetic diversity both across gene pools and within genomes, the expression of transgenes in new genetic backgrounds, and the effects of socio-economic factors on genetic diversity.

  15. Mechanisms of Physiological Regulation for Improving Dryland Crop Water Use

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SHANGGUAN Zhou-ping; XUE Qing-wu

    2003-01-01

    This paper briefly reviews the physiological mechanisms for improving crop water use and water use efficiency in dryland farming regions of Loess Plateau on the basis of its environmental conditions and progress in crop water relations and the biological basis of water-saving agriculture, especially in non-uniform stomatal closure, ABA effects, communication between root and shoot, and water use efficiency. Root chemical signals about water shortage are feedforward effect which contributes to balanced water relations within the plant compartment of the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. ABA production is increased in tissues during these stresses, and this causes a variety of physiological effects, including stomata closure in leaves. It is concluded that the root chemical signal ABA is very important to improve the crop water use efficiency in semi-arid area of Loess Plateau.

  16. Improved genetic operator for genetic algorithm

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    林峰; 杨启文

    2002-01-01

    The mutation operator has been seldom improved because researchers ha rdly suspect its ability to prevent genetic algorithm (GA) from converging prema turely. Due to its i mportance to GA, the authors of this paper study its influence on the diversity of genes in the same locus, and point out that traditional mutation, to some ext ent, can result in premature convergence of genes (PCG) in the same locus. The a bove drawback of the traditional mutation operator causes the loss of critical a lleles. Inspired by digital technique, we introduce two kinds of boolean operati on into GA to develop a novel mutation operator and discuss its contribution to preventing the loss of critical alleles. The experimental results of function op timization show that the improved mutation operator can effectively prevent prem ature convergence, and can provide a wide selection range of control parameters for GA.

  17. Improved genetic operator for genetic algorithm

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    林峰; 杨启文

    2002-01-01

    The mutation operator has been seldom improved because ressearchers hardly suspect its ability to prevent genetic algorithm(GA) from converging prematurely.Due to its importance to GA,the authors of this paper study influence on the diversity of genes in the same locus,and point out that traditional mutation,to some extent,can result in premature convergence of genes(PCG) in the same locus.The above drawback of the traditional mutation operator causes the loss of critical alleles.Inspired by digital technique,we introduce two kinds of boolean operation into GA to develop a novel mutation operator and discuss its contribution of preventing the loss of critical alleles.The experimental results of function optimizatioin show that the improved mutation operator can effectively prevent premature convegence,and can provide a wide selection range of control parameters for GA.

  18. Moving on up: H(+)-PPase mediated crop improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Upregulation of H(+)-PPase in diverse crop systems triggers agriculturally beneficial phenotypes including augmented stress tolerance, improved water and nutrient use efficiencies, and increased biomass and yield. We argue that further research is warranted to maximize the full potential of this sim...

  19. Current issues connected with usage of genetically modified crops in production of feed and livestock feeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwiatek, K; Mazur, M; Sieradzki, Z

    2008-01-01

    Progress, which is brought by new advances in modern molecular biology, allowed interference in the genome of live organisms and gene manipulation. Introducing new genes to the recipient organism enables to give them new features, absent before. Continuous increase in the area of the biotech crops triggers continuous discussion about safety of genetically modified (GM) crops, including food and feed derived from them. Important issue connected with cultivation of genetically modified crops is a horizontal gene transfer and a bacterial antibiotic resistance. Discussion about safety of GM crops concerns also food allergies caused by eating genetically modified food. The problem of genetic modifications of GM crops used for livestock feeding is widely discussed, taking into account Polish feed law.

  20. Genetic Diversity of Oilseed Rape Fields and Feral Populations in the Context of Coexistence with GM Crops

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    Despite growing concern about transgenes escaping from fields, few studies have analysed the genetic diversity of crops in an agroecosystem over several years. Accurate information about the dynamics and relationship of the genetic diversity of crops in an agroecosystem is essential for risk assessment and policies concerning the containment of genetically modified crops and their coexistence with crops grown by conventional practices. Here, we analysed the genetic diversity of oilseed rape p...

  1. Photo-biotechnology as a tool to improve agronomic traits in crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gururani, Mayank Anand; Ganesan, Markkandan; Song, Pill-Soon

    2015-01-01

    Phytochromes are photosensory phosphoproteins with crucial roles in plant developmental responses to light. Functional studies of individual phytochromes have revealed their distinct roles in the plant's life cycle. Given the importance of phytochromes in key plant developmental processes, genetically manipulating phytochrome expression offers a promising approach to crop improvement. Photo-biotechnology refers to the transgenic expression of phytochrome transgenes or variants of such transgenes. Several studies have indicated that crop cultivars can be improved by modulating the expression of phytochrome genes. The improved traits include enhanced yield, improved grass quality, shade-tolerance, and stress resistance. In this review, we discuss the transgenic expression of phytochrome A and its hyperactive mutant (Ser599Ala-PhyA) in selected crops, such as Zoysia japonica (Japanese lawn grass), Agrostis stolonifera (creeping bentgrass), Oryza sativa (rice), Solanum tuberosum (potato), and Ipomea batatas (sweet potato). The transgenic expression of PhyA and its mutant in various plant species imparts biotechnologically useful traits. Here, we highlight recent advances in the field of photo-biotechnology and review the results of studies in which phytochromes or variants of phytochromes were transgenically expressed in various plant species. We conclude that photo-biotechnology offers an excellent platform for developing crops with improved properties. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Genomics-assisted breeding for boosting crop improvement in pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lekha ePazhamala

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Pigeonpea is an important pulse crop grown predominantly in the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. Although pigeonpea growing area has considerably increased, yield has remained stagnant for the last six decades mainly due to the exposure of the crop to various biotic and abiotic constraints. In addition, low level of genetic variability and limited genomic resources have been serious impediments to pigeonpea crop improvement through modern breeding approaches. In recent years, however, due to the availability of next generation sequencing and high-throughput genotyping technologies, the scenario has changed tremendously. The reduced sequencing costs resulting in the decoding of the pigeonpea genome has led to the development of various genomic resources including molecular markers, transcript sequences and comprehensive genetic maps. Mapping of some important traits including resistance to Fusarium wilt and sterility mosaic disease, fertility restoration, determinacy with other agronomically important traits have paved the way for applying genomics-assisted breeding (GAB through marker assisted selection as well as genomic selection. This would lead to accelerate the development and improvement of both varieties and hybrids in pigeonpea. Particularly for hybrid breeding programme, mitochondrial genomes of cytoplasmic male sterile lines, maintainers and hybrids have also been sequenced to identify genes responsible for cytoplasmic male sterility. Furthermore, several diagnostic molecular markers have been developed to assess the purity of commercial hybrids. In summary, pigeonpea has become a genomic resources-rich crop and efforts have already been initiated to integrate these resources in pigeonpea breeding.

  3. Research and Technology Development for Genetic Improvement of Switchgrass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kausch, Albert [Univ. of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI (United States); Rhodes, Richard [Univ. of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI (United States)

    2017-05-02

    This research adds to the understanding of switchgrass genetics and the increasing of biomass relevant to production of bioenergy. Switchgrass, Panicum virgatum L., and its related species are well known as potential bioenergy crops since the early 1990s. There are global economic, political, US national security and environmental pressures to increase renewable biofuel production and utilization to offset gasoline and diesel fuel use and climate change, especially in the liquid fuel transportation sector. To realize the potential of bioenergy crops, rapid genetic improvement of the most promising perennial grass feedstocks, such as switchgrass, are anticipated by current genomics, association genetics, marker assisted breeding, hybrid plant development, advanced tissue culture, conventional genetics and other approaches to increase yield, processability, and regional adaptation. The technical effectiveness and economic feasibility of the methods or techniques investigated are demonstrated by several publications, presentations and patents produced as an outcome and deliverable of this research. This project is of a broad benefit to the public not only through the dissemination of this information but also to the development of new methods which will be applied to future bioenergy crop improvement as well as other crops.

  4. Improving Resilience of Northern Field Crop Systems Using Inter-Seeded Red Clover: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Deen

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available In light of the environmental challenges ahead, resilience of the most abundant field crop production systems must be improved to guarantee yield stability with more efficient use of nitrogen inputs, soil and water resources. Along with genetic and agronomic innovations, diversification of northern agro-ecosystems using inter-seeded legumes provides further opportunities to improve land management practices that sustain crop yields and their resilience to biotic and abiotic stresses. Benefits of legume cover crops have been known for decades and red clover (Trifolium pratense is one of the most common and beneficial when frost-seeded under winter wheat in advance of maize in a rotation. However, its use has been declining mostly due to the use of synthetic fertilizers and herbicides, concerns over competition with the main crop and the inability to fully capture red clover benefits due to difficulties in the persistence of uniform stands. In this manuscript, we first review the environmental, agronomic, rotational and economical benefits associated with inter-seeded red clover. Red clover adaptation to a wide array of common wheat-based rotations, its potential to mitigate the effects of land degradation in a changing climate and its integration into sustainable food production systems are discussed. We then identify areas of research with significant potential to impact cropping system profitability and sustainability.

  5. Small RNAs in plants: Recent development and application for crop improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayushi eKamthan

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The phenomenon of RNA interference (RNAi which involves sequence specific gene regulation by small non-coding RNAs i.e small interfering RNA (siRNA and micro RNA (miRNA has emerged as one of most powerful approaches for crop improvement. RNAi based on siRNA is one of the widely used tools of reverse genetics which aid in revealing gene functions in many species. This technology has been extensively applied to alter the gene expression in plants with an aim to achieve desirable traits. RNAi has been used for enhancing the crop yield and productivity by manipulating the gene involved in biomass, grain yield and enhanced shelf life of fruits & vegetables. It has also been applied for developing resistance against various biotic (bacteria, fungi, viruses, nematodes, insects and abiotic stresses (drought, salinity, cold etc.. Nutritional improvements of crops have also been achieved by enriching the crops with essential amino acids, fatty acids, antioxidants and other nutrients beneficial for human health or by reducing allergens or anti-nutrients. Micro RNAs are key regulators of important plant processes like growth, development and response to various stresses. In spite of similarity in size (20-24nt, miRNA differ from siRNA in precursor structures, pathway of biogenesis, and modes of action. This review also highlights the miRNA based genetic modification technology where various miRNAs/artificial miRNAs and their targets can be utilized for improving several desirable plant traits. Micro RNA based strategies are much efficient than siRNA-based RNAi strategies due to its specificity and less undesirable off target effects. As per the FDA guidelines, small RNA based transgenics are much safer for consumption than those over expressing proteins. This review thereby summarizes the emerging advances and achievement in the field of small RNAs and its application for crop improvement.

  6. Bringing policy relevance and scientific discipline to environmental risk assessment for genetically modified crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Rod A; Garcia-Alonso, Monica; Layton, Raymond; Raybould, Alan

    2013-09-01

    Although public opinion is important in deciding what is valued by society, governments have determined that scientific expertise is required to evaluate potential environmental effects of genetically modified (GM) crops. We suggest how to evaluate rigorously the environmental effects of GM crops in the context of a scientific investigation. Following a disciplined scientific approach to environmental risk assessment (ERA) for GM crops should help resolve controversy in identifying and addressing risk.

  7. Separating soil evaporation and crop transpiration to improve crop water use efficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heng, Lee; Nguyen, Long; Gong, Daozhi; Mei, Xurong; Amenzou, Noureddine

    2014-05-01

    A network of a FAO/IAEA Coordinated Research Project (CRP) on "Managing Irrigation Water to Enhance Crop Productivity under Water-Limiting Conditions: A Role for Isotopic Techniques", involving seven countries was implemented from 2007 to 2012, to identify approaches to improve crop water productivity (production per unit of water input) under water-limiting conditions using isotopic and related techniques. This paper presents findings from the two of the studied sites, one in China and another in Morocco, in using both isotopic and conventional techniques to separate soil evaporation (E) and crop transpiration (T) from total water losses in evapotranspiration (ET) for winter wheat grown under different climatic conditions and methods of irrigation management practices. In the North China Plain (NCP), the estimated E/ET of winter wheat by the isotopic method (Keeling plot using delta oxygen-18 (δ18O)) was in agreement with that obtained by conventional methods (eddy covariance and micro-lysimeter). The high correlation between these methods (R2=0.85, n=27) showed that the E from wheat-growing field contributes an average of 30% of water losses for the whole growing season (Nov-June), with higher E percentage (68%) can be expected before elongation stage due to incomplete canopy cover. The results also showed that through deficit irrigation and improved irrigation scheduling, soil E losses could be reduced by 10-30% of the total water loss compared with full irrigation. In Morocco, field Keeling plot isotopic E and T separation study was carried out for two days in spring of 2012 at Sidi Rahal. The percentage contribution of T to total ET was approximately 73%. The experimental results obtained from both China and Moroccan sites were used to validate FAO's AquaCrop model for E and T, and for improving irrigation scheduling and agronomic practices. Good correlation (R2=0.83) was obtained between measured (isotopic) and AquaCrop simulated ET from NCP. The measured

  8. Legume crops phylogeny and genetic diversity for science and breeding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Economically, legumes (Fabaceae) represent the second most important family of crop plants after the grass family, Poaceae. Grain legumes account for 27% of world crop production and provide 33% of the dietary protein consumed by humans, while pasture and forage legumes provide vital part of animal ...

  9. Assessment of the safety of foods derived from genetically modified (GM) crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    König, A.; Cockburn, A.; Crevel, R.W.R.; Debruyne, E.; Grafstroem, R.; Hammerling, U.; Kimber, I.; Knudsen, I.; Kuiper, H.A.; Peijnenburg, A.A.C.M.; Penninks, A.H.; Poulsen, M.; Schauzu, M.; Wal, J.M.

    2004-01-01

    This paper provides guidance on how to assess the safety of foods derived from genetically modified crops (GM crops); it summarises conclusions and recommendations of Working Group 1 of the ENTRANSFOOD project. The paper provides an approach for adapting the test strategy to the characteristics of t

  10. Assesment of the safety of foods derived from genetically modified (GM) crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    König, A.; Cockburn, A.; Crevel, R.W.R.; Debruyne, E.; Grafstroem, R.; Hammerling, U.; Kimber, I.; Knudsen, I.; Kuiper, H.A.; Peijnenburg, A.A.C.M.; Penninks, A.H.; Poulsen, M.; Schauzu, M.; Wal, J.M.

    2004-01-01

    This paper provides guidance on how to assess the safety of foods derived from genetically modified crops (GM crops); it summarises conclusions and recommendations of Working Group 1 of the ENTRANSFOOD project. The paper provides an approach for adapting the test strategy to the characteristics of t

  11. Assessment of the safety of foods derived from genetically modified (GM) crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    König, A.; Cockburn, A.; Crevel, R.W.R.; Debruyne, E.; Grafstroem, R.; Hammerling, U.; Kimber, I.; Knudsen, I.; Kuiper, H.A.; Peijnenburg, A.A.C.M.; Penninks, A.H.; Poulsen, M.; Schauzu, M.; Wal, J.M.

    2004-01-01

    This paper provides guidance on how to assess the safety of foods derived from genetically modified crops (GM crops); it summarises conclusions and recommendations of Working Group 1 of the ENTRANSFOOD project. The paper provides an approach for adapting the test strategy to the characteristics of

  12. Genetic mechanisms of abiotic stress tolerance that translate to crop yield stability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mickelbart, Michael V; Hasegawa, Paul M; Bailey, Julia

    2015-01-01

    Crop yield reduction as a consequence of increasingly severe climatic events threatens global food security. Genetic loci that ensure productivity in challenging environments exist within the germplasm of crops, their wild relatives and species that are adapted to extreme environments. Selective bre

  13. Assessment of the safety of foods derived from genetically modified (GM) crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    König, A.; Cockburn, A.; Crevel, R.W.R.; Debruyne, E.; Grafstroem, R.; Hammerling, U.; Kimber, I.; Knudsen, I.; Kuiper, H.A.; Peijnenburg, A.A.C.M.; Penninks, A.H.; Poulsen, M.; Schauzu, M.; Wal, J.M.

    2004-01-01

    This paper provides guidance on how to assess the safety of foods derived from genetically modified crops (GM crops); it summarises conclusions and recommendations of Working Group 1 of the ENTRANSFOOD project. The paper provides an approach for adapting the test strategy to the characteristics of t

  14. What are the socio-economic impacts of genetically modified crops worldwide? A systematic map protocol

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Garcia-Yi, J.; Lapikanonth, T.; Vionita, H.; Vu, H.; Yang, S.; Zhong, Y.; Li, Y.; Nagelschneider, V.; Schlindwein, B.; Wesseler, J.H.H.

    2014-01-01

    Genetically modified (GM) crops have generated a great deal of controversy. Since commercially introduced to farmers in 1996, the global area cultivated with GM crops has increased 94-fold. The rapid adoption of GM technology has had substantial socio-economic impacts which a vast amount of

  15. Re-orienting crop improvement for the changing climatic conditions of the 21st century

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mba Chikelu

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract A 70% increase in food production is required over the next four decades to feed an ever-increasing population. The inherent difficulties in achieving this unprecedented increase are exacerbated by the yield-depressing consequences of climate change and variations and by the pressures on food supply by other competing demographic and socioeconomic demands. With the dwindling or stagnant agricultural land and water resources, the sought-after increases will therefore be attained mainly through the enhancement of crop productivity under eco-efficient crop production systems. ‘Smart’ crop varieties that yield more with fewer inputs will be pivotal to success. Plant breeding must be re-oriented in order to generate these ‘smart’ crop varieties. This paper highlights some of the scientific and technological tools that ought to be the staple of all breeding programs. We also make the case that plant breeding must be enabled by adequate policies, including those that spur innovation and investments. To arrest and reverse the worrisome trend of declining capacities for crop improvement, a new generation of plant breeders must also be trained. Equally important, winning partnerships, including public-private sector synergies, are needed for 21st century plant breeding to bear fruits. We also urge the adoption of the continuum approach to the management of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture as means to improved cohesion of the components of its value chain. Compellingly also, the National Agricultural Research and Extension System of developing countries require comprehensive overhauling and strengthening as crop improvement and other interventions require a sustained platform to be effective. The development of a suite of actionable policy interventions to be packaged for assisting countries in developing result-oriented breeding programs is also called for.

  16. Qualitative genetics - examples from soybean and other crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qualitative genetics, also known as Mendelian genetics or transmission genetics, refers to those genetic traits that have a distinct appearance (phenotype) and are controlled by one or few genes. Examples of qualitative genetics include response to abiotic and biotic stresses, and anatomical, morpho...

  17. Genetic Improvement and Germplasm Study of Soybean in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Gai Junyi

    2002-01-01

    @@ 1 Soybean production,utilization nd genetic improvement in China Soybean production in china Soybean [Glycine max (L) Merr.] has itsorigin in China. Gai and Guo (2001) traced thehistory of soybean production in ancient China,among the "Five Crops" or "Nine Crops",soybean and millet were most important foodcrops, which were recorded in ancient Chineseliterature, such as the Book of Poems (Shi-Jin),a collection of songs before the written time in6th century B.C. It is believed that soybeans were cultivated as early as in Yan and Huang Empires about 5000 Years ago.

  18. Strategies for Improving Enterprise Standardization Management of Tropical Crop Machinery

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    @@ There are two categories of tropical crop machinery. One comprises operation machinery that is used for planting, managing and harvesting tropical crops, while the other comprises process machinery for processing tropical crops. Tropical crop machinery is distinguished from other agricultural machinery by the special crops that such machinery cultivates and processes.

  19. A look at product development with genetically modified crops: examples from maize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumm, Rita H

    2013-09-04

    Plant breeding for crop genetic improvement involves the cycle of creating genetic diversity and exploiting that diversity to derive an improved cultivar with outstanding performance for specific traits of interest. Genetic modification through transformation essentially expands the genepool to facilitate access to genes otherwise not available through crossing. Transgenic events are defined by the DNA sequence that has been incorporated into the target genome and the specific point(s) of insertion. In the development of a new transgenic trait, typically many events are generated and evaluated with the aim of identifying one exhibiting consistent trait expression at or above specified thresholds, stable inheritance, and the absence of any negative effects. With transgenic traits for maize, once commercial candidates have been identified, these events are introgressed into elite lines, often through the use of molecular markers that can accelerate the breeding process and aid in producing a quality conversion. Converted elite lines are yield-tested to ensure performance equivalency with their unconverted counterparts. Finally, before commercial sale of seed, quality control monitoring is conducted to ensure event identity and purity and the absence of any unintended events. This monitoring complements other quality control measures to confirm seed viability and line/hybrid purity and uniformity in seed treatments, all in an effort to ensure customer satisfaction and to comply with governmental regulations. Thus, genetically modified (GM) cultivars are subject to significant testing and auditing prior to seed sale and distribution to farmers, more testing and auditing than with non-GM cultivars.

  20. Genetic engineering strategies for biotic and abiotic stress tolerance and quality enhancement in horticultural crops: a comprehensive review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parmar, Nehanjali; Singh, Kunwar Harendra; Sharma, Deepika; Singh, Lal; Kumar, Pankaj; Nanjundan, J; Khan, Yasin Jeshima; Chauhan, Devendra Kumar; Thakur, Ajay Kumar

    2017-08-01

    Genetic engineering technique offers myriads of applications in improvement of horticultural crops for biotic and abiotic stress tolerance, and produce quality enhancement. During last two decades, a large number of transgenic horticultural crops has been developed and more are underway. A number of genes including natural and synthetic Cry genes, protease inhibitors, trypsin inhibitors and cystatin genes have been used to incorporate insect and nematode resistance. For providing protection against fungal and bacterial diseases, various genes like chitinase, glucanase, osmotin, defensin and pathogenesis-related genes are being transferred to many horticultural crops world over. RNAi technique has been found quite successful in inducing virus resistance in horticultural crops in addition to coat protein genes. Abiotic stresses such as drought, heat and salinity adversely affect production and productivity of horticultural crops and a number of genes encoding for biosynthesis of stress protecting compounds including mannitol, glycine betaine and heat shock proteins have been employed for abiotic stress tolerance besides various transcription factors like DREB1, MAPK, WRKY, etc. Antisense gene and RNAi technologies have revolutionized the pace of improvement of horticultural crops, particularly ornamentals for color modification, increasing shelf-life and reducing post-harvest losses. Precise genome editing tools, particularly CRISPR/Cas9, have been efficiently applied in tomato, petunia, citrus, grape, potato and apple for gene mutation, repression, activation and epigenome editing. This review provides comprehensive overview to draw the attention of researchers for better understanding of genetic engineering advancements in imparting biotic and abiotic stress tolerance as well as on improving various traits related to quality, texture, plant architecture modification, increasing shelf-life, etc. in different horticultural crops.

  1. A Promising Approach to Gene Confinement and Breeding for Genetically Modified Bioenergy Crops

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    Advanced genetic and biotechnology tools will be required to realize the full potential of food and bioenergy crops. Given current regulatory concerns, many transgenic traits might never be deregulated for commercial release without a robust gene confinement strategy in place. The potential for transgene flow from genetically modified (GM) crops is widely known. Pollen-mediated transfer is a major component of gene flow in flowering plants and therefore a potential avenue for the escape of tr...

  2. Unintended effects and their detection in genetically modified crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cellini, F; Chesson, A; Colquhoun, I

    2004-01-01

    The commercialisation of GM crops in Europe is practically non-existent at the present time. The European Commission has instigated changes to the regulatory process to address the concerns of consumers and member states and to pave the way for removing the current moratorium. With regard...... to the safety of GM crops and products, the current risk assessment process pays particular attention to potential adverse effects on human and animal health and the environment. This document deals with the concept of unintended effects in GM crops and products, i.e. effects that go beyond that of the original...

  3. Abiotic Stress Tolerance: From Gene Discovery in Model Organisms to Crop Improvement

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ray Bressan; Hans Bohnert; Jian-Kang Zhu

    2009-01-01

    Productive and sustainable agriculture necessitates growing plants in sub-optimal environments with less input of precious resources such as fresh water. For a better understanding and rapid improvement of abiotic stress tolerance, it is important to link physiological and biochemical work to molecular studies in genetically tractable model organisms. With the use of several technologies for the discovery of stress tolerance genes and their appropriate alleles,transgenic approaches to improving stress tolerance in crops remarkably parallels breeding principles with a greatly expanded germplasm base and will succeed eventually.

  4. Cover crops to improve soil health and pollinator habitat in nut orchards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerry. Van Sambeek

    2017-01-01

    Recently several national programs have been initiated calling for improving soil health and creating pollinator habitat using cover crops. Opportunities exist for nut growers to do both with the use of cover crops in our nut orchards. Because we can include perennial ground covers as cover crops, we have even more choices than landowners managing cover crops during...

  5. Rubisco activity and regulation as targets for crop improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parry, Martin A J; Andralojc, P John; Scales, Joanna C; Salvucci, Michael E; Carmo-Silva, A Elizabete; Alonso, Hernan; Whitney, Spencer M

    2013-01-01

    Rubisco (ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) carboxylase/oxygenase) enables net carbon fixation through the carboxylation of RuBP. However, some characteristics of Rubisco make it surprisingly inefficient and compromise photosynthetic productivity. For example, Rubisco catalyses a wasteful reaction with oxygen that leads to the release of previously fixed CO(2) and NH(3) and the consumption of energy during photorespiration. Furthermore, Rubisco is slow and large amounts are needed to support adequate photosynthetic rates. Consequently, Rubisco has been studied intensively as a prime target for manipulations to 'supercharge' photosynthesis and improve both productivity and resource use efficiency. The catalytic properties of Rubiscos from diverse sources vary considerably, suggesting that changes in turnover rate, affinity, or specificity for CO(2) can be introduced to improve Rubisco performance in specific crops and environments. While attempts to manipulate plant Rubisco by nuclear transformation have had limited success, modifying its catalysis by targeted changes to its catalytic large subunit via chloroplast transformation have been much more successful. However, this technique is still in need of development for most major food crops including maize, wheat, and rice. Other bioengineering approaches for improving Rubisco performance include improving the activity of its ancillary protein, Rubisco activase, in addition to modulating the synthesis and degradation of Rubisco's inhibitory sugar phosphate ligands. As the rate-limiting step in carbon assimilation, even modest improvements in the overall performance of Rubisco pose a viable pathway for obtaining significant gains in plant yield, particularly under stressful environmental conditions.

  6. Outcrossing and coexistence of genetically modified with (genetically) unmodified crops: a case study of the situation in the Netherlands.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wiel, van de C.C.M.; Lotz, L.A.P.

    2006-01-01

    With the introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops the EU has demanded that individual member states enact measures to prevent inadvertent admixture ¿ through outcrossing ¿ of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) with products from conventional and organic farming. A literature review on outc

  7. Photoreceptor Mediated Plant Growth Responses: Implications for Photoreceptor Engineering toward Improved Performance in Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ophilia I. L. Mawphlang

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Rising temperatures during growing seasons coupled with altered precipitation rates presents a challenging task of improving crop productivity for overcoming such altered weather patterns and cater to a growing population. Light is a critical environmental factor that exerts a powerful influence on plant growth and development ranging from seed germination to flowering and fruiting. Higher plants utilize a suite of complex photoreceptor proteins to perceive surrounding red/far-red (phytochromes, blue/UV-A (cryptochromes, phototropins, ZTL/FKF1/LKP2, and UV-B light (UVR8. While genomic studies have also shown that light induces extensive reprogramming of gene expression patterns in plants, molecular genetic studies have shown that manipulation of one or more photoreceptors can result in modification of agronomically beneficial traits. Such information can assist researchers to engineer photoreceptors via genome editing technologies to alter expression or even sensitivity thresholds of native photoreceptors for targeting aspects of plant growth that can confer superior agronomic value to the engineered crops. Here we summarize the agronomically important plant growth processes influenced by photoreceptors in crop species, alongwith the functional interactions between different photoreceptors and phytohormones in regulating these responses. We also discuss the potential utility of synthetic biology approaches in photobiology for improving agronomically beneficial traits of crop plants by engineering designer photoreceptors.

  8. Enhancing C3 photosynthesis: an outlook on feasible interventions for crop improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Jitender; Pandey, Prachi; James, Donald; Chandrasekhar, Kottakota; Achary, V Mohan Murali; Kaul, Tanushri; Tripathy, Baishnab C; Reddy, Malireddy K

    2014-12-01

    Despite the declarations and collective measures taken to eradicate hunger at World Food Summits, food security remains one of the biggest issues that we are faced with. The current scenario could worsen due to the alarming increase in world population, further compounded by adverse climatic conditions, such as increase in atmospheric temperature, unforeseen droughts and decreasing soil moisture, which will decrease crop yield even further. Furthermore, the projected increase in yields of C3 crops as a result of increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations is much less than anticipated. Thus, there is an urgent need to increase crop productivity beyond existing yield potentials to address the challenge of food security. One of the domains of plant biology that promises hope in overcoming this problem is study of C3 photosynthesis. In this review, we have examined the potential bottlenecks of C3 photosynthesis and the strategies undertaken to overcome them. The targets considered for possible intervention include RuBisCO, RuBisCO activase, Calvin-Benson-Bassham cycle enzymes, CO2 and carbohydrate transport, and light reactions among many others. In addition, other areas which promise scope for improvement of C3 photosynthesis, such as mining natural genetic variations, mathematical modelling for identifying new targets, installing efficient carbon fixation and carbon concentrating mechanisms have been touched upon. Briefly, this review intends to shed light on the recent advances in enhancing C3 photosynthesis for crop improvement.

  9. Safety assessment of foods from genetically modified crops in countries with developing economies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delaney, Bryan

    2015-12-01

    Population growth particularly in countries with developing economies will result in a need to increase food production by 70% by the year 2050. Biotechnology has been utilized to produce genetically modified (GM) crops for insect and weed control with benefits including increased crop yield and will also be used in emerging countries. A multicomponent safety assessment paradigm has been applied to individual GM crops to determine whether they as safe as foods from non-GM crops. This paper reviews methods to assess the safety of foods from GM crops for safe consumption from the first generation of GM crops. The methods can readily be applied to new products developed within country and this paper will emphasize the concept of data portability; that safety data produced in one geographic location is suitable for safety assessment regardless of where it is utilized.

  10. Social Organization of Crop Genetic Diversity. The G × E × S Interaction Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geo Coppens d’Eeckenbrugge

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available A better knowledge of factors organizing crop genetic diversity in situ increases the efficiency of diversity analyses and conservation strategies, and requires collaboration between social and biological disciplines. Four areas of anthropology may contribute to our understanding of the impact of social factors on crop diversity: ethnobotany, cultural, cognitive and social anthropology. So far, most collaborative studies have been based on ethnobotanical methods, focusing on farmers’ individual motivations and actions, and overlooking the effects of farmer’s social organization per se. After reviewing common shortcomings in studies on sorghum and maize, this article analyzes how social anthropology, through the analysis of intermarriage, residence and seed inheritance practices, can contribute to studies on crop genetic diversity in situ. Crop varieties are thus considered social objects and socially based sampling strategies can be developed. Such an approach is justified because seed exchange is built upon trust and as such seed systems are embedded in a pre-existing social structure and centripetally oriented as a function of farmers’ social identity. The strong analogy between farmers’ cultural differentiation and crop genetic differentiation, both submitted to the same vertical transmission processes, allows proposing a common methodological framework for social anthropology and crop population genetics, where the classical interaction between genetic and environmental factors, G × E, is replaced by a three-way interaction G × E × S, where “S” stands for the social differentiation factors.

  11. A new method to estimate genetic gain in annual crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flávio Breseghello

    1998-12-01

    Full Text Available The genetic gain obtained by breeding programs to improve quantitative traits may be estimated by using data from regional trials. A new statistical method for this estimate is proposed and includes four steps: a joint analysis of regional trial data using a generalized linear model to obtain adjusted genotype means and covariance matrix of these means for the whole studied period; b calculation of the arithmetic mean of the adjusted genotype means, exclusively for the group of genotypes evaluated each year; c direct year comparison of the arithmetic means calculated, and d estimation of mean genetic gain by regression. Using the generalized least squares method, a weighted estimate of mean genetic gain during the period is calculated. This method permits a better cancellation of genotype x year and genotype x trial/year interactions, thus resulting in more precise estimates. This method can be applied to unbalanced data, allowing the estimation of genetic gain in series of multilocational trials.Os ganhos genéticos obtidos pelo melhoramento de caracteres quantitativos podem ser estimados utilizando resultados de ensaios regionais de avaliação de linhagens e cultivares. Um novo método estatístico para esta estimativa é proposto, o qual consiste em quatro passos: a análise conjunta da série de dados dos ensaios regionais através de um modelo linear generalizado de forma a obter as médias ajustadas dos genótipos e a matriz de covariâncias destas médias; b para o grupo de genótipos avaliados em cada ano, cálculo da média aritmética das médias ajustadas obtidas na análise conjunta; c comparação direta dos anos, conforme as médias aritméticas obtidas, e d estimativa de um ganho genético médio, por regressão. Aplicando-se o método de quadrados mínimos generalizado, é calculada uma estimativa ponderada do ganho genético médio no período. Este método permite um melhor cancelamento das interações genótipo x ano e gen

  12. Increased production of nutriments by genetically engineered crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sévenier, Robert; van der Meer, Ingrid M; Bino, Raoul; Koops, Andries J

    2002-06-01

    Plants are the basis of human nutrition and have been selected and improved to assure this purpose. Nowadays, new technologies such as genetic engineering and genomics approaches allow further improvement of plants. We describe here three examples for which these techniques have been employed. We introduced the first enzyme involved in fructan synthesis, the sucrose sucrose fructosyltransferase (isolated from Jerusalem artichoke), into sugar beet. The transgenic sugar beet showed a dramatic change in the nature of the accumulated sugar, 90% of the sucrose being converted into fructan. The use of transgenic sugar beet for the production and isolation of fructans will result in a more efficient plant production system of fructans and should promote their use in human food. The second example shows how the over-expression of the key enzyme of flavonoid biosynthesis could increase anti-oxidant levels in tomato. Introduction of a highly expressed chalcone isomerase led to a seventyfold increase of the amount of quercetin glucoside, which is a strong anti-oxidant in tomato. We were also able to modify the essential amino acid content of potato in order to increase its nutritional value. The introduction of a feedback insensitive bacterial gene involved in biosynthesis of aspartate family amino acids led to a sixfold increase of the lysine content. Because the use of a bacterial gene could appear to be controversial, we also introduced a mutated form of the plant key enzyme of lysine biosynthesis (dihydrodipicolinate synthase) in potato. This modification led to a 15 times increase of the lysine content of potato. This increase of the essential amino acid lysine influences the nutritional value of potato, which normally has low levels of several essential amino acids. These three examples show how the metabolism of primary constituents of the plant cell such as sugar or amino acids, but also of secondary metabolites such as flavonoids, can be modified by genetic

  13. Improvement of crop technology in Asparagus plumosus Bak. A

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dumitru ZAHARIA

    1997-08-01

    Full Text Available Improvement of crop technology in Asparagus plumosus Bak. A 0,1% nutritive solution of the N, P, K, elements in raport of 3:1:2; 4:2:3 and 4:3:3 respectively was used to fertilise the plants Asparagus plumosus Bak., for the period between February and Octomber. A 29,8 to 35,20 posesive semnificative increase production of the shoot number per m2 was obtained. The quality of the shoots was not semnificatively influenced by the applied fertilisation system but it appeared to be determined by the cultural factors, light and temperature.

  14. Spatiotemporal patterns of non-genetically modified crops in the era of expansion of genetically modified food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Jing; Wu, Wenbin; Tang, Huajun; Liu, Jianguo

    2015-09-18

    Despite heated debates over the safety of genetically modified (GM) food, GM crops have been expanding rapidly. Much research has focused on the expansion of GM crops. However, the spatiotemporal dynamics of non-genetically modified (non-GM) crops are not clear, although they may have significant environmental and agronomic impacts and important policy implications. To understand the dynamics of non-GM crops and to inform the debates among relevant stakeholders, we conducted spatiotemporal analyses of China's major non-GM soybean production region, the Heilongjiang Province. Even though the total soybean planting area decreased from 2005 to 2010, surprisingly, there were hotspots of increase. The results also showed hotspots of loss as well as a large decline in the number and continuity of soybean plots. Since China is the largest non-GM soybean producer in the world, the decline of its major production region may signal the continual decline of global non-GM soybeans.

  15. Genetically Modified Crops and Nuisance: Exploring the Role of Precaution in Private Law

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craik, Neil; Culver, Keith; Siebrasse, Norman

    2007-01-01

    This article critically considers calls for the precautionary principle to inform judicial decision making in a private law context in light of the Hoffman litigation, where it is alleged that the potential for genetic contamination from genetically modified (GM) crops causes an unreasonable interference with the rights of organic farmers to use…

  16. Health considerations regarding horizontal transfer of microbial transgenes present in genetically modified crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kleter, G.A.; Peijnenburg, A.A.C.M.; Aarts, H.J.M.

    2005-01-01

    The potential effects of horizontal gene transfer on human health are an important item in the safety assessment of genetically modified organisms. Horizontal gene transfer from genetically modified crops to gut microflora most likely occurs with transgenes of microbial origin. The characteristics o

  17. Genetically Modified Crops and Nuisance: Exploring the Role of Precaution in Private Law

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craik, Neil; Culver, Keith; Siebrasse, Norman

    2007-01-01

    This article critically considers calls for the precautionary principle to inform judicial decision making in a private law context in light of the Hoffman litigation, where it is alleged that the potential for genetic contamination from genetically modified (GM) crops causes an unreasonable interference with the rights of organic farmers to use…

  18. Epi-fingerprinting and epi-interventions for improved crop production and food quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez López, Carlos M; Wilkinson, Mike J

    2015-01-01

    Increasing crop production at a time of rapid climate change represents the greatest challenge facing contemporary agricultural research. Our understanding of the genetic control of yield derives from controlled field experiments designed to minimize environmental variance. In spite of these efforts there is substantial residual variability among plants attributable to Genotype × Environment interactions. Recent advances in the field of epigenetics have revealed a plethora of gene control mechanisms that could account for much of this unassigned variation. These systems act as a regulatory interface between the perception of the environment and associated alterations in gene expression. Direct intervention of epigenetic control systems hold the enticing promise of creating new sources of variability that could enhance crop performance. Equally, understanding the relationship between various epigenetic states and responses of the crop to specific aspects of the growing environment (epigenetic fingerprinting) could allow for a more tailored approach to plant agronomy. In this review, we explore the many ways in which epigenetic interventions and epigenetic fingerprinting can be deployed for the improvement of crop production and quality.

  19. Epi-fingerprinting and epi-interventions for improved crop production and food quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CARLOS Marcelino Rodriguez Lopez

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Increasing crop production at a time of rapid climate change represents the greatest challenge facing contemporary agricultural research. Our understanding of the genetic control of yield derives from controlled field experiments designed to minimise environmental variance. In spite of these efforts there is substantial residual variability among plants attributable to Genotype x Environment (GxE interactions. Recent advances in the field of epigenetics have revealed a plethora of gene control mechanisms that could account for much of this unassigned variation. These systems act as a regulatory interface between the perception of the environment and associated alterations in gene expression. Direct intervention of epigenetic control systems hold the enticing promise of creating new sources of variability that could enhance crop performance. Equally, understanding the relationship between various epigenetic states and responses of the crop to specific aspects of the growing environment (epigenetic fingerprinting could allow for a more tailored approach to plant agronomy. In this review, we explore the many ways in which epigenetic interventions and epigenetic fingerprinting can be deployed for the improvement of crop production and quality.

  20. Safety assessment, detection and traceability, and societal aspects of genetically modified foods. European Network on Safety Assessment of Genetically Modified Food Crops (ENTRANSFOOD). Concluding remarks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuiper, H A; König, A; Kleter, G A; Hammes, W P; Knudsen, I

    2004-07-01

    The most important results from the EU-sponsored ENTRANSFOOD Thematic Network project are reviewed, including the design of a detailed step-wise procedure for the risk assessment of foods derived from genetically modified crops based on the latest scientific developments, evaluation of topical risk assessment issues, and the formulation of proposals for improved risk management and public involvement in the risk analysis process.

  1. Unintended effects and their detection in genetically modified crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cellini, F.; Colquhoun, I.; Constable, A.; Davies, H.V.; Engel, K.H.; Gatehouse, A.M.R.; Kärenlampi, S.; Kok, E.J.; Leguay, J.J.; Lehesranta, S.; Noteborn, H.P.J.M.; Pedersen, J.; Smith, M.

    2004-01-01

    The commercialisation of GM crops in Europe is practically non-existent at the present time. The European Commission has instigated changes to the regulatory process to address the concerns of consumers and member states and to pave the way for removing the current moratorium. With regard to the saf

  2. Applied genomics in the improvement of crops grown in Africa

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Administrator

    overcome diseases and pests or low input environments) should become the second ... Furthermore, finding new genes adds value to traditional agricultural products. ... investigation, genetic improvement and phyto-sanitation ... the efficiency of plant breeding just as molecular biology ... evolutionary breeding schemes.

  3. The uncertainty of crop yield projections is reduced by improved temperature response functions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Enli; Martre, Pierre; Zhao, Zhigan

    2017-01-01

    Increasing the accuracy of crop productivity estimates is a key element in planning adaptation strategies to ensure global food security under climate change. Process-based crop models are effective means to project climate impact on crop yield, but have large uncertainty in yield simulations. Here...... response functions that when substituted in four wheat models reduced the error in grain yield simulations across seven global sites with different temperature regimes by 19% to 50% (42% average). We anticipate the improved temperature responses to be a key step to improve modelling of crops under rising...... temperature and climate change, leading to higher skill of crop yield projections. Process-based modelling of crop growth is an effective way of representing how crop genotype, environment and management interactions affect crop production to aid tactical and strategic decision making1. Process-based crop...

  4. Assessment of the safety of foods derived from genetically modified (GM) crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Konig, A.; Cockburn, A.; Crewel, R. W. R.

    2004-01-01

    modifications. First, the paper reviews test methods developed for the risk assessment of chemicals, including food additives and pesticides, discussing which of these methods are suitable for the assessment of recombinant proteins and whole foods. Second, the paper presents a systematic approach to combine......This paper provides guidance on how to assess the safety of foods derived from genetically modified crops (GM crops); it summarises conclusions and recommendations of Working Group I of the ENTRANSFOOD project. The paper provides an approach for adapting the test strategy to the characteristics...... of the modified crop and the introduced trait, and assessing potential unintended effects from the genetic modification. The proposed approach to safety assessment starts with the comparison of the new GM crop with a traditional counterpart that is generally accepted as safe based on a history of human food use...

  5. Organic fertilization for soil improvement in a vegetable cropping system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verhaeghe, Micheline; De Rocker, Erwin; De Reycke, Luc

    2016-04-01

    Vegetable Research Centre East-Flanders Karreweg 6, 9770 Kruishoutem, Belgium A long term trial for soil improvement by organic fertilization was carried out in Kruishoutem from 2001 till 2010 in a vegetable rotation (carrots - leek - lettuce (2/year) - cauliflower (2/year) - leek - carrots - lettuce (2/year) - cauliflower (2/year) - leek and spinach). The trial compared yearly applications of 30 m²/ha of three types of compost (green compost, vfg-compost and spent mushroom compost) with an untreated object which did not receive any organic fertilization during the trial timescale. The organic fertilization was applied shortly before the cropping season. Looking at the soil quality, effects of organic fertilization manifest rather slow. The first four years after the beginning of the trial, no increase in carbon content of the soil is detectable yet. Although, mineralization of the soil has increased. The effect on the mineralization is mainly visible in crops with a lower N uptake (e.g. carrots) leading to a higher nitrate residue after harvest. Effects on soil structure and compaction occur rather slowly although, during the first two cropping seasons compost applications increase the water retention capacity of the soil. Compost increases the pH of the soil from the first year on till the end of the trial in 2010. Thus, organic fertilization impedes acidification in light sandy soils. Also soil fertility benefits from compost by an increase in K-, Ca- and Mg- content in the soil from the second year on. After 10 years of organic fertilization, yield and quality of spinach were increased significantly (porganic fertilization.

  6. Genetic Variation of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum from Multiple Crops in the North Central United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldrich-Wolfe, Laura; Travers, Steven; Nelson, Berlin D

    2015-01-01

    Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is an important pathogen of numerous crops in the North Central region of the United States. The objective of this study was to examine the genetic diversity of 145 isolates of the pathogen from multiple hosts in the region. Mycelial compatibility groups (MCG) and microsatellite haplotypes were determined and analyzed for standard estimates of population genetic diversity and the importance of host and distance for genetic variation was examined. MCG tests indicated there were 49 different MCGs in the population and 52 unique microsatellite haplotypes were identified. There was an association between MCG and haplotype such that isolates belonging to the same MCG either shared identical haplotypes or differed at no more than 2 of the 12 polymorphic loci. For the majority of isolates, there was a one-to-one correspondence between MCG and haplotype. Eleven MCGs shared haplotypes. A single haplotype was found to be prevalent throughout the region. The majority of genetic variation in the isolate collection was found within rather than among host crops, suggesting little genetic divergence of S. sclerotiorum among hosts. There was only weak evidence of isolation by distance. Pairwise population comparisons among isolates from canola, dry bean, soybean and sunflower suggested that gene flow between host-populations is more common for some crops than others. Analysis of linkage disequilibrium in the isolates from the four major crops indicated primarily clonal reproduction, but also evidence of genetic recombination for isolates from canola and sunflower. Accordingly, genetic diversity was highest for populations from canola and sunflower. Distribution of microsatellite haplotypes across the study region strongly suggest that specific haplotypes of S. sclerotiorum are often found on multiple crops, movement of individual haplotypes among crops is common and host identity is not a barrier to gene flow for S. sclerotiorum in the north central United

  7. Genetic Variation of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum from Multiple Crops in the North Central United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldrich-Wolfe, Laura; Travers, Steven; Nelson, Berlin D.

    2015-01-01

    Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is an important pathogen of numerous crops in the North Central region of the United States. The objective of this study was to examine the genetic diversity of 145 isolates of the pathogen from multiple hosts in the region. Mycelial compatibility groups (MCG) and microsatellite haplotypes were determined and analyzed for standard estimates of population genetic diversity and the importance of host and distance for genetic variation was examined. MCG tests indicated there were 49 different MCGs in the population and 52 unique microsatellite haplotypes were identified. There was an association between MCG and haplotype such that isolates belonging to the same MCG either shared identical haplotypes or differed at no more than 2 of the 12 polymorphic loci. For the majority of isolates, there was a one-to-one correspondence between MCG and haplotype. Eleven MCGs shared haplotypes. A single haplotype was found to be prevalent throughout the region. The majority of genetic variation in the isolate collection was found within rather than among host crops, suggesting little genetic divergence of S. sclerotiorum among hosts. There was only weak evidence of isolation by distance. Pairwise population comparisons among isolates from canola, dry bean, soybean and sunflower suggested that gene flow between host-populations is more common for some crops than others. Analysis of linkage disequilibrium in the isolates from the four major crops indicated primarily clonal reproduction, but also evidence of genetic recombination for isolates from canola and sunflower. Accordingly, genetic diversity was highest for populations from canola and sunflower. Distribution of microsatellite haplotypes across the study region strongly suggest that specific haplotypes of S. sclerotiorum are often found on multiple crops, movement of individual haplotypes among crops is common and host identity is not a barrier to gene flow for S. sclerotiorum in the north central United

  8. Health effects of feeding genetically modified (GM) crops to livestock animals: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vos, Clazien J; Swanenburg, Manon

    2017-08-23

    A large share of genetically modified (GM) crops grown worldwide is processed into livestock feed. Feed safety of GM crops is primarily based on compositional equivalence with near-isogenic cultivars and experimental trials in rodents. However, feeding studies in target animals add to the evaluation of GM crops with respect to animal health. This review aimed to evaluate the possible health effects of feeding GM crops to livestock by reviewing scientific publications on experimental studies in ruminants, pigs, and poultry in which at least one of the following health parameters was investigated: body condition score, organ weight, haematology, serum biochemistry, histopathology, clinical examination, immune response, or gastrointestinal microbiota. In most experiments, either Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) maize, Roundup Ready (RR) soybean, or both were fed to livestock animals. Significant differences (PGM crops has adverse effects on animal health. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  9. Sensitive dependencies and separation distances for genetically modified herbicide-tolerant crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Joe N

    2002-06-07

    The amount of land available for the coexistent growing of both organic and genetically modified herbicide-tolerant (GMHT) crops depends on the separation distance between the two types of crop. The form of the decline in the proportion of land available for growing one of these crop types due to increasing separation distance is linear on a suitable scale, but with a slope and intercept that are sensitively dependent on the proportion of the other crop already present. Spatially explicit simulations from realistic scenarios indicate that a major increase in separation distances, currently under review by the UK government, may have serious implications for the future coexistence of organic and GMHT crops in the UK.

  10. Overview of genetically modified crops and their relevance for Nicaragua

    OpenAIRE

    Marisser H. Álvarez-Guevara; Luvianca G. Gil-Moreno; Julio A. Gó - mez-Rodríguez; Huete-Pérez,Jorge A

    2012-01-01

    The first transgenic plants were created in Europe about three decades ago. In Nicaragua, however, there is not commercial cultivation of transgenic crops allowed yet, and the only history of transgenic grain imports occurred in 2005, when the introduction of 15 events of GM maize was first authorized. The Law on Prevention of Risks from Living Modified Organisms by Means of Molecular Biotechnology was published in 2010, and more recently, in September 2012, the Law on Conservation and Sustai...

  11. Overview of genetically modified crops and their relevance for Nicaragua

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marisser H. Álvarez-Guevara

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The first transgenic plants were created in Europe about three decades ago. In Nicaragua, however, there is not commercial cultivation of transgenic crops allowed yet, and the only history of transgenic grain imports occurred in 2005, when the introduction of 15 events of GM maize was first authorized. The Law on Prevention of Risks from Living Modified Organisms by Means of Molecular Biotechnology was published in 2010, and more recently, in September 2012, the Law on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity came into force. In line with the resulting requirements from these laws, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAGFOR currently works in coordination with the Molecular Biology Center at the University of Central America to ensure that grains imported in the country correspond to events legally authorized. This article begins by presenting an overview of transgenic crops (GMO, their history and their implications for the economy and human health. Next, we describe the current status of GMO in Nicaragua. We conclude that MAGFOR has been successful in fulfilling the law in regards to sampling of imports related to the introduction of GMO grains. It is recommended, however, that for better monitoring of compliance with these laws, it will be necessary to establish a systematic monitoring plan nationwide, aimed at the appropriate screening and detection of transgenic material both in crop seeds as well as in imported grains.

  12. Development of agribiotechnology and biosafety regulations used to assess safety of genetically modified crops in Bangladesh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasiruddin, Khondoker M; Nasim, Anwar

    2007-01-01

    Bangladesh is on the verge of adopting genetically modified (GM) crops for commercial cultivation and consumption as feed and food. Most of the laboratories are engaged in tissue culture and molecular characterization on plants, whereas some have started living modified organism research with shortages of trained manpower, infrastructure, and funding. Nutritionally improved Golden Rice, biotech brinjal, and late blight-resistant potato are in contained trials in a greenhouse, and potato ring spot virus-resistant papaya is in the process of approval for a field trial. The government has taken some initiative in support of GM organism research, which include the formation of a Biotechnology Department in all institutes and the formation of the apex body, the National Task Force Committee on Biotechnology of Bangladesh under the chairpersonship of the Prime Minister. Biosafety policy guidelines and related aspects of biotechnology issues have been approved, and the laws are in the process of being promulgated. Being a party to the Cartagena Protocol, proper biosafety measures are regulated by the appropriate authority as stated. Although there are no laws made yet directly for biosafety of GM crops/foods, the relevant laws on agriculture, medicine, food, import, trade, environment, etc. may suffice and explain the situation.

  13. Genetic Transformation and Genomic Resources for Next-Generation Precise Genome Engineering in Vegetable Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardi, Teodoro; D’Agostino, Nunzio; Tripodi, Pasquale

    2017-01-01

    In the frame of modern agriculture facing the predicted increase of population and general environmental changes, the securement of high quality food remains a major challenge to deal with. Vegetable crops include a large number of species, characterized by multiple geographical origins, large genetic variability and diverse reproductive features. Due to their nutritional value, they have an important place in human diet. In recent years, many crop genomes have been sequenced permitting the identification of genes and superior alleles associated with desirable traits. Furthermore, innovative biotechnological approaches allow to take a step forward towards the development of new improved cultivars harboring precise genome modifications. Sequence-based knowledge coupled with advanced biotechnologies is supporting the widespread application of new plant breeding techniques to enhance the success in modification and transfer of useful alleles into target varieties. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 system, zinc-finger nucleases, and transcription activator-like effector nucleases represent the main methods available for plant genome engineering through targeted modifications. Such technologies, however, require efficient transformation protocols as well as extensive genomic resources and accurate knowledge before they can be efficiently exploited in practical breeding programs. In this review, we revise the state of the art in relation to availability of such scientific and technological resources in various groups of vegetables, describe genome editing results obtained so far and discuss the implications for future applications. PMID:28275380

  14. Unintended compositional changes in genetically modified (GM) crops: 20 years of research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Rod A; Price, William D

    2013-12-04

    The compositional equivalency between genetically modified (GM) crops and nontransgenic comparators has been a fundamental component of human health safety assessment for 20 years. During this time, a large amount of information has been amassed on the compositional changes that accompany both the transgenesis process and traditional breeding methods; additionally, the genetic mechanisms behind these changes have been elucidated. After two decades, scientists are encouraged to objectively assess this body of literature and determine if sufficient scientific uncertainty still exists to continue the general requirement for these studies to support the safety assessment of transgenic crops. It is concluded that suspect unintended compositional effects that could be caused by genetic modification have not materialized on the basis of this substantial literature. Hence, compositional equivalence studies uniquely required for GM crops may no longer be justified on the basis of scientific uncertainty.

  15. Genetically Modified Herbicide-Tolerant Crops, Weeds, and Herbicides: Overview and Impact

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonny, Sylvie

    2016-01-01

    Genetically modified (GM) crops have been and continue to be a subject of controversy despite their rapid adoption by farmers where approved. For the last two decades, an important matter of debate has been their impact on pesticide use, particularly for herbicide-tolerant (HT) crops. Some claim that these crops bring about a decrease in herbicide use, while others claim the opposite. In fact, since 1996, most cultivated GMOs have been GMHT crops, which involve the use of an associated herbicide, generally glyphosate. In their very first years of adoption, HT crops often led to some decrease in herbicide use. However, the repetition of glyphosate-tolerant crops and of glyphosate only applications in the same fields without sufficient alternation and herbicide diversity has contributed to the appearance of glyphosate-resistant weeds. These weeds have resulted in a rise in the use of glyphosate and other herbicides. This article explores this situation and the impacts of herbicide-resistant weeds, using an interdisciplinary approach and drawing on recent data. The paper analyzes the spread of GMHT crops worldwide and their consequences on herbicide use in the USA in particular. It then addresses the global development of glyphosate-resistant weeds and their impact, particularly focusing on the USA. Finally, the last section explores how industry, farmers, and weed scientists are coping with the spread of resistant weeds. The concluding comments deal more widely with trends in GM crops.

  16. A meta-analysis of the impacts of genetically modified crops.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wilhelm Klümper

    Full Text Available Despite the rapid adoption of genetically modified (GM crops by farmers in many countries, controversies about this technology continue. Uncertainty about GM crop impacts is one reason for widespread public suspicion.We carry out a meta-analysis of the agronomic and economic impacts of GM crops to consolidate the evidence.Original studies for inclusion were identified through keyword searches in ISI Web of Knowledge, Google Scholar, EconLit, and AgEcon Search.Studies were included when they build on primary data from farm surveys or field trials anywhere in the world, and when they report impacts of GM soybean, maize, or cotton on crop yields, pesticide use, and/or farmer profits. In total, 147 original studies were included.Analysis of mean impacts and meta-regressions to examine factors that influence outcomes.On average, GM technology adoption has reduced chemical pesticide use by 37%, increased crop yields by 22%, and increased farmer profits by 68%. Yield gains and pesticide reductions are larger for insect-resistant crops than for herbicide-tolerant crops. Yield and profit gains are higher in developing countries than in developed countries.Several of the original studies did not report sample sizes and measures of variance.The meta-analysis reveals robust evidence of GM crop benefits for farmers in developed and developing countries. Such evidence may help to gradually increase public trust in this technology.

  17. An overview of genetically modified crop governance, issues and challenges in Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnny, Andrew; Normaz Wana, Ismail; Marcel, Djama

    2017-09-12

    The application of agricultural biotechnology attracts the interest of many stakeholders. Genetically modified (GM) crops, for example, are rapidly increase in production for the last 20 years. Despite its known benefits, GM crops also pose many concerns not only to human and animal health but also the environment. Malaysia, in general, allows the use of GM technology applications but it has to come with precautionary and safety measures consistent with the international obligations and domestic legal frameworks. This paper provides an overview of GM crop technology from international and national context and explores the governance and issues surrounding this technology application in Malaysia. Basically, GM research activities in Malaysia are still at early stage of research and development and most of the GM crops approved for release are limited for food, feed and processing purposes. Even though Malaysia has not planted any GM crop commercially, actions toward such direction seem promising. Several issues concerning GM crops as discussed in this paper will become more complex as the number of GM crops and varieties commercialized globally increase and Malaysia starts to plant GM crop. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  18. Innovative farmers and regulatory gatekeepers: Genetically modified crops regulation and adoption in developing countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinebo, Woldeyesus; Maredia, Karim

    2016-01-02

    The regulation of genetically modified (GM) crops is a topical issue in agriculture and environment over the past 2 decades. The objective of this paper is to recount regulatory and adoption practices in some developing countries that have successfully adopted GM crops so that aspiring countries may draw useful lessons and best practices for their biosafatey regulatory regimes. The first 11 mega-GM crops growing countries each with an area of more than one million hectares in 2014 were examined. Only five out of the 11 countries had smooth and orderly adoption of these crops as per the regulatory requirement of each country. In the remaining 6 countries (all developing countries), GM crops were either introduced across borders without official authorization, released prior to regulatory approval or unapproved seeds were sold along with the approved ones in violation to the existing regulations. Rapid expansion of transgenic crops over the past 2 decades in the developing world was a result of an intense desire by farmers to adopt these crops irrespective of regulatory roadblocks. Lack of workable biosafety regulatory system and political will to support GM crops encouraged unauthorized access to GM crop varieties. In certain cases, unregulated access in turn appeared to result in the adoption of substandard or spurious technology which undermined performance and productivity. An optimal interaction among the national agricultural innovation systems, biosafety regulatory bodies, biotech companies and high level policy makers is vital in making a workable regulated progress in the adoption of GM crops. Factoring forgone opportunities to farmers to benefit from GM crops arising from overregulation into biosafety risk analysis and decision making is suggested. Building functional biosafety regulatory systems that balances the needs of farmers to access and utilize the GM technology with the regulatory imperatives to ensure adequate safety to the environment and human

  19. Perspectives and Challenges of Microbial Application for Crop Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timmusk, Salme; Behers, Lawrence; Muthoni, Julia; Muraya, Anthony; Aronsson, Anne-Charlotte

    2017-01-01

    Global population increases and climate change pose a challenge to worldwide crop production. There is a need to intensify agricultural production in a sustainable manner and to find solutions to combat abiotic stress, pathogens, and pests. Plants are associated with complex microbiomes, which have an ability to promote plant growth and stress tolerance, support plant nutrition, and antagonize plant pathogens. The integration of beneficial plant-microbe and microbiome interactions may represent a promising sustainable solution to improve agricultural production. The widespread commercial use of the plant beneficial microorganisms will require a number of issues addressed. Systems approach using microscale information technology for microbiome metabolic reconstruction has potential to advance the microbial reproducible application under natural conditions. PMID:28232839

  20. Multiplex PCR-based simultaneous amplification of selectable marker and reporter genes for the screening of genetically modified crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randhawa, Gurinder Jit; Chhabra, Rashmi; Singh, Monika

    2009-06-24

    The development and commercialization of genetically modified (GM) crops with enhanced insect and herbicide resistance, abiotic stress tolerance, and improved nutritional quality has expanded dramatically. Notwithstanding the huge potential benefits of GM crops, the perceived environmental risks associated with these crops need to be addressed in proper perspective. One critical concern is the adventitious presence or unintentional mixing of GM seed in non-GM seed lots, which can seriously affect the global seed market. It would therefore be necessary though a challenging task to develop reliable, efficient, and economical assays for GM detection, identification, and quantification in non-GM seed lots. This can be systematically undertaken by preliminary screening for control elements and selectable or scorable (reporter) marker genes. In this study, simplex and multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays individually as well as simultaneously amplifying the commonly used selectable marker genes, i.e., aadA, bar, hpt, nptII, pat encoding, respectively, for aminoglycoside-3'-adenyltransferase, Streptococcus viridochromogenes phosphinothricin-N-acetyltransferase, hygromycin phosphotransferase, neomycin phosphotransferase, Streptococcus hygroscopicus phosphinothricin-N-acetyltransferase, and a reporter gene uidA encoding beta-d-glucuronidase, were developed as a reliable tool for qualitative screening of GM crops. The efficiency of the assays was also standardized in the test samples prepared by artificial mixing of transgenic seed samples in different proportions. The developed multiplex PCR assays will be useful in verifying the GM status of a sample irrespective of the crop and GM trait.

  1. Crop model data assimilation with the Ensemble Kalman filter for improving regional crop yield forecasts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wit, de A.J.W.; Diepen, van C.A.

    2007-01-01

    Uncertainty in spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall in regional crop yield simulations comprises a major fraction of the error on crop model simulation results. In this paper we used an Ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) to assimilate coarse resolution satellite microwave sensor derived soil

  2. Engineering Mycorrhizal Symbioses to Alter Plant Metabolism and Improve Crop Health

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Katherine E.

    2017-01-01

    Creating sustainable bioeconomies for the 21st century relies on optimizing the use of biological resources to improve agricultural productivity and create new products. Arbuscular mycorrhizae (phylum Glomeromycota) form symbiotic relationships with over 80% of vascular plants. In return for carbon, these fungi improve plant health and tolerance to environmental stress. This symbiosis is over 400 million years old and there are currently over 200 known arbuscular mycorrhizae, with dozens of new species described annually. Metagenomic sequencing of native soil communities, from species-rich meadows to mangroves, suggests biologically diverse habitats support a variety of mycorrhizal species with potential agricultural, medical, and biotechnological applications. This review looks at the effect of mycorrhizae on plant metabolism and how we can harness this symbiosis to improve crop health. I will first describe the mechanisms that underlie this symbiosis and what physiological, metabolic, and environmental factors trigger these plant-fungal relationships. These include mycorrhizal manipulation of host genetic expression, host mitochondrial and plastid proliferation, and increased production of terpenoids and jasmonic acid by the host plant. I will then discuss the effects of mycorrhizae on plant root and foliar secondary metabolism. I subsequently outline how mycorrhizae induce three key benefits in crops: defense against pathogen and herbivore attack, drought resistance, and heavy metal tolerance. I conclude with an overview of current efforts to harness mycorrhizal diversity to improve crop health through customized inoculum. I argue future research should embrace synthetic biology to create mycorrhizal chasses with improved symbiotic abilities and potentially novel functions to improve plant health. As the effects of climate change and anthropogenic disturbance increase, the global diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi should be monitored and protected to

  3. Engineering Mycorrhizal Symbioses to Alter Plant Metabolism and Improve Crop Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine E. French

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Creating sustainable bioeconomies for the 21st century relies on optimizing the use of biological resources to improve agricultural productivity and create new products. Arbuscular mycorrhizae (phylum Glomeromycota form symbiotic relationships with over 80% of vascular plants. In return for carbon, these fungi improve plant health and tolerance to environmental stress. This symbiosis is over 400 million years old and there are currently over 200 known arbuscular mycorrhizae, with dozens of new species described annually. Metagenomic sequencing of native soil communities, from species-rich meadows to mangroves, suggests biologically diverse habitats support a variety of mycorrhizal species with potential agricultural, medical, and biotechnological applications. This review looks at the effect of mycorrhizae on plant metabolism and how we can harness this symbiosis to improve crop health. I will first describe the mechanisms that underlie this symbiosis and what physiological, metabolic, and environmental factors trigger these plant-fungal relationships. These include mycorrhizal manipulation of host genetic expression, host mitochondrial and plastid proliferation, and increased production of terpenoids and jasmonic acid by the host plant. I will then discuss the effects of mycorrhizae on plant root and foliar secondary metabolism. I subsequently outline how mycorrhizae induce three key benefits in crops: defense against pathogen and herbivore attack, drought resistance, and heavy metal tolerance. I conclude with an overview of current efforts to harness mycorrhizal diversity to improve crop health through customized inoculum. I argue future research should embrace synthetic biology to create mycorrhizal chasses with improved symbiotic abilities and potentially novel functions to improve plant health. As the effects of climate change and anthropogenic disturbance increase, the global diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi should be monitored

  4. ASSESSING POSSIBLE ECOLOGICAL RISKS OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS: GENE EXPRESSION ASSAYS AND GENETIC MONITORING OF NON-TARGET ORGANISMS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widespread planting of genetically modified crops with the Bt transgene pesticide has led to concern over non-target effects of Bt compounds in agroecosystems. While some research suggests that non-target organisms exposed to Bt toxin exhibit reduced fecundity and increased morta...

  5. California's Effort to Improve Almond Orchard Crop Coefficients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanden, B. L.; Fulton, A. E.; Munk, D. S.; Ewert, S.; Little, C.; Anderson, F.; Connell, J. H.; Rivera, M.; Orang, M. N.; Snyder, R. L.

    2012-04-01

    Almonds are a major agricultural commodity in California and optimal irrigation management is important for production, protecting the environment, and long term water resources planning. While evapotranspiration (ET) estimates are widely used for water resource planning, it is used less for "realtime" irrigation management for several reasons. One problem is the lack of confidence in the crop coefficient (Kc) values that are used with reference ET (ETo) to estimate well-watered crop ET (ETc). This is especially true for orchard crops. Until recently, the Kc values used to estimate the ETc of most orchard crops in California were derived using measurements of applied water, runoff, and soil water content depletion with the assumption that the trees were transpiring at a rate that was not restricted by water availability. For decades, a typical midseason Kc value used for clean-cultivated almond orchards was 0.90. Recently, a study was conducted by the University of California and the California Department of Water Resources to improve the Kc estimates for almond orchards; helping growers improve their on-farm water management for better production and less adverse impacts on the environment. Field experiments were conducted in four locations (Butte, Fresno, Kern, and Tehama Counties) spanning 1000 km north to south within the Central Valley of California over somewhat different climates. California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS) weather stations were used with the ASCE-EWRI standardized reference evapotranspiration equation for short canopies to determine ETo. Latent heat flux (LE), in all four orchards, was estimated using the residual of the energy balance equation: LE=Rn-G-H from measured net radiation (Rn), ground heat flux (G), and sensible heat flux (H) using surface renewal and eddy covariance measurements. The LE was divided by the latent heat of vaporization (L) to determine ETc. In three years of measurements in Kern County, the data

  6. The potential of intercropping food crops and energy crop to improve productivity of a degraded agriculture land in arid tropics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I.K.D. Jaya

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Degraded agricultural lands in the arid tropics have low soil organic carbon (SOC and hence low productivity. Poor farmers that their livelihoods depend highly on these types of lands are suffering. Cropping strategies that are able to improve the soil productivity are needed. In the present study, some intercropping models of food crops with bio-energy crop of castor (Ricinus communis L. were tested to assess their potential to improve the degraded land productivity. The intercropping models were: (1 castor - hybrid maize, (2 castor – short season maize, (3 castor – mungbean, and (4 castor –short season maize – mungbean. The results show that yields of the component crops in monoculture were relatively the same as in intercropping, resulted in a high Land Equivalent Ratio (LER. The highest LER (3.07 was calculated from intercropping castor plants with short season maize crops followed by mungbean with intercropping productivity of IDR 15,097,600.00 ha-1. Intercropping has a great potential to improve degraded agriculture land productivity and castor is a promising plant to improve biodiversity and area coverage on the land.

  7. Mini Review: Potential Applications of Non-host Resistance for Crop Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Seonghee; Whitaker, Vance M.; Hutton, Samuel F.

    2016-01-01

    Plant breeding for disease resistance is crucial to sustain global crop production. For decades, plant breeders and researchers have extensively used host plant resistance genes (R-genes) to develop disease resistant cultivars. However, the general instability of R-genes in crop cultivars when challenged with diverse pathogen populations emphasizes the need for more stable means of resistance. Alternatively, non-host resistance is recognized as the most durable, broad-spectrum form of resistance against the majority of potential pathogens in plants and has gained great attention as an alternative target for managing resistance. While transgenic approaches have been utilized to transfer non-host resistance to host species, conventional breeding applications have been more elusive. Nevertheless, avenues for discovery and deployment of genetic loci for non-host resistance via hybridization are increasingly abundant, particularly when transferring genes among closely related species. In this mini review, we discuss current and developing applications of non-host resistance for crop improvement with a focus on the overlap between host and non-host mechanisms and the potential impacts of new technology. PMID:27462329

  8. Importance of Genetic Diversity Assessment in Crop Plants and Its Recent Advances: An Overview of Its Analytical Perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Govindaraj

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The importance of plant genetic diversity (PGD is now being recognized as a specific area since exploding population with urbanization and decreasing cultivable lands are the critical factors contributing to food insecurity in developing world. Agricultural scientists realized that PGD can be captured and stored in the form of plant genetic resources (PGR such as gene bank, DNA library, and so forth, in the biorepository which preserve genetic material for long period. However, conserved PGR must be utilized for crop improvement in order to meet future global challenges in relation to food and nutritional security. This paper comprehensively reviews four important areas; (i the significance of plant genetic diversity (PGD and PGR especially on agriculturally important crops (mostly field crops; (ii risk associated with narrowing the genetic base of current commercial cultivars and climate change; (iii analysis of existing PGD analytical methods in pregenomic and genomic era; and (iv modern tools available for PGD analysis in postgenomic era. This discussion benefits the plant scientist community in order to use the new methods and technology for better and rapid assessment, for utilization of germplasm from gene banks to their applied breeding programs. With the advent of new biotechnological techniques, this process of genetic manipulation is now being accelerated and carried out with more precision (neglecting environmental effects and fast-track manner than the classical breeding techniques. It is also to note that gene banks look into several issues in order to improve levels of germplasm distribution and its utilization, duplication of plant identity, and access to database, for prebreeding activities. Since plant breeding research and cultivar development are integral components of improving food production, therefore, availability of and access to diverse genetic sources will ensure that the global food production network becomes more

  9. Transgenic crops: the present state and new ways of genetic modification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabala, Bartosz M; Osipowski, Pawel; Malepszy, Stefan

    2014-08-01

    Transgenic crops were first commercialised almost 20 years ago, which makes it a good opportunity to reflect on this technology. In this review, we compare its status with the predictions included in Vasil's forecast published in 2002. Our analysis shows that science has provided a wide range of possibilities to modify different traits in plants, yet the economy benefits from that range to very different extents. We also point out the most important constituents of the technology development involving methodology improvement and novel traits expressed in varieties introduced into agriculture. Using native genes (or their elements) in transgenes, accumulating previously produced transgenes to cascade resistance and using herbicide resistance as a selectable marker have been considered typical of novel genetically modified (GM) plant varieties. A vast portion of the novelties in stacked varieties is doubtful in terms of EU regulations. Attention has also been directed to completely novel methodology solutions that hold out the prospect of a more comprehensive use of genetic modification in agriculture as a whole, and, particularly, make its use possible in the EU and even in sustainable agriculture.

  10. Genetic improvement in indigenous chicken of Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Woldegiorgiss, W.E.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Wondmeneh Esatu Woldegiorgiss (2015). Genetic improvement in indigenous chicken of Ethiopia. PhD thesis, Wageningen University, the Netherlands This thesis considered various approaches to study the potential for improvement of village poultry production system using

  11. Do genetic modifications in crops affect soil fungi? a review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hannula, S.E.; Boer, de W.; Veen, van J.A.

    2014-01-01

    The use of genetically modified (GM) plants in agriculture has been a topic in public debate for over a decade. Despite their potential to increase yields, there may be unintended negative side-effects of GM plants on soil micro-organisms that are essential for functioning of agro-ecosystems. Fungi

  12. Genetic Engineering of Energy Crops: A Strategy for Biofuel Production in China Free Access

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Guosheng Xie; Liangcai Peng

    2011-01-01

    Biomass utilization is increasingly considered as a practical way for sustainable energy supply and long-term environment care around the world.In concerns with food security in China,starch or sugar-based bioethanol and edible-oil-derived biodiesel are harshly restricted for large scale production.However,conversion of lignocellulosic residues from food crops is a potential alternative.Because of its recalcitrance,current biomass process is unacceptably expensive,but genetic breeding of energy crops is a promising solution.To meet the need,energy crops are defined with a high yield for both food and biofuel purposes.In this review,main grasses(rice,wheat,maize,sorghum and miscanthus)are evaluated for high biomass production,the principles are discussed on modification of plant cell walls that lead to efficient biomass degradation and conversion,and the related biotechnologies are proposed in terms of energy crop selection.

  13. Genetically modified crops for the bioeconomy: meeting public and regulatory expectations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapotin, Saharah Moon; Wolt, Jeffrey D

    2007-12-01

    As the United States moves toward a plant-based bioeconomy, a large research and development effort is focused on creating new feedstocks to meet biomass demand for biofuels, bioenergy, and specialized bioproducts, such as industrial compounds and biomaterial precursors. Most bioeconomy projections assume the widespread deployment of novel feedstocks developed through the use of modern molecular breeding techniques, but rarely consider the challenges involved with the use of genetically modified crops, which can include hurdles due to regulatory approvals, market adoption, and public acceptance. In this paper we consider the implications of various transgenic crops and traits under development for the bioeconomy that highlight these challenges. We believe that an awareness of the issues in crop and trait selection will allow developers to design crops with maximum stakeholder appeal and with the greatest potential for widespread adoption, while avoiding applications unlikely to meet regulatory approval or gain market and public acceptance.

  14. Real-time PCR array as a universal platform for the detection of genetically modified crops and its application in identifying unapproved genetically modified crops in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mano, Junichi; Shigemitsu, Natsuki; Futo, Satoshi; Akiyama, Hiroshi; Teshima, Reiko; Hino, Akihiro; Furui, Satoshi; Kitta, Kazumi

    2009-01-14

    We developed a novel type of real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) array with TaqMan chemistry as a platform for the comprehensive and semiquantitative detection of genetically modified (GM) crops. Thirty primer-probe sets for the specific detection of GM lines, recombinant DNA (r-DNA) segments, endogenous reference genes, and donor organisms were synthesized, and a 96-well PCR plate was prepared with a different primer-probe in each well as the real-time PCR array. The specificity and sensitivity of the array were evaluated. A comparative analysis with the data and publicly available information on GM crops approved in Japan allowed us to assume the possibility of unapproved GM crop contamination. Furthermore, we designed a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet application, Unapproved GMO Checker version 2.01, which helps process all the data of real-time PCR arrays for the easy assumption of unapproved GM crop contamination. The spreadsheet is available free of charge at http://cse.naro.affrc.go.jp/jmano/index.html .

  15. Genetically Modified Crops and Pesticides%转基因作物与化学农药

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    康卓

    2012-01-01

    Nearly a dozen years, genetically modified crops developed rapidly in commercialized scale and a considerable mount of genetically modified crops have been produced with the characters of insect resistance, disease resistance, herbicide tolerance and high quality & quantity. In this article the current situation and development trends of the crop biotechnology is reviewed and the influence for pesticides is discussed.%近十几年来转基因作物迅猛发展,一大批具有抗虫、抗病、抗除草剂的转基因作物形成规模,给化学农药带来影响.对转基因作物的发展现状及趋势以及对化学农药的影响进行了评述.

  16. Biosafety management and commercial use of genetically modified crops in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yunhe; Peng, Yufa; Hallerman, Eric M; Wu, Kongming

    2014-04-01

    As a developing country with relatively limited arable land, China is making great efforts for development and use of genetically modified (GM) crops to boost agricultural productivity. Many GM crop varieties have been developed in China in recent years; in particular, China is playing a leading role in development of insect-resistant GM rice lines. To ensure the safe use of GM crops, biosafety risk assessments are required as an important part of the regulatory oversight of such products. With over 20 years of nationwide promotion of agricultural biotechnology, a relatively well-developed regulatory system for risk assessment and management of GM plants has been developed that establishes a firm basis for safe use of GM crops. So far, a total of seven GM crops involving ten events have been approved for commercial planting, and 5 GM crops with a total of 37 events have been approved for import as processing material in China. However, currently only insect-resistant Bt cotton and disease-resistant papaya have been commercially planted on a large scale. The planting of Bt cotton and disease-resistant papaya have provided efficient protection against cotton bollworms and Papaya ringspot virus (PRSV), respectively. As a consequence, chemical application to these crops has been significantly reduced, enhancing farm income while reducing human and non-target organism exposure to toxic chemicals. This article provides useful information for the colleagues, in particular for them whose mother tongue is not Chinese, to clearly understand the biosafety regulation and commercial use of genetically modified crops in China.

  17. Genetically modified crops and the “food crisis”: discourse and material impacts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Glover, D.; Stone, G.D.

    2011-01-01

    A surge of media reports and rhetorical claims depicted genetically modified (GM) crops as a solution to the ‘global food crisis’ manifested in the sudden spike in world food prices during 2007–08. Broad claims were made about the potential of GM technologies to tackle the crisis, even though the us

  18. Workshop overview : Approaches to the assessment of the allergenic potential of food from genetically modified crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ladics, G.S.; Holsapple, M.P.; Astwood, J.D.; Kimber, I.; Knippels, L.M.J.; Helm, R.M.; Dong, W.

    2003-01-01

    There is a need to assess the safety of foods deriving from genetically modified (GM) crops, including the allergenic potential of novel gene products. Presently, there is no single in vitro or in vivo model that has been validated for the identification or characterization of potential food allerge

  19. ECOGEN - Soil ecological and economic evaluation of genetically modified crops (preface)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krogh, P. H.; Griffiths, B. S.

    2007-01-01

    to integrate the combined soil ecological and economic effects of introducing systems including genetically modified (GM) crops by performing data mining and building decision support systems. The project involved eight academic partners from five EU countries and an input from Monsanto. Maize expressing...

  20. Vicissitudes of Benefit Sharing of Crop Genetic Resources: Downstream and Upstream

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jonge, de B.; Korthals, M.J.J.A.A.

    2006-01-01

    In this article, we will first give a historic overview of the concept of benefit sharing and its appearance in official agreements, particularly with respect to crop genetic resources. It will become clear that, at present, benefit sharing is primarily considered as an instrument of compensation or

  1. Utilization of sunflower crop wild relatives for cultivated sunflower improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) is one of the few crops native to the U.S. The current USDA-ARS-NPGS crop wild relatives sunflower collection is the largest extant collection in the world, containing 2,519 accessions comprised of 53 species; 39 perennial and 14 annual. To fully utilize gene bank co...

  2. Photosynthetic energy conversion efficiency: setting a baseline for gauging future improvements in important food and biofuel crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slattery, Rebecca A; Ort, Donald R

    2015-06-01

    The conversion efficiency (ε(c)) of absorbed radiation into biomass (MJ of dry matter per MJ of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation) is a component of yield potential that has been estimated at less than half the theoretical maximum. Various strategies have been proposed to improve ε(c), but a statistical analysis to establish baseline ε(c) levels across different crop functional types is lacking. Data from 164 published ε(c) studies conducted in relatively unstressed growth conditions were used to determine the means, greatest contributors to variation, and genetic trends in ε(c )across important food and biofuel crop species. ε(c) was greatest in biofuel crops (0.049-0.066), followed by C4 food crops (0.046-0.049), C3 nonlegumes (0.036-0.041), and finally C3 legumes (0.028-0.035). Despite confining our analysis to relatively unstressed growth conditions, total incident solar radiation and average growing season temperature most often accounted for the largest portion of ε(c) variability. Genetic improvements in ε(c), when present, were less than 0.7% per year, revealing the unrealized potential of improving ε(c) as a promising contributing strategy to meet projected future agricultural demand.

  3. Functional Roles of microRNAs in Agronomically Important Plants-Potential as Targets for Crop Improvement and Protection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djami-Tchatchou, Arnaud T; Sanan-Mishra, Neeti; Ntushelo, Khayalethu; Dubery, Ian A

    2017-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small non-coding RNAs that have recently emerged as important regulators of gene expression, mainly through cleavage and/or translation inhibition of the target mRNAs during or after transcription. miRNAs play important roles by regulating a multitude of biological processes in plants which include maintenance of genome integrity, development, metabolism, and adaptive responses toward environmental stresses. The increasing population of the world and their food demands requires focused efforts for the improvement of crop plants to ensure sustainable food production. Manipulation of mRNA transcript abundance via miRNA control provides a unique strategy for modulating differential plant gene expression and miRNAs are thus emerging as the next generation targets for genetic engineering for improvement of the agronomic properties of crops. However, a deeper understanding of its potential and the mechanisms involved will facilitate the design of suitable strategies to obtain the desirable traits with minimum trade-offs in the modified crops. In this regard, this review highlights the diverse roles of conserved and newly identified miRNAs in various food and industrial crops and recent advances made in the uses of miRNAs to improve plants of agronomically importance so as to significantly enhance crop yields and increase tolerance to various environmental stress agents of biotic-or abiotic origin.

  4. Engineering chloroplasts to improve Rubisco catalysis: prospects for translating improvements into food and fiber crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharwood, Robert E

    2017-01-01

    494 I. 495 II. 496 III. 496 IV. 499 V. 499 VI. 501 VII. 501 VIII. 502 IX. 505 X. 506 507 References 507 SUMMARY: The uncertainty of future climate change is placing pressure on cropping systems to continue to provide stable increases in productive yields. To mitigate future climates and the increasing threats against global food security, new solutions to manipulate photosynthesis are required. This review explores the current efforts available to improve carbon assimilation within plant chloroplasts by engineering Rubisco, which catalyzes the rate-limiting step of CO2 fixation. Fixation of CO2 and subsequent cycling of 3-phosphoglycerate through the Calvin cycle provides the necessary carbohydrate building blocks for maintaining plant growth and yield, but has to compete with Rubisco oxygenation, which results in photorespiration that is energetically wasteful for plants. Engineering improvements in Rubisco is a complex challenge and requires an understanding of chloroplast gene regulatory pathways, and the intricate nature of Rubisco catalysis and biogenesis, to transplant more efficient forms of Rubisco into crops. In recent times, major advances in Rubisco engineering have been achieved through improvement of our knowledge of Rubisco synthesis and assembly, and identifying amino acid catalytic switches in the L-subunit responsible for improvements in catalysis. Improving the capacity of CO2 fixation in crops such as rice will require further advances in chloroplast bioengineering and Rubisco biogenesis.

  5. Using modern plant breeding to improve the nutritional and technological qualities of oil crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murphy Denis J.

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The last few decades have seen huge advances in our understanding of plant biology and in the development of new technologies for the manipulation of crop plants. The application of relatively straightforward breeding and selection methods made possible the “Green Revolution” of the 1960s and 1970s that effectively doubled or trebled cereal production in much of the world and averted mass famine in Asia. During the 2000s, much attention has been focused on genomic approaches to plant breeding with the deployment of a new generation of technologies, such as marker-assisted selection, next-generation sequencing, transgenesis (genetic engineering or GM and automatic mutagenesis/selection (TILLING, TargetIng Local Lesions IN Genomes. These methods are now being applied to a wide range of crops and have particularly good potential for oil crop improvement in terms of both overall food and non-food yield and nutritional and technical quality of the oils. Key targets include increasing overall oil yield and stability on a per seed or per fruit basis and very high oleic acid content in seed and fruit oils for both premium edible and oleochemical applications. Other more specialised targets include oils enriched in nutritionally desirable “fish oil”-like fatty acids, especially very long chain !-3 acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, or increased levels of lipidic vitamins such as carotenoids, tocopherols and tocotrienes. Progress in producing such oils in commercial crops has been good in recent years with several varieties being released or at advanced stages of development.

  6. Innovation in Livestock Genetic Improvement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mofakkarul Islam, M.; Renwick, A.; Lamprinopoulou, C.; Klerkx, L.W.A.

    2013-01-01

    The application of genetic selection technologies in livestock breeding offers unique opportunities to enhance the productivity, profitability and competitiveness of the livestock industry. However, there is a concern that the uptake of these technologies has been slower in the sheep and beef sector

  7. Bacillus: A Biological Tool for Crop Improvement through Bio-Molecular Changes in Adverse Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radhakrishnan, Ramalingam; Hashem, Abeer; Abd Allah, Elsayed F

    2017-01-01

    Crop productivity is affected by environmental and genetic factors. Microbes that are beneficial to plants are used to enhance the crop yield and are alternatives to chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Pseudomonas and Bacillus species are the predominant plant growth-promoting bacteria. The spore-forming ability of Bacillus is distinguished from that of Pseudomonas. Members of this genus also survive for a long time under unfavorable environmental conditions. Bacillus spp. secrete several metabolites that trigger plant growth and prevent pathogen infection. Limited studies have been conducted to understand the physiological changes that occur in crops in response to Bacillus spp. to provide protection against adverse environmental conditions. This review describes the current understanding of Bacillus-induced physiological changes in plants as an adaptation to abiotic and biotic stresses. During water scarcity, salinity and heavy metal accumulate in soil, Bacillus spp. produce exopolysaccharides and siderophores, which prevent the movement of toxic ions and adjust the ionic balance and water transport in plant tissues while controlling the pathogenic microbial population. In addition, the synthesis of indole-3-acetic acid, gibberellic acid and1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase by Bacillus regulates the intracellular phytohormone metabolism and increases plant stress tolerance. Cell-wall-degrading substances, such as chitosanase, protease, cellulase, glucanase, lipopeptides and hydrogen cyanide from Bacillus spp. damage the pathogenic bacteria, fungi, nematodes, viruses and pests to control their populations in plants and agricultural lands. The normal plant metabolism is affected by unfavorable environmental stimuli, which suppress crop growth and yield. Abiotic and biotic stress factors that have detrimental effects on crops are mitigated by Bacillus-induced physiological changes, including the regulation of water transport, nutrient up-take and

  8. Bacillus: A Biological Tool for Crop Improvement through Bio-Molecular Changes in Adverse Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramalingam Radhakrishnan

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Crop productivity is affected by environmental and genetic factors. Microbes that are beneficial to plants are used to enhance the crop yield and are alternatives to chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Pseudomonas and Bacillus species are the predominant plant growth-promoting bacteria. The spore-forming ability of Bacillus is distinguished from that of Pseudomonas. Members of this genus also survive for a long time under unfavorable environmental conditions. Bacillus spp. secrete several metabolites that trigger plant growth and prevent pathogen infection. Limited studies have been conducted to understand the physiological changes that occur in crops in response to Bacillus spp. to provide protection against adverse environmental conditions. This review describes the current understanding of Bacillus-induced physiological changes in plants as an adaptation to abiotic and biotic stresses. During water scarcity, salinity and heavy metal accumulate in soil, Bacillus spp. produce exopolysaccharides and siderophores, which prevent the movement of toxic ions and adjust the ionic balance and water transport in plant tissues while controlling the pathogenic microbial population. In addition, the synthesis of indole-3-acetic acid, gibberellic acid and1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC deaminase by Bacillus regulates the intracellular phytohormone metabolism and increases plant stress tolerance. Cell-wall-degrading substances, such as chitosanase, protease, cellulase, glucanase, lipopeptides and hydrogen cyanide from Bacillus spp. damage the pathogenic bacteria, fungi, nematodes, viruses and pests to control their populations in plants and agricultural lands. The normal plant metabolism is affected by unfavorable environmental stimuli, which suppress crop growth and yield. Abiotic and biotic stress factors that have detrimental effects on crops are mitigated by Bacillus-induced physiological changes, including the regulation of water transport

  9. Bacillus: A Biological Tool for Crop Improvement through Bio-Molecular Changes in Adverse Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radhakrishnan, Ramalingam; Hashem, Abeer; Abd_Allah, Elsayed F.

    2017-01-01

    Crop productivity is affected by environmental and genetic factors. Microbes that are beneficial to plants are used to enhance the crop yield and are alternatives to chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Pseudomonas and Bacillus species are the predominant plant growth-promoting bacteria. The spore-forming ability of Bacillus is distinguished from that of Pseudomonas. Members of this genus also survive for a long time under unfavorable environmental conditions. Bacillus spp. secrete several metabolites that trigger plant growth and prevent pathogen infection. Limited studies have been conducted to understand the physiological changes that occur in crops in response to Bacillus spp. to provide protection against adverse environmental conditions. This review describes the current understanding of Bacillus-induced physiological changes in plants as an adaptation to abiotic and biotic stresses. During water scarcity, salinity and heavy metal accumulate in soil, Bacillus spp. produce exopolysaccharides and siderophores, which prevent the movement of toxic ions and adjust the ionic balance and water transport in plant tissues while controlling the pathogenic microbial population. In addition, the synthesis of indole-3-acetic acid, gibberellic acid and1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase by Bacillus regulates the intracellular phytohormone metabolism and increases plant stress tolerance. Cell-wall-degrading substances, such as chitosanase, protease, cellulase, glucanase, lipopeptides and hydrogen cyanide from Bacillus spp. damage the pathogenic bacteria, fungi, nematodes, viruses and pests to control their populations in plants and agricultural lands. The normal plant metabolism is affected by unfavorable environmental stimuli, which suppress crop growth and yield. Abiotic and biotic stress factors that have detrimental effects on crops are mitigated by Bacillus-induced physiological changes, including the regulation of water transport, nutrient up-take and

  10. Soil Water Improvements with the Long Term Use of a Winter Rye Cover Crop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basche, A.; Kaspar, T.; Archontoulis, S.; Jaynes, D. B.; Sauer, T. J.; Parkin, T.; Miguez, F.

    2015-12-01

    The Midwestern United States, a region that produces one-third of maize and one-quarter of soybeans globally, is projected to experience increasing rainfall variability with future climate change. One approach to mitigate climate impacts is to utilize crop and soil management practices that enhance soil water storage, reducing the risks of flooding and runoff as well as drought-induced crop water stress. While some research indicates that a winter cover crop in a maize-soybean rotation increases soil water, producers continue to be concerned that water use by cover crops will reduce water for a following cash crop. We analyzed continuous in-field soil moisture measurements over from 2008-2014 at a Central Iowa research site that has included a winter rye cover crop in a maize-soybean rotation for thirteen years. This period of study included years in the top third of wettest years on record (2008, 2010, 2014) as well as years in the bottom third of driest years (2012, 2013). We found the cover crop treatment to have significantly higher soil water storage from 2012-2014 when compared to the no cover crop treatment and in most years greater soil water content later in the growing season when a cover crop was present. We further found that the winter rye cover crop significantly increased the field capacity water content and plant available water compared to the no cover crop treatment. Finally, in 2012 and 2013, we measured maize and soybean biomass every 2-3 weeks and did not see treatment differences in crop growth, leaf area or nitrogen uptake. Final crop yields were not statistically different between the cover and no cover crop treatment in any of the years of this analysis. This research indicates that the long-term use of a winter rye cover crop can improve soil water dynamics without sacrificing cash crop growth.

  11. RESPONSIVENESS OF OBAATANPA MAIZE GRAIN YIELD AND BIOMASS TO SOIL, WEATHER AND CROP GENETIC VARIATIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atakora K. Williams

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Use of crop growth simulations models such as those incorporated into Decision Support System for Agro technology Transfer (DSSAT are useful tools for assessing the impacts of crop productivity under various management systems. Maize growth model of DSSAT is Crop Environment Resource Synthesis (CERES -Maize. To predict maize grain yield and biomass using CERES-maize under Guinea savanna agro ecological conditions with different weather scenarios, data on maize growth, yield and development as well as data on soil and weather was collected from field on-station experiment conducted during the 2010 growing season at Kpalesawgu, Tamale-Ghana. Twenty on-farm experiments were also conducted in the Tolon-Kunbungu and Tamale Metropolitan districts in Northern Ghana to determine the responsiveness of maize grain yield and biomass to soil, weather and crop genetic variations. The cultivar coefficient was however calibrated with data collected from the on-station field experiment at Kpalesawgu. The cultivar coefficient was however calibrated with data collected from the on-station field experiment at Kpalesawgu. Data on phenology, grain yield and biomass from the field experiment were used for model validation and simulations. Validation results showed good agreement between predicted and measured yields with a Normalized Random Square mean Error (NRSME value of 0.181. Results of these sensitivity analysis results showed that the DSSAT model is highly sensitive to changes in weather variables such as daily maximum and minimum temperatures as well as solar radiation, however, the model was found to be least sensitive to rainfall.  The model also found to be sensitive to crop genetic and soil variations. Model predictions of the responsiveness of the yield and biomass to changes in soil, weather and crop genetic coefficients were found to be good with an r2 values between 0.95 to 0.99 except when predicting maize grain yield using changes in minimum

  12. Genetically Modified Feed Crops and Feed Ingredients in Indonesia: Opportunities and Constraints of Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bambang R Prawiradiputra

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The opportunity of the presence of genetically modified organism (GMO forage crops in Indonesia is quite large. Although until now there is no single forage crop awarded safely crop in Indonesia, but several crop byproducts have been used as feed ingredient. The controversy over the presence of GMO plant cannot be avoided. There are a part of communities who could not accept the presence of GMO crops for some reasons. On the other hand, the producers claimed the advantages of the GMO crops such as reducing pesticide application, reducing cost of weeding, more tolerant to biotic and abiotic stresses, and increasing production, farmer’s income and welfare. For the opponent, the main concerns are environmental issues and the possibility of emerging diseases in animal as well as human being. The Biosafety Comission through Biosafety Technical Team has the authority to recommend whether GMO food or feed (and plants is safe or not safe to be consumed and grown in Indonesia after the assessment.

  13. Presence of potential allergy-related linear epitopes in novel proteins from conventional crops and the implication for the safety assessment of these crops with respect to the current testing of genetically modified crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kleter, G.A.; Peijnenburg, A.A.C.M.

    2003-01-01

    Mitochondria of cytoplasmic male sterile crop plants contain novel, chimeric open reading frames. In addition, a number of crops carry endogenous double-stranded ribonucleic acid (dsRNA). In this study, the novel proteins encoded by these genetic components were screened for the presence of potentia

  14. Transposable elements and genetic instabilities in crop plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burr, B.; Burr, F.

    1981-04-10

    Transposable elements have long been associated with certain unstable loci in maize and have been intensively studied by McClintock and others. It is known that a transposable element can control the expression of the structural genes at the locus where it resides. These controlling elements in maize are now beginning to be studied at the molecular level. Using recombinant molecular probes we have been able to describe the changes induced by the controlling element Ds at the shrunken locus. Ds elements appear to be large and dissimilar insertions into the wild-type locus - two elements actually map within the transcribed region of the gene. Genetic instabilities have been described in other economically important plants but the bases for these phenomena have not been understood. We believe that it is likely that some of these instabilities are the result of transposable element activity much as in the case of maize.

  15. Transposable Elements and Genetic Instabilities in Crop Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burr, B.; Burr, F.

    1981-04-10

    Transposable elements have long been associated with certain unstable loci in maize and have been intensively studied by McClintock and others. It is known that a transposable element can control the expression of the structural genes at the locus where it resides. These controlling elements in maize are now beginning to be studied at the molecular level. Using recombinant molecular probes we have been able to describe the changes induced by the controlling element Ds at the shrunken locus. Ds elements appear to be large and dissimilar insertions into the wild-type locus - two elements actually map within the transcribed region of the gene. Genetic instabilities have been described in other economically important plants but the bases for these phenomena have not been understood. We believe that it is likely that some of these instabilities are the result of transposable element activity much as in the case of maize.

  16. Is genetic engineering ever going to take off in forage, turf and bioenergy crop breeding?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zeng-Yu; Brummer, E Charles

    2012-11-01

    Genetic engineering offers the opportunity to generate unique genetic variation that is either absent in the sexually compatible gene pool or has very low heritability. The generation of transgenic plants, coupled with breeding, has led to the production of widely used transgenic cultivars in several major cash crops, such as maize, soybean, cotton and canola. The process for regulatory approval of genetically engineered crops is slow and subject to extensive political interference. The situation in forage grasses and legumes is more complicated. Most widely grown forage, turf and bioenergy species (e.g. tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, switchgrass, alfalfa, white clover) are highly self-incompatible and outcrossing. Compared with inbreeding species, they have a high potential to pass their genes to adjacent plants. A major biosafety concern in these species is pollen-mediated transgene flow. Because human consumption is indirect, risk assessment of transgenic forage, turf and bioenergy species has focused on their environmental or ecological impacts. Although significant progress has been made in genetic modification of these species, commercialization of transgenic cultivars is very limited because of the stringent and costly regulatory requirements. To date, the only transgenic forage crop deregulated in the US is 'Roundup Ready' (RR) alfalfa. The approval process for RR alfalfa was complicated, involving several rounds of regulation, deregulation and re-regulation. Nevertheless, commercialization of RR alfalfa is an important step forward in regulatory approval of a perennial outcrossing forage crop. As additional transgenic forage, turf and bioenergy crops are generated and tested, different strategies have been developed to meet regulatory requirements. Recent progress in risk assessment and deregulation of transgenic forage and turf species is summarized and discussed.

  17. Manipulating photorespiration to increase plant productivity: recent advances and perspectives for crop improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betti, Marco; Bauwe, Hermann; Busch, Florian A; Fernie, Alisdair R; Keech, Olivier; Levey, Myles; Ort, Donald R; Parry, Martin A J; Sage, Rowan; Timm, Stefan; Walker, Berkley; Weber, Andreas P M

    2016-05-01

    Recycling of the 2-phosphoglycolate generated by the oxygenase reaction of Rubisco requires a complex and energy-consuming set of reactions collectively known as the photorespiratory cycle. Several approaches aimed at reducing the rates of photorespiratory energy or carbon loss have been proposed, based either on screening for natural variation or by means of genetic engineering. Recent work indicates that plant yield can be substantially improved by the alteration of photorespiratory fluxes or by engineering artificial bypasses to photorespiration. However, there is also evidence indicating that, under certain environmental and/or nutritional conditions, reduced photorespiratory capacity may be detrimental to plant performance. Here we summarize recent advances obtained in photorespiratory engineering and discuss prospects for these advances to be transferred to major crops to help address the globally increasing demand for food and biomass production.

  18. Improving Water Sustainability and Food Security through Increased Crop Water Productivity in Malawi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luxon Nhamo

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Agriculture accounts for most of the renewable freshwater resource withdrawals in Malawi, yet food insecurity and water scarcity remain as major challenges. Despite Malawi’s vast water resources, climate change, coupled with increasing population and urbanisation are contributing to increasing water scarcity. Improving crop water productivity has been identified as a possible solution to water and food insecurity, by producing more food with less water, that is, to produce “more crop per drop”. This study evaluated crop water productivity from 2000 to 2013 by assessing crop evapotranspiration, crop production and agricultural gross domestic product (Ag GDP contribution for Malawi. Improvements in crop water productivity were evidenced through improved crop production and productivity. These improvements were supported by increased irrigated area, along with improved agronomic practices. Crop water productivity increased by 33% overall from 2000 to 2013, resulting in an increase in maize production from 1.2 million metric tons to 3.6 million metric tons, translating to an average food surplus of 1.1 million metric tons. These developments have contributed to sustainable improved food and nutrition security in Malawi, which also avails more water for ecosystem functions and other competing economic sectors.

  19. GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOOD CROPS AND PUBLIC HEALTH Cultivos alimenticios genéticamente modificados y salud pública

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ORLANDO ACOSTA

    Full Text Available The progress made in plant biotechnology has provided an opportunity to new food crops being developed having desirable traits for improving crop yield, reducing the use of agrochemicals and adding nutritional properties to staple crops. However, genetically modified (GM crops have become a subject of intense debate in which opponents argue that GM crops represent a threat to individual freedom, the environment, public health and traditional economies. Despite the advances in food crop agriculture, the current world situation is still characterised by massive hunger and chronic malnutrition, representing a major public health problem. Biofortified GM crops have been considered an important and complementary strategy for delivering naturally-fortified staple foods to malnourished populations. Expert advice and public concern have led to designing strategies for assessing the potential risks involved in cultivating and consuming GM crops. The present critical review was aimed at expressing some conflicting points of view about the potential risks of GM crops for public health. It was concluded that GM food crops are no more risky than those genetically modified by conventional methods and that these GM crops might contribute towards reducing the amount of malnourished people around the world. However, all this needs to be complemented by effective political action aimed at increasing the income of people living below the poverty-line.El progreso de la biotecnología de plantas ha hecho posible ofrecer una oportunidad para desarrollar nuevos cultivos alimenticios con características deseables para el mejoramiento de la producción, la reducción del uso de agroquímicos y la incorporación de propiedades nutricionales en cultivos básicos. No obstante, los cultivos GM se han convertido en un objeto de intenso debate, en el cual los opositores argumentan que los cultivos GM representan una amenaza para la libertad individual, el medio ambiente, la

  20. Pollen Sterility—A Promising Approach to Gene Confinement and Breeding for Genetically Modified Bioenergy Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Albert P. Kausch

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Advanced genetic and biotechnology tools will be required to realize the full potential of food and bioenergy crops. Given current regulatory concerns, many transgenic traits might never be deregulated for commercial release without a robust gene confinement strategy in place. The potential for transgene flow from genetically modified (GM crops is widely known. Pollen-mediated transfer is a major component of gene flow in flowering plants and therefore a potential avenue for the escape of transgenes from GM crops. One approach for preventing and/or mitigating transgene flow is the production of trait linked pollen sterility. To evaluate the feasibility of generating pollen sterility lines for gene confinement and breeding purposes we tested the utility of a promoter (Zm13Pro from a maize pollen-specific gene (Zm13 for driving expression of the reporter gene GUS and the cytotoxic gene barnase in transgenic rice (Oryza sativa ssp. Japonica cv. Nipponbare as a monocot proxy for bioenergy grasses. This study demonstrates that the Zm13 promoter can drive pollen-specific expression in stably transformed rice and may be useful for gametophytic transgene confinement and breeding strategies by pollen sterility in food and bioenergy crops.

  1. Outcrossing potential between 11 important genetically modified crops and the Chilean vascular flora.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, Miguel A; Cid, Pablo; Navarrete, Humberto; Aguirre, Carlos; Chacón, Gustavo; Salazar, Erika; Prieto, Humberto

    2016-02-01

    The potential impact of genetically modified (GM) crops on biodiversity is one of the main concerns in an environmental risk assessment (ERA). The likelihood of outcrossing and pollen-mediated gene flow from GM crops and non-GM crops are explained by the same principles and depend primarily on the biology of the species. We conducted a national-scale study of the likelihood of outcrossing between 11 GM crops and vascular plants in Chile by use of a systematized database that included cultivated, introduced and native plant species in Chile. The database included geographical distributions and key biological and agronomical characteristics for 3505 introduced, 4993 native and 257 cultivated (of which 11 were native and 246 were introduced) plant species. Out of the considered GM crops (cotton, soya bean, maize, grape, wheat, rice, sugar beet, alfalfa, canola, tomato and potato), only potato and tomato presented native relatives (66 species total). Introduced relative species showed that three GM groups were formed having: a) up to one introduced relative (cotton and soya bean), b) up to two (rice, grape, maize and wheat) and c) from two to seven (sugar beet, alfalfa, canola, tomato and potato). In particular, GM crops presenting introduced noncultivated relative species were canola (1 relative species), alfalfa (up to 4), rice (1), tomato (up to 2) and potato (up to 2). The outcrossing potential between species [OP; scaled from 'very low' (1) to 'very high' (5)] was developed, showing medium OPs (3) for GM-native relative interactions when they occurred, low (2) for GMs and introduced noncultivated and high (4) for the grape-Vitis vinifera GM-introduced cultivated interaction. This analytical tool might be useful for future ERA for unconfined GM crop release in Chile.

  2. Africa's inevitable walk to genetically modified (GM) crops: opportunities and challenges for commercialization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okeno, James A; Wolt, Jeffrey D; Misra, Manjit K; Rodriguez, Lulu

    2013-01-25

    High relative poverty levels in Africa are attributed to the continent's under performing agriculture. Drought, low-yielding crop varieties, pests and diseases, poor soils, low fertilizer use, limited irrigation and lack of modern technologies are among the problems that plague African agriculture. Genetically modified (GM) crops may possess attributes that can help overcome some of these constraints, but have yet to be fully embraced in the mix of technology solutions for African agriculture. Cognizant of this, South Africa, Burkina Faso and Egypt are steadily growing GM crops on a commercial scale. Countries like Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda are increasingly field-testing these crops with the view to commercialize them. These countries show strong government support for GM technology. Progress by these first adopter nations provides an insight as to how GM crops are increasingly being viewed as one of the ways in which the continent can invigorate the agriculture sector and achieve food security. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Global Adoption of Genetically Modified (GM) Crops: Challenges for the Public Sector.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huesing, Joseph E; Andres, David; Braverman, Michael P; Burns, Andrea; Felsot, Allan S; Harrigan, George G; Hellmich, Richard L; Reynolds, Alan; Shelton, Anthony M; Jansen van Rijssen, Wilna; Morris, E Jane; Eloff, Jacobus N

    2016-01-20

    Advances in biotechnology continue to drive the development of a wide range of insect-protected, herbicide-tolerant, stress-tolerant, and nutritionally enhanced genetically modified (GM) crops, yet societal and public policy considerations may slow their commercialization. Such restrictions may disproportionately affect developing countries, as well as smaller entrepreneurial and public sector initiatives. The 2014 IUPAC International Congress of Pesticide Chemistry (San Francisco, CA, USA; August 2014) included a symposium on "Challenges Associated with Global Adoption of Agricultural Biotechnology" to review current obstacles in promoting GM crops. Challenges identified by symposium presenters included (i) poor public understanding of GM technology and the need for enhanced communication strategies, (ii) nonharmonized and prescriptive regulatory requirements, and (iii) limited experience with regulations and product development within some public sector programs. The need for holistic resistance management programs to enable the most effective use of insect-protected crops was also a point of emphasis. This paper provides details on the symposium discussion and provides background information that can be used in support of further adoption of beneficial GM crops. Overall, it emphasizes that global adoption of modern agricultural biotechnology has not only provided benefits to growers and consumers but has great potential to provide solutions to an increasing global population and diminishing agricultural land. This potential will be realized by continued scientific innovation, harmonized regulatory systems, and broader communication of the benefits of the high-yielding, disease-resistant, and nutritionally enhanced crops attainable through modern biotechnology.

  4. Summer cover crops and soil amendments to improve growth and nutrient uptake of okra

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Q.R.; Li, Y.C.; Klassen, W. [University of Florida, Homestead, FL (United States). Center for Tropical Research & Education

    2006-04-15

    A pot experiment with summer cover crops and soil amendments was conducted in two consecutive years to elucidate the effects of these cover crops and soil amendments on 'Clemson Spineless 80' okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) yields and biomass production, and the uptake and distribution of soil nutrients and trace elements. The cover crops were sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea), cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), velvetbean (Mucuna deeringiana), and sorghum sudan-grass (Sorghum bicolor x S. bicolor var. sudanense) with fallow as the control. The organic soil amendments were biosolids (sediment from wastewater plants), N-Viro Soil (a mixture of biosolids and coal ash), coal ash (a combustion by-product from power plants), co-compost (a mixture of 3 biosolids: 7 yard waste), and yard waste compost (mainly from leaves and branches of trees and shrubs, and grass clippings) with a soil-incorporated cover crop as the control. As a subsequent vegetable crop, okra was grown after the cover crops, alone or together with the organic soil amendments, had been incorporated. All of the cover crops, except sorghum sudangrass in 2002-03, significantly improved okra fruit yields and the total biomass production. Both cover crops and soil amendments can substantially improve nutrient uptake and distribution. The results suggest that cover crops and appropriate amounts of soil amendments can be used to improve soil fertility and okra yield without adverse environmental effects or risk of contamination of the fruit. Further field studies will be required to confirm these findings.

  5. Genetic Gain in Soybean Crop/ Ganho Genético na Cultura da Soja

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo Tadeu de Faria

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available The selection of genotypes of soybean with high grain yield and high capacity of environment adaptation are the objectives of the genetic improvement programs. To verify if the genetic gain through of the breeding of the soybean crop is being reached it is necessary that, frequently, each improvement program makes an auto-evaluation to verify if there has been effective progress, if a certain culture condition was privileged by the breeding and to correct eventual distortions of goals. To have significant advances the breeding programs have to evaluate their efficiency and it is necessary to use methods that quantify the genetic advances. The possibility of prediction of the gains obtained by selection consists in one of the main contributions for the breeding, becoming possible to guide in a more effective manner the breeding program, to predict the success of the adopted selection method and to determine, scientifically, which techniques can be more efficient.A seleção de genótipos de soja com elevada produtividade de grãos e capacidade de adaptação ambiental é o principal objetivo dos programas de melhoramento genético. Para verificar se o ganho genético por meio de melhoramento da cultura da soja está sendo alcançado é importante que cada programa de melhoramento faça, frequentemente, uma auto-avaliação no sentido de verificar se houve progresso efetivo e se determinada condição de cultivo foi privilegiada pelo melhoramento e corrigir eventuais distorções de metas. Para isso é necessário a utilização de métodos que quantifiquem o avanço genético. A possibilidade de predição dos ganhos obtidos por seleção constitui-se em uma das principais contribuições para o melhoramento. Desta forma, torna-se possível orientar de maneira mais efetiva os programas de melhoramento, predizer o sucesso do esquema de seleção adotado e determinar, de forma científica, quais as técnicas que podem ser mais eficazes.

  6. Crop improvement in the CGIAR as a global success story of open access and international collaboration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Derek Byerlee

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available International agricultural research has historically been an example par excellence of open source approach to biological research. Beginning in the 1950s and especially in the 1960s, a looming global food crisis led to the development of a group of international agricultural research centers with a specific mandate to foster international exchange and crop improvement relevant to many countries. This formalization of a global biological commons in genetic resources was implemented through an elaborate system of international nurseries with a breeding hub, free sharing of germplasm, collaboration in information collection, the development of human resources, and an international collaborative network. This paper traces the history of the international wheat program with particular attention to how this truly open source system operated in practice and the impacts that it had on world poverty and hunger. The paper also highlights the challenges of maintaining and evolving such a system over the long term, both in terms of financing, as well the changing ‘rules of the game’ resulting from international agreements on intellectual property rights and biodiversity. Yet the open source approach is just as relevant today, as witnessed by current crises in food prices and looming crop diseases problem of global significance.

  7. Potential use of phytocystatins in crop improvement, with a particular focus on legumes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunert, Karl J; van Wyk, Stefan G; Cullis, Christopher A; Vorster, Barend J; Foyer, Christine H

    2015-06-01

    Phytocystatins are a well-characterized class of naturally occurring protease inhibitors that function by preventing the catalysis of papain-like cysteine proteases. The action of cystatins in biotic stress resistance has been studied intensively, but relatively little is known about their functions in plant growth and defence responses to abiotic stresses, such as drought. Extreme weather events, such as drought and flooding, will have negative impacts on the yields of crop plants, particularly grain legumes. The concepts that changes in cellular protein content and composition are required for acclimation to different abiotic stresses, and that these adjustments are achieved through regulation of proteolysis, are widely accepted. However, the nature and regulation of the protein turnover machinery that underpins essential stress-induced cellular restructuring remain poorly characterized. Cysteine proteases are intrinsic to the genetic programmes that underpin plant development and senescence, but their functions in stress-induced senescence are not well defined. Transgenic plants including soybean that have been engineered to constitutively express phytocystatins show enhanced tolerance to a range of different abiotic stresses including drought, suggesting that manipulation of cysteine protease activities by altered phytocystatin expression in crop plants might be used to improve resilience and quality in the face of climate change.

  8. Genetic Engineering and Sustainable Crop Disease Management: Opportunities for Case-by-Case Decision-Making

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Vincelli

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Genetic engineering (GE offers an expanding array of strategies for enhancing disease resistance of crop plants in sustainable ways, including the potential for reduced pesticide usage. Certain GE applications involve transgenesis, in some cases creating a metabolic pathway novel to the GE crop. In other cases, only cisgenessis is employed. In yet other cases, engineered genetic changes can be so minimal as to be indistinguishable from natural mutations. Thus, GE crops vary substantially and should be evaluated for risks, benefits, and social considerations on a case-by-case basis. Deployment of GE traits should be with an eye towards long-term sustainability; several options are discussed. Selected risks and concerns of GE are also considered, along with genome editing, a technology that greatly expands the capacity of molecular biologists to make more precise and targeted genetic edits. While GE is merely a suite of tools to supplement other breeding techniques, if wisely used, certain GE tools and applications can contribute to sustainability goals.

  9. Impact of Crop Rotation on Pathotype and Genetic Structure of Phythophthora sojae in Fields

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhao Li-ming; Li Shuang; Sui Zhe; Huang Jing; Chen Qiu-ming; Suo Bing; Ding Jun-jie; Liu Wei-ting; Wen Jing-zhi

    2016-01-01

    To estimate the impact of crop rotation on the pathotype and genetic structure ofPhythophthora sojae in fields, 372 isolates ofP. sojae were obtained from long-term localisation experimental fields in Heilongjiang Province of China. The hypocotyl inoculation method was used to characterize the virulence ofP. sojaeon 13 differential cultivars, and the amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) technique was used to analyze difference in the genetic structure ofP. sojae. The results indicated that an abundant diversity of genetic structures and pathotypes ofP. sojae, a more uniform distribution of pathotypes and less dominance of pathotypes occurred in corn-soybean and wheat-soybean rotation fields than in a continuous soybean mono-cropping field. These findings suggested thatP. sojae did not easily become the dominant race in rotation fields, which maintain disease resistance in soybean varieties. Therefore, the results of this study suggested that Phytophthora stem and root rot of soybeans could be effectively controlled by rotating soybeans with non-host crops of corn and wheat.

  10. ORGANIC FARMING FOR CROP IMPROVEMENT AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE IN THE ERA OF CLIMATE CHANGE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajib Roychowdhury

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Sustainable development has caught the imagination and action of the world for more than a decade. Sustainable agriculture is necessary to attain the goal of sustainable development. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO, sustainable agriculture is the successful management of resources to satisfy the changing human needs while maintaining or enhancing the quality of environment and conserving natural resources. All definitions of sustainable agriculture lay great emphasis on maintaining an agricultural growth rate, which can meet the demand for food of all living beings without draining the basic resources towards crop improvement. Organic farming is one of the several approaches found to meet the objectives of sustainable agriculture. Most of the techniques used in organic farming like inter-cropping, mulching and integration of crops and livestock are not alien to agriculture systems including the traditional agricultural practices. However, organic farming is based on various laws and certification programmes, which prohibit the use of almost all synthetic inputs and the central theme of this method is the health of soil. The adverse effects of modern agricultural practices on the farm and also on the health of living beings and thus on the environment has been well documented all over the world. Application of technology, particularly the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides all around us has persuaded people to think aloud. As a result of global climatic changes, their negative effects on the environment are manifested through soil erosion, water shortages, salination, soil contamination, genetic erosion, Organic farming is one of the widely used methods, which is thought as the best alternative to avoid the ill effects of chemical farming. It also has far more advantages over the conventional and other modern agricultural practices that are available today.

  11. AFLP molecular marker and crop improvement%AFLP分子标记与作物改良

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李爱丽; 马峙英

    2001-01-01

    Molecular markers based on DNA play a very important role in crop improvement. Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) technology is a novel and powerful DNA fingerprinting technique. It is based on the selective amplification of restriction fragments from a total digest of genomic DNA. The AFLP approach is particularly powerful because it requires no prior sequence characterization of the target genome, and it is readily applicable to a wide variety of crops. This paper mainly discussed the application of AFLP in main crops to cultivars identification, genetic map construction, gene location, and assisted selection.%建立于DNA基础之上的分子标记对于作物改良具有重要作用。 AFLP(Amplified fragment length polytism, 简称AFtP)国内译为扩增片段长度多态性,是一种DNA分子标记技术。利用这一方法,在不需要预先知道DNA序列信息的情况下就可以同时进行多数DNA酶切片断的PCR扩增。目前,该技术不仅在小麦、玉米、棉花和大豆等主要农作物上得以应用,而且在蔬菜(番茄、马铃薯、鹰嘴豆等)以及植物基因组研究的模式植物拟南芥上广泛应用。讨论了AFLP在主要作物的品种鉴定、遗传多样性分析、遗传作图、基因定位以及辅助选择等方面的应用进展。

  12. Governing the management and use of pooled microbial genetic resources: Lessons from the global crop commons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Halewood

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper highlights lessons learned over the last thirty years establishing a governance structure for the global crop commons that are of relevance to current champions of the microbial commons. It argues that the political, legal and biophysical situation in which microbial genetic resources (and their users are located today are similar to the situation of plant genetic resources in the mid-1990s, before the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources was negotiated. Consequently, the paper suggests that it may be useful to look to the model of global network of ex situ plant genetic resources collections as a precedent to follow – even if only loosely – in developing an intergovernmentally endorsed legal substructure and governance framework for the microbial commons.

  13. Variables Affecting Secondary School Students' Willingness to Eat Genetically Modified Food Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maes, Jasmien; Bourgonjon, Jeroen; Gheysen, Godelieve; Valcke, Martin

    2017-04-01

    A large-scale cross-sectional study (N = 4002) was set up to determine Flemish secondary school students' willingness to eat genetically modified food (WTE) and to link students' WTE to previously identified key variables from research on the acceptance of genetic modification (GM). These variables include subjective and objective knowledge about genetics and biotechnology, perceived risks and benefits of GM food crops, trust in information from different sources about GM, and food neophobia. Differences between WTE-related variables based on students' grade level, educational track, and gender were analyzed. The students displayed a rather indecisive position toward GM food and scored weakly on a genetics and biotechnology knowledge test. WTE correlated most strongly with perceived benefits and subjective and objective knowledge. The results have clear implications for education, as they reiterate the need to strengthen students' scientific knowledge base and to introduce a GM-related debate at a much earlier stage in their school career.

  14. Haploids in the genetic improvement of solanaceous species

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiong Xingyao; George C.C.Tai

    2004-01-01

    Research work in haploids represents a very fruitful field in the Solanaceae crop species. The various applications of haploids in genetic and breeding research in potatoes, tobacco, tomato and pepper are reviewed.

  15. Soil quality improvement for crop production in semi-arid West Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ouédraogo, E.

    2004-01-01

    Soil quality maintenance and crop production improvement in semi-arid West Africa require appropriate cropping technologies, which are ecologically sound and economically viable. Thus, on-farm and on-station experiments have been carried out on the central plateau and in the south of Burkina Faso Th

  16. The release of genetically modified crops into the environment - Part I. Overview of current status and regulations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nap, J.P.H.; Metz, P.L.J.; Escaler, M.; Conner, A.J.

    2003-01-01

    In the past 6 years, the global area of commercially grown, genetically modified (GM) crops has increased more than 30-fold to over 52 million hectares. The number of countries involved has more than doubled. Especially in developing countries, the GM crop area is anticipated to increase rapidly in

  17. Dynamic Route Guidance Using Improved Genetic Algorithms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhanke Yu

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents an improved genetic algorithm (IGA for dynamic route guidance algorithm. The proposed IGA design a vicinity crossover technique and a greedy backward mutation technique to increase the population diversity and strengthen local search ability. The steady-state reproduction is introduced to protect the optimized genetic individuals. Furthermore the junction delay is introduced to the fitness function. The simulation results show the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm.

  18. Crop residues reuse to improve agricultural soil quality

    OpenAIRE

    Cornejo, Jennifer Moreno; Cano, Angel Faz

    2008-01-01

    Since the 70´s in The Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia, the irrigated agricultural area has increased, especially in the agrarian district “Comarca del Campo de Cartagena”, (South East of Spain). As a consequence, the amount of crop residues generated has gone up too. At the present, harvest residues constitute a very serious environmental problem because, in most cases, these residues are dehydrated on the land and burned later on with subsequent negative consequences...

  19. Plant genetic resources: what can they contribute toward increased crop productivity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoisington, D; Khairallah, M; Reeves, T; Ribaut, J M; Skovmand, B; Taba, S; Warburton, M

    1999-05-25

    To feed a world population growing by up to 160 people per minute, with >90% of them in developing countries, will require an astonishing increase in food production. Forecasts call for wheat to become the most important cereal in the world, with maize close behind; together, these crops will account for approximately 80% of developing countries' cereal import requirements. Access to a range of genetic diversity is critical to the success of breeding programs. The global effort to assemble, document, and utilize these resources is enormous, and the genetic diversity in the collections is critical to the world's fight against hunger. The introgression of genes that reduced plant height and increased disease and viral resistance in wheat provided the foundation for the "Green Revolution" and demonstrated the tremendous impact that genetic resources can have on production. Wheat hybrids and synthetics may provide the yield increases needed in the future. A wild relative of maize, Tripsacum, represents an untapped genetic resource for abiotic and biotic stress resistance and for apomixis, a trait that could provide developing world farmers access to hybrid technology. Ownership of genetic resources and genes must be resolved to ensure global access to these critical resources. The application of molecular and genetic engineering technologies enhances the use of genetic resources. The effective and complementary use of all of our technological tools and resources will be required for meeting the challenge posed by the world's expanding demand for food.

  20. The global income and production effects of genetically modified (GM) crops 1996-2011.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2013-01-01

    A key part of any assessment of the global value of crop biotechnology in agriculture is an examination of its economic impact at the farm level. This paper follows earlier annual studies which examined economic impacts on yields, key costs of production, direct farm income and effects and impacts on the production base of the four main crops of soybeans, corn, cotton and canola. The commercialization of genetically modified (GM) crops has continued to occur at a rapid rate, with important changes in both the overall level of adoption and impact occurring in 2011. This annual updated analysis shows that there have been very significant net economic benefits at the farm level amounting to $19.8 billion in 2011 and $98.2 billion for the 16 year period (in nominal terms). The majority (51.2%) of these gains went to farmers in developing countries. GM technology have also made important contributions to increasing global production levels of the four main crops, having added 110 million tonnes and 195 million tonnes respectively, to the global production of soybeans and maize since the introduction of the technology in the mid-1990s.

  1. Integration of molecular genetic technology with quantitative genetic technology for maximizing the speed of genetic improvement

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jack; C.M.; DEKKERS

    2005-01-01

    To date,most genetic progress for quantita-tive traits in livestock has been made by selec-tion on phenotype or on estimates of breedingvalues(BBV)derived from phenotype,withoutknowledge of the number of genes that affect thetrait or the effects of each gene.In this quantita-tive genetic approach to genetic improvement,the genetic architecture of traits of interest hasessentially been treated as a‘black box’.De-spite this,the substantial rates of genetic im-provement that have been and continue to be a-chie...

  2. Evaluation of two composts for the improvement of crop yield using tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum as test crop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fawole Oluyemisi B.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In search of a more environmentally friendly alternative to the use of chemical fertilizers, a study was conducted to evaluate the use of compost for improved crop productivity. We compared the succession of microorganisms in the compost heaps using hot bed method of composting. They contained grass clippings, sawdust, NPK fertilizer, ashes, corn cobs, bean chaff, vegetable stalks, newspaper shreds and soil arranged in layers in a round structure. Poultry dropping was the organic nitrogen source of one heap while pig waste was used for the other heap. Samples were taken weekly and analyzed using soil dilution method for isolation of moulds on potato dextrose agar medium. The qualities of composts after eight weeks were evaluated by performance and yield of tomato crops. Eleven fungal isolates were obtained in compost containing poultry dropping and nine fungal isolates were obtained from compost containing pig manure. The predominant mycoflora of poultry dropping compost at 3 weeks of composting was Fusarium pallidoroseum (23.08% while Aspergillus fumigatus (38.96% dominated compost containing pig waste. Fungi isolated from the composts included cellulolytic fungi like Chaetomium sp. and Phoma sp. Soil amended with both composts improved the growth and yield of tomato crop significantly. It was concluded that compost containing poultry droppings was richer and therefore encouraged higher microbial activity than compost containing pig waste. Knowledge of the microbial succession during composting and conditions required could further be employed to enhance composting.

  3. Novel enabling technologies of gene isolation and plant transformation for improved crop protection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Torok, Tamas

    2013-02-04

    Meeting the needs of agricultural producers requires the continued development of improved transgenic crop protection products. The completed project focused on developing novel enabling technologies of gene discovery and plant transformation to facilitate the generation of such products.

  4. Molecular Breeding to Create Optimized Crops: From Genetic Manipulation to Potential Applications in Plant Factories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiwasa-Tanase, Kyoko; Ezura, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    Crop cultivation in controlled environment plant factories offers great potential to stabilize the yield and quality of agricultural products. However, many crops are currently unsuited to these environments, particularly closed cultivation systems, due to space limitations, low light intensity, high implementation costs, and high energy requirements. A major barrier to closed system cultivation is the high running cost, which necessitates the use of high-margin crops for economic viability. High-value crops include those with enhanced nutritional value or containing additional functional components for pharmaceutical production or with the aim of providing health benefits. In addition, it is important to develop cultivars equipped with growth parameters that are suitable for closed cultivation. Small plant size is of particular importance due to the limited cultivation space. Other advantageous traits are short production cycle, the ability to grow under low light, and high nutriculture availability. Cost-effectiveness is improved from the use of cultivars that are specifically optimized for closed system cultivation. This review describes the features of closed cultivation systems and the potential application of molecular breeding to create crops that are optimized for cost-effectiveness and productivity in closed cultivation systems.

  5. Molecular breeding to create optimized crops: from genetic manipulation to potential applications in plant factories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyoko eHiwasa-Tanase

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Crop cultivation in controlled environment plant factories offers great potential to stabilize the yield and quality of agricultural products. However, many crops are currently unsuited to these environments, particularly closed cultivation systems, due to space limitations, low light intensity, high implementation costs, and high energy requirements. A major barrier to closed system cultivation is the high running cost, which necessitates the use of high-margin crops for economic viability. High-value crops include those with enhanced nutritional value or containing additional functional components for pharmaceutical production or with the aim of providing health benefits. In addition, it is important to develop cultivars equipped with growth parameters that are suitable for closed cultivation. Small plant size is of particular importance due to the limited cultivation space. Other advantageous traits are short production cycle, the ability to grow under low light, and high nutriculture availability. Cost-effectiveness is improved from the use of cultivars that are specifically optimized for closed system cultivation. This review describes the features of closed cultivation systems and the potential application of molecular breeding to create crops that are optimized for cost-effectiveness and productivity in closed cultivation systems.

  6. Advances in Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated genetic transformation of graminaceous crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Roshan Kumar; Prasad, Manoj

    2016-05-01

    Steady increase in global population poses several challenges to plant science research, including demand for increased crop productivity, grain yield, nutritional quality and improved tolerance to different environmental factors. Transgene-based approaches are promising to address these challenges by transferring potential candidate genes to host organisms through different strategies. Agrobacterium-mediated gene transfer is one such strategy which is well known for enabling efficient gene transfer in both monocot and dicots. Due to its versatility, this technique underwent several advancements including development of improved in vitro plant regeneration system, co-cultivation and selection methods, and use of hyper-virulent strains of Agrobacterium tumefaciens harbouring super-binary vectors. The efficiency of this method has also been enhanced by the use of acetosyringone to induce the activity of vir genes, silver nitrate to reduce the Agrobacterium-induced necrosis and cysteine to avoid callus browning during co-cultivation. In the last two decades, extensive efforts have been invested towards achieving efficient Agrobacterium-mediated transformation in cereals. Though high-efficiency transformation systems have been developed for rice and maize, comparatively lesser progress has been reported in other graminaceous crops. In this context, the present review discusses the progress made in Agrobacterium-mediated transformation system in rice, maize, wheat, barley, sorghum, sugarcane, Brachypodium, millets, bioenergy and forage and turf grasses. In addition, it also provides an overview of the genes that have been recently transferred to these graminaceous crops using Agrobacterium, bottlenecks in this technique and future possibilities for crop improvement.

  7. Molecular Breeding Strategy and Challenges toward Improvement of Blast Disease Resistance in Rice Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sadegh eAshkani

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Rice is a staple and most important security food crop consumed by almost half of the world’s population. More rice production is needed due to the rapid population growth in the world. Rice blast caused by the fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae is one of the most destructive diseases of this crop in different part of the world. Breakdown of blast resistance is the major cause of yield instability in several rice growing areas. There is a need to develop strategies providing long-lasting disease resistance against a broad spectrum of pathogens, giving protection for a long time over a broad geographic area, promising for sustainable rice production in the future. So far, molecular breeding approaches involving DNA markers, such as QTL mapping, marker-aided selection, gene pyramiding, allele mining and genetic transformation have been used to develop new resistant rice cultivars. Such techniques now are used as a low-cost, high-throughput alternative to conventional methods allowing rapid introgression of disease resistance genes into susceptible varieties as well as the incorporation of multiple genes into individual lines for more durable blast resistance. The paper briefly reviewed the progress of studies on this aspect to provide the interest information for rice disease resistance breeding. This review includes examples of how advanced molecular method have been used in breeding programs for improve blast resistance. New information and knowledge gained from previous research on the recent strategy and challenges toward improvement of blast disease such as pyramiding disease resistance gene for creating new rice varieties with high resistance against multiple diseases will undoubtedly provide new insights into the rice disease control.

  8. Molecular Breeding Strategy and Challenges Towards Improvement of Blast Disease Resistance in Rice Crop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashkani, Sadegh; Rafii, Mohd Y; Shabanimofrad, Mahmoodreza; Miah, Gous; Sahebi, Mahbod; Azizi, Parisa; Tanweer, Fatah A; Akhtar, Mohd Sayeed; Nasehi, Abbas

    2015-01-01

    Rice is a staple and most important security food crop consumed by almost half of the world's population. More rice production is needed due to the rapid population growth in the world. Rice blast caused by the fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae is one of the most destructive diseases of this crop in different part of the world. Breakdown of blast resistance is the major cause of yield instability in several rice growing areas. There is a need to develop strategies providing long-lasting disease resistance against a broad spectrum of pathogens, giving protection for a long time over a broad geographic area, promising for sustainable rice production in the future. So far, molecular breeding approaches involving DNA markers, such as QTL mapping, marker-aided selection, gene pyramiding, allele mining and genetic transformation have been used to develop new resistant rice cultivars. Such techniques now are used as a low-cost, high-throughput alternative to conventional methods allowing rapid introgression of disease resistance genes into susceptible varieties as well as the incorporation of multiple genes into individual lines for more durable blast resistance. The paper briefly reviewed the progress of studies on this aspect to provide the interest information for rice disease resistance breeding. This review includes examples of how advanced molecular method have been used in breeding programs for improving blast resistance. New information and knowledge gained from previous research on the recent strategy and challenges towards improvement of blast disease such as pyramiding disease resistance gene for creating new rice varieties with high resistance against multiple diseases will undoubtedly provide new insights into the rice disease control.

  9. THE ROLE OF BIOTECH:'\\OLOGY IN CROP IMPROVEMENT ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    BSN

    due to high population increase has lead to the grO\\\\ ing concern about loss in genetic diversity. under ... Biotechnology is indeed a frontier technology fast emerging from the laborator) to ...... projectile for delivering nucleic acid into living cell.

  10. The effective use of physical and chemical mutagen in the induction of mutation for crop improvement in Malaysia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abdul Rahim Harun [Malaysian Institute for Nuclear Technology Research, Bangi, Selangor (Malaysia)

    2001-03-01

    The earliest work of induced mutations breeding program in Malaysia was reported in 1967. The project was carried out by Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia using x-radiation in an attempt to improve rubber trees for dwarfism and disease resistance. Subsequently, more efforts were taken up by the universities to promote the technology for genetic changes and creation of new genetic resources, particularly in crops that are not easily achievable through conventional techniques. Gamma radiation is always been used as physical mutagen, while ethyl methane sulfonate (EMS) was a popular chemical mutagen used in induced mutation breeding in the country. Gamma rays is an effective mutagen to which more than 30 potential mutants were produced up to now through mutagenesis of several important food crops and ornamental plants. Although chemical mutagen such as EMS were reported being used, the result is not so convincing as compared to gamma radiation. Malaysian Institute for Nuclear Technology Research (MINT) has initiated and promoted nuclear technique in mutation breeding for the improvement of importance food crops such as rice, legume and other potential crops for export, like fruit trees and ornamentals. Gamma radiation is the main source of mutagen used in mutation-breeding programme at MINT. The effectiveness of these two mutagens were verified with mutants derived through induced mutation breeding in the country which some mutant has shown outstanding improvement and released as new varieties and cultivars. This paper summarises and discuss the effects as well as achievement attained through the use of ionizing radiation and chemical mutagen in plant mutation breeding in Malaysia. (author)

  11. Roles of maternal effects and nuclear genetic composition change across the life cycle of crop-wild hybrids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Helen M; Emry, D Jason; Pace, Brian A; Kost, Matthew A; Sparks, Kathryn A; Mercer, Kristin L

    2014-07-01

    • Premise of the study: The fitness of an offspring may depend on its nuclear genetic composition (via both parental genotypes) as well as on genetic maternal effects (via only the maternal parent). Understanding the relative importance of these two genetic factors is particularly important for research on crop-wild hybridization, since traits with important genetic maternal effects (e.g., seed size) often differ among crops and their relatives. We hypothesized that the effects of these genetic factors on fitness components would change across the life cycle of hybrids.• Methods: We followed seed, plant size, and reproductive traits in field experiments with wild and four crop-wild hybrids of sunflower (Helianthus annuus), which differed in nuclear genetic composition and maternal parent (wild or F1 hybrid).• Key results: We identified strong genetic maternal effects for early life cycle characteristics, with seeds produced on an F1 mother having premature germination, negligible seed dormancy, and greater seedling size. Increased percentages of crop alleles also increased premature germination and reduced dormancy in seeds produced on a wild mother. For mature plants, nuclear genetic composition dominated: greater percentages of crop alleles reduced height, branching, and fecundity.• Conclusions: Particular backcrosses between hybrids and wilds may differentially facilitate movement of crop alleles into wild populations due to their specific features. For example, backcross seeds produced on wild mothers can persist in the seed bank, illustrating the importance of genetic maternal effects, whereas backcross individuals with either wild or F1 mothers have high fecundity, resulting from their wild-like nuclear genetic composition.

  12. An Analysis of Social Seed Network and Its Contribution to On-Farm Conservation of Crop Genetic Diversity in Nepal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diwakar Poudel

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Social seed systems are important for the maintenance of crop genetic diversity on farm. This is governed by local and informal system in the community through a farmers’ network. This paper analyses these local seed systems through application of social network analysis tools and mappings and examines the network member and its stability over space and time in a small rice farming community in Nepal. NetDraw software is used for data analysis and network mapping. We found that the dynamic network structure had key role in provisioning of traditional varieties and maintaining of crop genetic diversity on farm. We identify and ascertain the key network members, constituted either as nodal or bridging (connector farmers, occupying central position in the network who promote seed flow of local crop diversity, thus strengthening crop genetic resource diversity on farm.

  13. Genetic modification of plant cell walls to enhance biomass yield and biofuel production in bioenergy crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yanting; Fan, Chunfen; Hu, Huizhen; Li, Ying; Sun, Dan; Wang, Youmei; Peng, Liangcai

    2016-01-01

    Plant cell walls represent an enormous biomass resource for the generation of biofuels and chemicals. As lignocellulose property principally determines biomass recalcitrance, the genetic modification of plant cell walls has been posed as a powerful solution. Here, we review recent progress in understanding the effects of distinct cell wall polymers (cellulose, hemicelluloses, lignin, pectin, wall proteins) on the enzymatic digestibility of biomass under various physical and chemical pretreatments in herbaceous grasses, major agronomic crops and fast-growing trees. We also compare the main factors of wall polymer features, including cellulose crystallinity (CrI), hemicellulosic Xyl/Ara ratio, monolignol proportion and uronic acid level. Furthermore, the review presents the main gene candidates, such as CesA, GH9, GH10, GT61, GT43 etc., for potential genetic cell wall modification towards enhancing both biomass yield and enzymatic saccharification in genetic mutants and transgenic plants. Regarding cell wall modification, it proposes a novel groove-like cell wall model that highlights to increase amorphous regions (density and depth) of the native cellulose microfibrils, providing a general strategy for bioenergy crop breeding and biofuel processing technology.

  14. Weed control changes and genetically modified herbicide tolerant crops in the USA 1996–2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brookes, Graham

    2014-01-01

    Crops that have been genetically modified (GM) to be tolerant to herbicides have been widely grown in the USA since 1996. The rapid and widespread adoption of this technology reflects the important economic and environmental benefits that farmers have derived from its use (equal to $21.7 billion additional farm income and a 225 million kg reduction in herbicide active ingredient use 1996–2012). During this time, weed control practices in these crops relative to the ‘conventional alternative’ have evolved to reflect experience of using the technology, the challenges that have arisen and the increasing focus in recent years on developing sustainable production systems. This paper examines the evidence on the changing nature of herbicides used with these crops and in particular how farmers addressed the challenge of weed resistance. The evidence shows that use of the technology has resulted in a net reduction in both the amount of herbicide used and the associated environmental impact, as measured by the EIQ indicator when compared to what can reasonably be expected if the area planted to GM HT crops reverted to conventional production methods. It also facilitated many farmers being able to derive the economic and environmental benefits associated with switching from a plough-based to a no tillage or conservation tillage production system. In terms of herbicide use, the technology has also contributed to a change the profile of herbicides used. A broad range of, mostly selective herbicides has been replaced by one or 2 broad-spectrum herbicides (mostly glyphosate) used in conjunction with one or 2 other (complementary) herbicides. Since the mid-2000s, the average amount of herbicide applied and the associated environmental load, as measured by the EIQ indicator, have increased on both GM HT and conventional crops. A primary reason for these changes has been increasing incidence of weed species developing populations resistant to herbicides and increased

  15. Weed control changes and genetically modified herbicide tolerant crops in the USA 1996-2012.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brookes, Graham

    2014-01-01

    Crops that have been genetically modified (GM) to be tolerant to herbicides have been widely grown in the USA since 1996. The rapid and widespread adoption of this technology reflects the important economic and environmental benefits that farmers have derived from its use (equal to $21.7 billion additional farm income and a 225 million kg reduction in herbicide active ingredient use 1996-2012). During this time, weed control practices in these crops relative to the 'conventional alternative' have evolved to reflect experience of using the technology, the challenges that have arisen and the increasing focus in recent years on developing sustainable production systems. This paper examines the evidence on the changing nature of herbicides used with these crops and in particular how farmers addressed the challenge of weed resistance. The evidence shows that use of the technology has resulted in a net reduction in both the amount of herbicide used and the associated environmental impact, as measured by the EIQ indicator when compared to what can reasonably be expected if the area planted to GM HT crops reverted to conventional production methods. It also facilitated many farmers being able to derive the economic and environmental benefits associated with switching from a plough-based to a no tillage or conservation tillage production system. In terms of herbicide use, the technology has also contributed to a change the profile of herbicides used. A broad range of, mostly selective herbicides has been replaced by one or 2 broad-spectrum herbicides (mostly glyphosate) used in conjunction with one or 2 other (complementary) herbicides. Since the mid-2000s, the average amount of herbicide applied and the associated environmental load, as measured by the EIQ indicator, have increased on both GM HT and conventional crops. A primary reason for these changes has been increasing incidence of weed species developing populations resistant to herbicides and increased awareness of

  16. Improving the monitoring of crop productivity using spaceborne solar-induced fluorescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Kaiyu; Berry, Joseph A; Zhang, Yongguang; Joiner, Joanna; Guanter, Luis; Badgley, Grayson; Lobell, David B

    2016-02-01

    Large-scale monitoring of crop growth and yield has important value for forecasting food production and prices and ensuring regional food security. A newly emerging satellite retrieval, solar-induced fluorescence (SIF) of chlorophyll, provides for the first time a direct measurement related to plant photosynthetic activity (i.e. electron transport rate). Here, we provide a framework to link SIF retrievals and crop yield, accounting for stoichiometry, photosynthetic pathways, and respiration losses. We apply this framework to estimate United States crop productivity for 2007-2012, where we use the spaceborne SIF retrievals from the Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment-2 satellite, benchmarked with county-level crop yield statistics, and compare it with various traditional crop monitoring approaches. We find that a SIF-based approach accounting for photosynthetic pathways (i.e. C3 and C4 crops) provides the best measure of crop productivity among these approaches, despite the fact that SIF sensors are not yet optimized for terrestrial applications. We further show that SIF provides the ability to infer the impacts of environmental stresses on autotrophic respiration and carbon-use-efficiency, with a substantial sensitivity of both to high temperatures. These results indicate new opportunities for improved mechanistic understanding of crop yield responses to climate variability and change. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. ECOGEN - Soil ecological and economic evaluation of genetically modified crops (preface)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krogh, P. H.; Griffiths, B. S.

    2007-01-01

    to integrate the combined soil ecological and economic effects of introducing systems including genetically modified (GM) crops by performing data mining and building decision support systems. The project involved eight academic partners from five EU countries and an input from Monsanto. Maize expressing......The biodiversity of, and processes performed by soil organisms make up a crucial part of the natural basis for agricultural production and, therefore, have subsequent economic consequences. ECOGEN was a research initiative funded under the European Commission Framework 5 programme, designed...

  18. Improvement of red pepper yield and soil environment by summer catch aquatic crops in greenhouses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, X. F.; Wang, L. Z.; Peng, J.; Wang, G. L.; Guo, X. S.; Wen, T. G.; Gu, D. L.; Wang, W. Z.; Wu, C. W.

    2016-08-01

    To investigate effects of the rotation of summer catch crops on remediation retrogressed soils in continuous cropping, a field experiment was conducted. Rice, water spinach, or cress were selected as summer catch crops; bare fallow during summer fallow was used as the control group. Results showed that aquatic crops grown in summer fallow period could effectively reduce soil bulk density and pH, facilitate soil nutrient release, and improve soil physical and chemical properties compared with those grown in fallow period. Paddy-upland rotation could improve soil microbial members and increase bacterial and actinomycete populations; by contrast, paddy-upland rotation could reduce fungal populations and enhance bacterium-to-fungus ratio. Paddy-upland rotation could also actively promote activities of soil enzymes, such as urease, phosphatase, invertase, and catalase. The proposed paddy-upland rotation significantly affected the growth of red pepper; the yield and quality of the grown red pepper were enhanced. Summer catch crops, such as rice, water spinach, and cress significantly increased pepper yield in the following growing season by 15.4%, 10.2% and 14.0%, respectively, compared with those grown in fallow treatment. Therefore, the proposed paddy-upland crop rotation could be a useful method to alleviate continuous cropping problems involved in cultivating red pepper in greenhouses.

  19. Genetic structure from the oldest Jatropha germplasm bank of Brazil and contribution for the genetic improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DALILHIA N. DOS SANTOS

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Jatropha is a potential oilseed crop, which requires mitigating factors such as the low genetic variability of the species. The solution runs through the research of Brazilian germplasm. Attention should be given to the germplasm of jatropha the north of Minas Gerais, because this is the oldest national collection and because this region may be a regions of jatropha diversity due to selection pressure arising from environmental adversities. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate the genetic diversity of 48 accessions of collection from Empresa de Pesquisa Agropecuária de Minas Gerais (EPAMIG, using SSR and ISSR markers. The results showed low genetic diversity, but some individuals stood out as J. mollissima (48, J. podagrica (47, Mexican accessions (42, 43, 44 and 45 and some national accessions (28, 29, 41 and 46. Therefore, aiming to increase the genetic variability and improve the effectiveness of jatropha breeding programs, it is suggested to explore such as parental accessions to generate commercial hybrids. This fact implies the possibility to support future production of jatropha, since this culture may be an important source of income, especially for small farmers living in semiarid regions of Brazil.

  20. Genetic diversity and genomic resources available for the small millet crops to accelerate a New Green Revolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Travis Luc Goron

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Small millets are nutrient-rich food sources traditionally grown and consumed by subsistence farmers in Asia and Africa. They include finger millet (Eleusine coracana, foxtail millet (Setaria italica, kodo millet (Paspalum scrobiculatum, proso millet (Panicum miliaceum, barnyard millet (Echinochloa spp., and little millet (Panicum sumatrense. Local farmers value the small millets for their nutritional and health, tolerance to extreme stress including drought, and ability to grow under low nutrient input conditions, ideal in an era of climate change and steadily depleting natural resources. Little scientific attention has been paid to these crops, hence they have been termed orphan cereals. Despite this challenge, an advantageous quality of the small millets is that they continue to be grown in remote regions of the world which has preserved their biodiversity, providing breeders with unique alleles for crop improvement. The purpose of this review, first, is to highlight the diverse traits of each small millet species that are valued by farmers and consumers (e.g. nutritional quality which hold potential for selection, improvement or mechanistic study. For each species, the germplasm, genetic and genomic resources available will then be described as potential tools to exploit this biodiversity. The review will conclude with noting current trends and gaps in the literature and make recommendations on how to better preserve and utilize diversity within these species to accelerate a New Green Revolution for subsistence farmers in Asia and Africa.

  1. Genetic diversity and genomic resources available for the small millet crops to accelerate a New Green Revolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goron, Travis L; Raizada, Manish N

    2015-01-01

    Small millets are nutrient-rich food sources traditionally grown and consumed by subsistence farmers in Asia and Africa. They include finger millet (Eleusine coracana), foxtail millet (Setaria italica), kodo millet (Paspalum scrobiculatum), proso millet (Panicum miliaceum), barnyard millet (Echinochloa spp.), and little millet (Panicum sumatrense). Local farmers value the small millets for their nutritional and health benefits, tolerance to extreme stress including drought, and ability to grow under low nutrient input conditions, ideal in an era of climate change and steadily depleting natural resources. Little scientific attention has been paid to these crops, hence they have been termed "orphan cereals." Despite this challenge, an advantageous quality of the small millets is that they continue to be grown in remote regions of the world which has preserved their biodiversity, providing breeders with unique alleles for crop improvement. The purpose of this review, first, is to highlight the diverse traits of each small millet species that are valued by farmers and consumers which hold potential for selection, improvement or mechanistic study. For each species, the germplasm, genetic and genomic resources available will then be described as potential tools to exploit this biodiversity. The review will conclude with noting current trends and gaps in the literature and make recommendations on how to better preserve and utilize diversity within these species to accelerate a New Green Revolution for subsistence farmers in Asia and Africa.

  2. The use of whole food animal studies in the safety assessment of genetically modified crops: limitations and recommendations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartholomaeus, Andrew; Parrott, Wayne; Bondy, Genevieve; Walker, Kate

    2013-11-01

    There is disagreement internationally across major regulatory jurisdictions on the relevance and utility of whole food (WF) toxicity studies on GM crops, with no harmonization of data or regulatory requirements. The scientific value, and therefore animal ethics, of WF studies on GM crops is a matter addressable from the wealth of data available on commercialized GM crops and WF studies on irradiated foods. We reviewed available GM crop WF studies and considered the extent to which they add to the information from agronomic and compositional analyses. No WF toxicity study was identified that convincingly demonstrated toxicological concern or that called into question the adequacy, sufficiency, and reliability of safety assessments based on crop molecular characterization, transgene source, agronomic characteristics, and/or compositional analysis of the GM crop and its near-isogenic line. Predictions of safety based on crop genetics and compositional analyses have provided complete concordance with the results of well-conducted animal testing. However, this concordance is primarily due to the improbability of de novo generation of toxic substances in crop plants using genetic engineering practices and due to the weakness of WF toxicity studies in general. Thus, based on the comparative robustness and reliability of compositional and agronomic considerations and on the absence of any scientific basis for a significant potential for de novo generation of toxicologically significant compositional alterations as a sole result of transgene insertion, the conclusion of this review is that WF animal toxicity studies are unnecessary and scientifically unjustifiable.

  3. Calibration of a crop model to irrigated water use using a genetic algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Bulatewicz

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Near-term consumption of groundwater for irrigated agriculture in the High Plains Aquifer supports a dynamic bio-socio-economic system, all parts of which will be impacted by a future transition to sustainable usage that matches natural recharge rates. Plants are the foundation of this system and so generic plant models suitable for coupling to representations of other component processes (hydrologic, economic, etc. are key elements of needed stakeholder decision support systems. This study explores utilization of the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC model to serve in this role. Calibration required many facilities of a fully deployed decision support system: geo-referenced databases of crop (corn, sorghum, alfalfa, and soybean, soil, weather, and water-use data (4931 well-years, interfacing heterogeneous software components, and massively parallel processing (3.8×109 model runs. Bootstrap probability distributions for ten model parameters were obtained for each crop by entropy maximization via the genetic algorithm. The relative errors in yield and water estimates based on the parameters are analyzed by crop, the level of aggregation (county- or well-level, and the degree of independence between the data set used for estimation and the data being predicted.

  4. Characteristics and safety assessment of intractable proteins in genetically modified crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bushey, Dean F; Bannon, Gary A; Delaney, Bryan F; Graser, Gerson; Hefford, Mary; Jiang, Xiaoxu; Lee, Thomas C; Madduri, Krishna M; Pariza, Michael; Privalle, Laura S; Ranjan, Rakesh; Saab-Rincon, Gloria; Schafer, Barry W; Thelen, Jay J; Zhang, John X Q; Harper, Marc S

    2014-07-01

    Genetically modified (GM) crops may contain newly expressed proteins that are described as "intractable". Safety assessment of these proteins may require some adaptations to the current assessment procedures. Intractable proteins are defined here as those proteins with properties that make it extremely difficult or impossible with current methods to express in heterologous systems; isolate, purify, or concentrate; quantify (due to low levels); demonstrate biological activity; or prove equivalency with plant proteins. Five classes of intractable proteins are discussed here: (1) membrane proteins, (2) signaling proteins, (3) transcription factors, (4) N-glycosylated proteins, and (5) resistance proteins (R-proteins, plant pathogen recognition proteins that activate innate immune responses). While the basic tiered weight-of-evidence approach for assessing the safety of GM crops proposed by the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) in 2008 is applicable to intractable proteins, new or modified methods may be required. For example, the first two steps in Tier I (hazard identification) analysis, gathering of applicable history of safe use (HOSU) information and bioinformatics analysis, do not require protein isolation. The extremely low level of expression of most intractable proteins should be taken into account while assessing safety of the intractable protein in GM crops. If Tier II (hazard characterization) analyses requiring animal feeding are judged to be necessary, alternatives to feeding high doses of pure protein may be needed. These alternatives are discussed here. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. The socioeconomics of genetically modified biofortified crops: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Steur, Hans; Wesana, Joshua; Blancquaert, Dieter; Van Der Straeten, Dominique; Gellynck, Xavier

    2017-02-01

    Building upon the growing interest and research on genetically modified (GM) biofortification, its socioeconomic potential has been increasingly examined. We conducted two systematic reviews and meta-analyses to provide comprehensive evidence of consumers' willingness to pay (11 economic valuation studies, 64 estimates) and cost-effectiveness/benefits (five economic evaluation studies, 30 estimates). Worldwide, consumers were willing to pay 23.9% more for GM biofortified food crops. Aside from crop and design-related differences, information provision was deemed crucial. Positive information (nutrition and GM benefits) is associated with the highest consumer willingness to pay, compared with negative, objective, and conflicting GM information, especially when negative information was mentioned last. This health intervention would reduce the aggregated micronutrient deficiency burden in Asia (15.6 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs)) by 12.5-51.4%, at a low cost of USD 7.9-27.8 per DALY in a pessimistic and optimistic scenario, respectively. Given that GM biofortified crops could tackle hidden hunger in a cost-effective and well-accepted way, its implementation is worth pursuing. A case study on folate biofortification further elaborates on the importance of socioeconomic research and the determinants of their market potential.

  6. Improving Water Sustainability and Food Security through Increased Crop Water Productivity in Malawi

    OpenAIRE

    Luxon Nhamo; Tafadzwanashe Mabhaudhi; Manuel Magombeyi

    2016-01-01

    Agriculture accounts for most of the renewable freshwater resource withdrawals in Malawi, yet food insecurity and water scarcity remain as major challenges. Despite Malawi’s vast water resources, climate change, coupled with increasing population and urbanisation are contributing to increasing water scarcity. Improving crop water productivity has been identified as a possible solution to water and food insecurity, by producing more food with less water, that is, to produce “more crop per drop...

  7. Genetic basis and detection of unintended effects in genetically modified crop plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ladics, G.S.; Bartholomaeus, A.; Bregitzer, P.; Doerrer, N.G.; Gray, A.; Holzhauzer, T.; Jordan, M.; Keese, P.; Kok, E.J.; Macdonald, P.; Parrott, W.; Privalle, L.; Raybould, A.; Rhee, S.Y.; Rice, E.; Romeis, J.; Vaughn, J.; Wal, J.M.; Glenn, K.

    2015-01-01

    In January 2014, an international meeting sponsored by the International Life Sciences Institute/Health and Environmental Sciences Institute and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency titled “Genetic Basis of Unintended Effects in Modified Plants” was held in Ottawa, Canada, bringing together over 75 s

  8. Establishment of a system based on universal multiplex-PCR for screening genetically modified crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, I-Jen; Lin, Chih-Hui; Pan, Tzu-Ming

    2010-03-01

    The rapid development of many genetically modified (GM) crops in the past two decades makes it necessary to introduce an alternative strategy for routine screening and identification. In this study, we established a universal multiplex PCR detection system which will effectively reduce the number of reactions needed for sample identification. The PCR targets of this system include the six most frequently used transgenic elements: cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35S promoter, Agrobacterium tumefaciens nopaline synthase (nos) promoter, Agrobacterium tumefaciens nopaline synthase (nos) terminator, the neomycin phosphotransferase II (nptII) gene, the 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (CP4 epsps) gene of Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain CP4, and the phosphinothricin N-acetyltransferase (pat) gene. According to the AGBIOS database, the coverage of this detection system is 93% of commercial GM crops. This detection system could detect all certified reference materials (CRMs) at the 1.0% level. The correct combination of all the CRM amplicon patterns proved the specificity of this multiplex PCR system. Furthermore, the amplicon patterns of this multiplex PCR detection system could be used as an index of classification which will narrow the range of possible GM products. The simulation result of this multiplex PCR detection system on all commercialized 139 GM products in the AGBIOS database showed that the maximum number of PCR reactions needed to identify an unknown sample can be reduced to 13. In this study, we established a high-throughput multiplex PCR detection system with feasible sensitivity, specificity, and cost. By incorporating this detection system, the routine GM crop-detection process will meet the challenges resulting from a rapid increase in the number of GM crops in the future.

  9. Agrobiodiversity and genetic erosion of crop varieties and plant resources in the Central Great Caucasus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maia Akhalkatsi

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Kazbegi Municipality is located in the Central Great Caucasus at an altitude between 1250 and 5047 m a.s.l. Agriculture of this area is extreme internal variability and complexity, with a multiplicity of highly localized providing the habitats and agricultural lands for much genetic erosion of crop varieties, animals, plants, fungi, and other life forms for wild plant resources. Historically, Kazbegi producers had begun cultivating the land to prepare for planting in of distribution local varieties of wheat, barley, rye, oats, etc. In the only cereals, legumes, herbs and some fruits are cultivated in alpine zone as the upper limit till the location of 2160 m a.s.l. Genetic erosion has been determined historically of aboriginal crops from sheep and cattle grazing problem and reached extreme levels from 1970s in Kazbegi Municipality and causes a problem to maintain agriculture. Plant resources remained in forests and subalpine grasslands and shrub lands. The problems of these materials are habitat degradation by disturbance in many forest types with destroyed and burned. Tree seedlings are grazing by animals and forest is not restoring naturally. Forest planting is good relation for restoration of plant wild species resources. Investigation on exchange on mountain agriculture and plant resources will now be rapidly accelerated in the vital interests of mountain communities.

  10. Genetic consequences of radioactive contamination by the Chernobyl fallout to agricultural crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Geraskin, S.A. E-mail: riar@obninsk.org; Dikarev, V.G.; Zyablitskaya Ye.Ya.; Oudalova, A.A.; Spirin, Ye. V; Alexakhin, R.M

    2003-07-01

    The genetic consequences of radioactive contamination by the fallout to agricultural crops after the accident at the Chernobyl NPP in 1986 have been studied. In the first, acute, period of this accident, when the absorbed dose was primarily due to external {beta}- and {gamma}-irradiation, the radiation injury of agricultural crops, according to the basic cytogenetic tests resembled the effect produced by acute {gamma}-irradiation at comparable doses. The yield of cytogenetic damage in leaf meristem of plants grown in the 10-km zone of the ChNPP in 1987-1989 (the period of chronic, lower level radiation exposure) was shown to be enhanced and dependent on the level of radioactive contamination. The rate of decline with time in cytogenetic damage induced by chronic exposure lagged considerably behind that of the radiation exposure. Analysis of genetic variability in three sequentia generations of rye and wheat revealed increased cytogenetic damage in plants exposed to chronic irradiation during the 2nd and 3rd years.

  11. Genetic improvement of forest tree species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teotônio Francisco Assis

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Brazilian forestry sector is considered one of the most developed in the world, being the base for important industrialsegments which use wood as raw material. Tree breeding has played an important role on improving the competitiveness ofBrazilian forestry-based companies, especially for its positive reflexes on increasing adaptation, forestry productivity and woodquality. In spite of the importance of other forest trees for the economy, such as Schizolobium, Araucaria, Populus and Hevea, themain genera under genetic improvement in the country are Eucalyptus, Pinus, Acacia and Tectona. They are used by industries likepulp and paper, siderurgy, tannin, chips for exportation and lumber, constituting an important source of revenues for the Brazilian’seconomy, besides their positive social and environmental impacts. This paper presents a generic approach to genetic improvementaspects of these four major genera currently undergoing breeding in Brazil.

  12. Genetic engineering in agriculture and corporate engineering in public debate: risk, public relations, and public debate over genetically modified crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Rajeev; Torres, Robert J; Rosset, Peter

    2005-01-01

    Corporations have long influenced environmental and occupational health in agriculture, doing a great deal of damage, making substantial profits, and shaping public debate to make it appear that environmental misfortunes are accidents of an otherwise well-functioning system, rather than systemic. The debate over the genetically modified (GM) crops is an example. The largest producer of commercial GM seeds, Monsanto, exemplifies the industry's strategies: the invocation of poor people as beneficiaries, characterization of opposition as technophobic or anti-progress, and portrayal of their products as environmentally beneficial in the absence of or despite the evidence. This strategy is endemic to contemporary market capitalism, with its incentives to companies to externalize health and environmental costs to increase profits.

  13. Mining waste contaminated lands: an uphill battle for improving crop productivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B M Kumar

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Mining drastically alters the physico-chemical and biological environment of the landscape. Low organic matter content, unfavourable pH, low water holding capacity, salinity, coarse texture, compaction, siltation of water bodies due to wash off of mineral overburden dumps, inadequate supply of plant nutrients, accelerated erosion, acid generating materials, and mobilization of contaminated sediments into the aquatic environment are the principal constraints experienced in mining contaminated sites. A variety of approaches have been considered for reclaiming mine wastes including direct revegetation of amended waste materials, top soiling, and the use of capillary barriers. The simplest technology to improve crop productivity is the addition of organic amendments. Biosolids and animal manure can support revegetation, but its rapid decomposition especially in the wet tropics, necessitates repeated applications. Recalcitrant materials such as “biochars”, which improve soil properties on a long term basis as well as promote soil carbon sequestration, hold enormous promise. An eco-friendly and cost-effective Microbe Assisted Phytoremediation system has been proposed to increase biological productivity and fertility of mine spoil dumps. Agroforestry practices may enhance the nutrient status of degraded mine spoil lands (facilitation. N-fixing trees are important in this respect. Metal tolerant ecotypes of grasses and calcium-loving plants help restore lead, zinc, and copper mine tailings and gypsum mine spoils, respectively. Overall, an integrated strategy of introduction of metal tolerant plants, genetic engineering for enhanced synthesis and exudation of natural chelators into the rhizosphere, improvement of rhizosphere, and integrated management including agroforestry will be appropriate for reclaiming mining contaminated lands.

  14. Mining waste contaminated lands: an uphill battle for improving crop productivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. M. Kumar

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Mining drastically alters the physico-chemical and biological environment of the landscape. Low organic matter content, unfavourable pH, low water holding capacity, salinity, coarse texture, compaction, siltation of water bodies due to wash off of mineral overburden dumps, inadequate supply of plant nutrients, accelerated erosion, acid generating materials, and mobilization of contaminated sediments into the aquatic environment are the principal constraints experienced in mining contaminated sites. A variety of approaches have been considered for reclaiming mine wastes including direct revegetation of amended waste materials, top soiling, and the use of capillary barriers. The simplest technology to improve crop productivity is the addition of organic amendments. Biosolids and animal manure can support revegetation, but its rapid decomposition especially in the wet tropics, necessitates repeated applications. Recalcitrant materials such as “biochars”, which improve soil properties on a long term basis as well as promote soil carbon sequestration, hold enormous promise. An eco-friendly and cost-effective Microbe Assisted Phytoremediation system has been proposed to increase biological productivity and fertility of mine spoil dumps. Agroforestry practices may enhance the nutrient status of degraded mine spoil lands (facilitation. N-fixing trees are important in this respect. Metal tolerant ecotypes of grasses and calcium-loving plants help restore lead, zinc, and copper mine tailings and gypsum mine spoils, respectively. Overall, an integrated strategy of introduction of metal tolerant plants, genetic engineering for enhanced synthesis and exudation of natural chelators into the rhizosphere, improvement of rhizosphere, and integrated management including agroforestry will be appropriate for reclaiming mining contaminated lands.

  15. iPot: Improved potato monitoring in Belgium using remote sensing and crop growth modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piccard, Isabelle; Gobin, Anne; Curnel, Yannick; Goffart, Jean-Pierre; Planchon, Viviane; Wellens, Joost; Tychon, Bernard; Cattoor, Nele; Cools, Romain

    2016-04-01

    Potato processors, traders and packers largely work with potato contracts. The close follow up of contracted parcels is important to improve the quantity and quality of the crop and reduce risks related to storage, packaging or processing. The use of geo-information by the sector is limited, notwithstanding the great benefits that this type of information may offer. At the same time, new sensor-based technologies continue to gain importance and farmers increasingly invest in these. The combination of geo-information and crop modelling might strengthen the competitiveness of the Belgian potato chain in a global market. The iPot project, financed by the Belgian Science Policy Office (Belspo), aims at providing the Belgian potato processing sector, represented by Belgapom, with near real time information on field condition (weather-soil), crop development and yield estimates, derived from a combination of satellite images and crop growth models. During the cropping season regular UAV flights (RGB, 3x3 cm) and high resolution satellite images (DMC/Deimos, 22m pixel size) were combined to elucidate crop phenology and performance at variety trials. UAV images were processed using a K-means clustering algorithm to classify the crop according to its greenness at 5m resolution. Vegetation indices such as %Cover and LAI were calculated with the Cyclopes algorithm (INRA-EMMAH) on the DMC images. Both DMC and UAV-based cover maps showed similar patterns, and helped detect different crop stages during the season. A wide spread field monitoring campaign with crop observations and measurements allowed for further calibration of the satellite image derived vegetation indices. Curve fitting techniques and phenological models were developed and compared with the vegetation indices during the season, both at trials and farmers' fields. Understanding and predicting crop phenology and canopy development is important for timely crop management and ultimately for yield estimates. An

  16. Conservation Agriculture Improves Soil Quality, Crop Yield, and Incomes of Smallholder Farmers in North Western Ghana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naab, Jesse B; Mahama, George Y; Yahaya, Iddrisu; Prasad, P V V

    2017-01-01

    Conservation agriculture (CA) practices are being widely promoted in many areas in sub-Saharan Africa to recuperate degraded soils and improve ecosystem services. This study examined the effects of three tillage practices [conventional moldboard plowing (CT), hand hoeing (MT) and no-tillage (NT)], and three cropping systems (continuous maize, soybean-maize annual rotation, and soybean/maize intercropping) on soil quality, crop productivity, and profitability in researcher and farmer managed on-farm trials from 2010 to 2013 in northwestern Ghana. In the researcher managed mother trial, the CA practices of NT, residue retention and crop rotation/intercropping maintained higher soil organic carbon, and total soil N compared to conventional tillage practices after 4 years. Soil bulk density was higher under NT than under CT soils in the researcher managed mother trails or farmers managed baby trials after 4 years. In the researcher managed mother trial, there was no significant difference between tillage systems or cropping systems in maize or soybean yields in the first three seasons. In the fourth season, crop rotation had the greatest impact on maize yields with CT maize following soybean increasing yields by 41 and 49% compared to MT and NT maize, respectively. In the farmers' managed trials, maize yield ranged from 520 to 2700 kg ha(-1) and 300 to 2000 kg ha(-1) for CT and NT, respectively, reflecting differences in experience of farmers with NT. Averaged across farmers, CT cropping systems increased maize and soybean yield ranging from 23 to 39% compared with NT cropping systems. Partial budget analysis showed that the cost of producing maize or soybean is 20-29% cheaper with NT systems and gives higher returns to labor compared to CT practice. Benefit-to-cost ratios also show that NT cropping systems are more profitable than CT systems. We conclude that with time, implementation of CA practices involving NT, crop rotation, intercropping of maize and soybean

  17. Chado use case: storing genomic, genetic and breeding data of Rosaceae and Gossypium crops in Chado.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Sook; Lee, Taein; Ficklin, Stephen; Yu, Jing; Cheng, Chun-Huai; Main, Dorrie

    2016-01-01

    The Genome Database for Rosaceae (GDR) and CottonGen are comprehensive online data repositories that provide access to integrated genomic, genetic and breeding data through search, visualization and analysis tools for Rosaceae crops and Gossypium (cotton). These online databases use Chado, an open-source, generic and ontology-driven database schema for biological data, as the primary data storage platform. Chado is highly normalized and uses ontologies to indicate the 'types' of data. Therefore, Chado is flexible such that it has been used to house genomic, genetic and breeding data for GDR and CottonGen. These data include whole genome sequence and annotation, transcripts, molecular markers, genetic maps, Quantitative Trait Loci, Mendelian Trait Loci, traits, germplasm, pedigrees, large scale phenotypic and genotypic data, ontologies and publications. We provide information about how to store these types of data in Chado using GDR and CottonGen as examples sites that were converted from an older legacy infrastructure. Database URL: GDR (www.rosaceae.org), CottonGen (www.cottongen.org).

  18. Can Agrometeorological Indices of Adverse Weather Conditions Help to Improve Yield Prediction by Crop Models?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Branislava Lalić

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The impact of adverse weather conditions (AWCs on crop production is random in both time and space and depends on factors such as severity, previous agrometeorological conditions, and plant vulnerability at a specific crop development stage. Any exclusion or improper treatment of any of these factors can cause crop models to produce significant under- or overestimates of yield. The analysis presented in this paper focuses on a range of agrometeorological indices (AMI related to AWCs that might affect real yield as well as simulated yield. For this purpose, the analysis addressed four indicators of extreme temperatures and three indicators of dry conditions during the growth period of maize and winter wheat in Austria, Croatia, Serbia, Slovakia, and Sweden. It is shown that increases in the number and intensity of AWCs cannot be unambiguously associated with increased deviations in simulated yields. The identified correlations indicate an increase in modeling uncertainty. This finding represents important information for the crop modeling community. Additionally, it opens a window of opportunity for a statistical (“event scenario” approach based on correlations between agrometeorological indices of AWCs and crop yield data series. This approach can provide scenarios for certain locations, crop types, and AWC patterns and, therefore, improve yield forecasting in the presence of AWCs.

  19. Crop scheduling improvements for rainfed agriculture in the high jungle of Peru

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enrique Meseth

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This work was aimed to improve the water management for agriculture by applying efficient crop schedules in Vilcabamba and similar areas of the high jungle, which can satisfy most of the water requirements with rainfed agriculture to maximize the crops yield. For this purpose, two field practices were carried out during the dry (September 2012 and wet season (February 2013 to measure rivers and canals flows with the velocity/area method; 19 soil samples were collected on-site and analyzed, presenting prevalent sandy loam and loam textures. Cropwat program was used to estimate crop water requirements and scheme irrigation requirements, resulting in a maximum flow capacity of 1.72 l s-1 in May, during the dry season. The flow capacity can be satisfied, since small ditches convey approximately 2 to 6 l s-1 on the same season. The research findings indicate that rainfed farming can be practised, yet an initial pre-irrigation needs to be applied, for crops should not be water stressed. However, if soil is not pre-irrigated the production can be affected, with vegetables and potato crop yields being reduced by 4.7% and 1.4% respectively. To minimize these effects, both crops are suggested to be sowed one month later, adapting their growth period to the rainy season.

  20. Rapeseed is an efficient energy crop which can still improve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flenet Francis

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available The ability of biofuels to contribute efficiently to the replacement of fossil energy and to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions has been a matter of debate. Hence, there is a need to assess accurately the energy balance of biofuels and their ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in order to evaluate and to improve the benefit for society. In rapeseed, the energy ratio (energy produced per unit of non-renewable energy input is well above 2 whatever the method of calculation. In order to investigate the variability of energy ratios and to identify ways of improvement, a study was conducted in France in 2005 and 2006. The method of mass allocation of input energy was used for calculations, instead of the substitution method, because with this method the results do not depend on the utilization of co-products. Hence, this method is better adapted to follow improvements. A great variability in the energy ratio was observed in 2005 and 2006. Seed yields and energy cost of fertilizer N explained most of this variability. Hence, improvements should focus on increasing yield with little increase in energy cost, and on decreasing wasting of N fertilizer. However the farmer incomes, and the net production of energy per hectare, must also be a matter of concern. The inventories of greenhouse gas emissions of biofuels are still uncertain because of the great variability of soil emissions, due to environmental and management factors. Hence, in order to assess the effect of rapeseed on greenhouse gas emissions, methods based on process-oriented models accounting for these factors must be used. Such models give promising results, but further testing is still needed.

  1. DNA barcoding simplifies environmental risk assessment of genetically modified crops in biodiverse regions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chinyere V Nzeduru

    Full Text Available Transgenes encoding for insecticidal crystal (Cry proteins from the soil-dwelling bacterium Bacillus Thuringiensis have been widely introduced into Genetically Modified (GM crops to confer protection against insect pests. Concern that these transgenes may also harm beneficial or otherwise valued insects (so-called Non Target Organisms, NTOs represents a major element of the Environmental Risk Assessments (ERAs used by all countries prior to commercial release. Compiling a comprehensive list of potentially susceptible NTOs is therefore a necessary part of an ERA for any Cry toxin-containing GM crop. In partly-characterised and biodiverse countries, NTO identification is slowed by the need for taxonomic expertise and time to enable morphological identifications. This limitation represents a potentially serious barrier to timely adoption of GM technology in some developing countries. We consider Bt Cry1A cowpea (Vigna unguiculata in Nigeria as an exemplar to demonstrate how COI barcoding can provide a simple and cost-effective means of addressing this problem. Over a period of eight weeks, we collected 163 insects from cowpea flowers across the agroecological and geographic range of the crop in Nigeria. These individuals included 32 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs spanning four Orders and that could mostly be assigned to genus or species level. They included 12 Lepidopterans and two Coleopterans (both potentially sensitive to different groups of Cry proteins. Thus, barcode-assisted diagnoses were highly harmonised across groups (typically to genus or species level and so were insensitive to expertise or knowledge gaps. Decisively, the entire study was completed within four months at a cost of less than 10,000 US$. The broader implications of the findings for food security and the capacity for safe adoption of GM technology are briefly explored.

  2. Assessing genetically modified crops to minimize the risk of increased food allergy: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Richard E; Hefle, Susan L; Taylor, Steven L; van Ree, Ronald

    2005-06-01

    The first genetically modified (GM) crops approved for food use (tomato and soybean) were evaluated for safety by the United States Food and Drug Administration prior to commercial production. Among other factors, those products and all additional GM crops that have been grown commercially have been evaluated for potential increases in allergenic properties using methods that are consistent with the current understanding of food allergens and knowledge regarding the prediction of allergenic activity. Although there have been refinements, the key aspects of the evaluation have not changed. The allergenic properties of the gene donor and the host (recipient) organisms are considered in determining the appropriate testing strategy. The amino acid sequence of the encoded protein is compared to all known allergens to determine whether the protein is a known allergen or is sufficiently similar to any known allergen to indicate an increased probability of allergic cross-reactivity. Stability of the protein in the presence of acid with the stomach protease pepsin is tested as a risk factor for food allergenicity. In vitro or in vivo human IgE binding are tested when appropriate, if the gene donor is an allergen or the sequence of the protein is similar to an allergen. Serum donors and skin test subjects are selected based on their proven allergic responses to the gene donor or to material containing the allergen that was matched in sequence. While some scientists and regulators have suggested using animal models, performing broadly targeted serum IgE testing or extensive pre- or post-market clinical tests, current evidence does not support these tests as being predictive or practical. Based on the evidence to date, the current assessment process has worked well to prevent the unintended introduction of allergens in commercial GM crops.

  3. Bridging the phenotypic and genetic data useful for integrated breeding through a data annotation using the Crop Ontology developed by the crop communities of practice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosemary eShrestha

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The Crop Ontology (CO of the Generation Challenge Program (GCP (http://cropontology.org/ is developed for the Integrated Breeding Platform (https://www.integratedbreeding.net/ by several centers of The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR: Bioversity, CIMMYT, CIP, ICRISAT, IITA, and IRRI. Integrated breeding necessitates that breeders access genotypic and phenotypic data related to a given trait. The Crop Ontology provides validated trait names used by the crop communities of practice for harmonizing the annotation of phenotypic and genotypic data and thus supporting data accessibility and discovery through web queries. The trait information is completed by the description of the measurement methods and scales, and images. The trait dictionaries used to produce the Integrated Breeding (IB fieldbooks are synchronized with the Crop Ontology terms for an automatic annotation of the phenotypic data measured in the field. The IB fieldbook provides breeders with direct access to the CO to get additional descriptive information on the traits. Ontologies and trait dictionaries are online for cassava, chickpea, common bean, groundnut, maize, Musa, potato, rice, sorghum and wheat. Online curation and annotation tools facilitate (http://cropontology.org direct maintenance of the trait information and production of trait dictionaries by the crop communities. An important feature is the cross referencing of CO terms with the Crop database trait ID and with their synonyms in Plant Ontology and Trait Ontology. Web links between cross referenced terms in CO provide online access to data annotated with similar ontological terms, particularly the genetic data in Gramene (University of Cornell or the evaluation and climatic data in the Global Repository of evaluation trials of the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security programme (CCAFS. Cross-referencing and annotation will be further applied in the Integrated Breeding Platform.

  4. Spectral Indices to Improve Crop Residue Cover Estimation under Varying Moisture Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Quemada

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Crop residues on the soil surface protect the soil against erosion, increase water infiltration and reduce agrochemicals in runoff water. Crop residues and soils are spectrally different in the absorption features associated with cellulose and lignin. Our objectives were to: (1 assess the impact of water on the spectral indices for estimating crop residue cover (fR; (2 evaluate spectral water indices for estimating the relative water content (RWC of crop residues and soils; and (3 propose methods that mitigate the uncertainty caused by variable moisture conditions on estimates of fR. Reflectance spectra of diverse crops and soils were acquired in the laboratory over the 400–2400-nm wavelength region. Using the laboratory data, a linear mixture model simulated the reflectance of scenes with various fR and levels of RWC. Additional reflectance spectra were acquired over agricultural fields with a wide range of crop residue covers and scene moisture conditions. Spectral indices for estimating crop residue cover that were evaluated in this study included the Normalized Difference Tillage Index (NDTI, the Shortwave Infrared Normalized Difference Residue Index (SINDRI and the Cellulose Absorption Index (CAI. Multivariate linear models that used pairs of spectral indices—one for RWC and one for fR—significantly improved estimates of fR using CAI and SINDRI. For NDTI to reliably assess fR, scene RWC should be relatively dry (RWC < 0.25. These techniques provide the tools needed to monitor the spatial and temporal changes in crop residue cover and help determine where additional conservation practices may be required.

  5. Groundnut improvement: use of genetic and genomic tools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janila ePasupuleti

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L., a self-pollinated legume is an important crop cultivated in 24 million ha world over for extraction of edible oil and food uses. The kernels are rich in oil (48-50% and protein (25-28%, and are source of several vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, biologically active polyphenols, flavonoids, and isoflavones. Improved varieties of groundnut with high yield potential were developed and released for cultivation world over. The improved varieties belong to different maturity durations and possess resistance to diseases, tolerance to drought, enhanced oil content, and improved quality traits for food uses. Conventional breeding procedures along with the tools for phenotyping were largely used in groundnut improvement programs. Mutations were used to induce variability and wide hybridization was attempted to tap variability from wild species. Low genetic variability has been a bottleneck for groundnut improvement. The vast potential of wild species, reservoir of new alleles remains under-utilized. Development of linkage maps of groundnut during the last decade was followed by identification of markers and QTLs for the target traits. Consequently, the last decade has witnessed the deployment of molecular breeding approaches to complement the ongoing groundnut improvement programs in USA, China, India, and Japan. The other potential advantages of molecular breeding are the feasibility to target multiple traits for improvement and provide tools to tap new alleles from wild species. The first groundnut variety developed through marker-assisted backcrossing (MABC is a root knot nematode resistant variety, NemaTAM in USA. The uptake of molecular breeding approaches in groundnut improvement programs by NARS partners in India and many African countries is slow or needs to be initiated in part due to inadequate infrastructure, high genotyping costs, and human capacities. Availability of draft genome sequence for diploid (AA & BB

  6. Rapid simulated gastric fluid digestion of in-seed/grain proteins expressed in genetically engineered crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schafer, Barry W; Embrey, Shawna K; Herman, Rod A

    2016-11-01

    The speed of simulated gastric digestion of proteins expressed in genetically engineered (GE) crops is commonly used to inform the allergenicity risk assessment. However, persistence of purified proteins in simulated gastric fluid (SGF) is poorly correlated with the allergenic status of proteins. It has been proposed that the plant or food matrix may affect the digestion of proteins and should be considered in interpreting digestion results. Here the SGF digestion of several GE proteins both as purified preparations and in soybean, corn, and cotton seed/grain extracts (in-matrix) are compared. Cry1F, Cry1Ac, phosphinothricin acetyltransferase (PAT), aryloxyalkanoate dioxygenase-1 (AAD-1), aryloxyalkanoate dioxygenase-12 (AAD-12), and double mutant 5-enol pyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (2mEPSPS) were all found to rapidly digest both as purified protein preparations and in seed/grain extracts from GE crops expressing these proteins. Based on these results, purified protein from microbial sources is a suitable surrogate for proteins in-matrix when conducting SGF digestion studies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Challenges in testing genetically modified crops for potential increases in endogenous allergen expression for safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panda, R; Ariyarathna, H; Amnuaycheewa, P; Tetteh, A; Pramod, S N; Taylor, S L; Ballmer-Weber, B K; Goodman, R E

    2013-02-01

    Premarket, genetically modified (GM) plants are assessed for potential risks of food allergy. The major risk would be transfer of a gene encoding an allergen or protein nearly identical to an allergen into a different food source, which can be assessed by specific serum testing. The potential that a newly expressed protein might become an allergen is evaluated based on resistance to digestion in pepsin and abundance in food fractions. If the modified plant is a common allergenic source (e.g. soybean), regulatory guidelines suggest testing for increases in the expression of endogenous allergens. Some regulators request evaluating endogenous allergens for rarely allergenic plants (e.g. maize and rice). Since allergic individuals must avoid foods containing their allergen (e.g. peanut, soybean, maize, or rice), the relevance of the tests is unclear. Furthermore, no acceptance criteria are established and little is known about the natural variation in allergen concentrations in these crops. Our results demonstrate a 15-fold difference in the major maize allergen, lipid transfer protein between nine varieties, and complex variation in IgE binding to various soybean varieties. We question the value of evaluating endogenous allergens in GM plants unless the intent of the modification was production of a hypoallergenic crop. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

  8. Use of Carabids for the Post-Market Environmental Monitoring of Genetically Modified Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oxana Skoková Habuštová

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Post-market environmental monitoring (PMEM of genetically modified (GM crops is required by EU legislation and has been a subject of debate for many years; however, no consensus on the methodology to be used has been reached. We explored the suitability of carabid beetles as surrogates for the detection of unintended effects of GM crops in general PMEM surveillance. Our study combines data on carabid communities from five maize field trials in Central Europe. Altogether, 86 species and 58,304 individuals were collected. Modeling based on the gradual elimination of the least abundant species, or of the fewest categories of functional traits, showed that a trait-based analysis of the most common species may be suitable for PMEM. Species represented by fewer than 230 individuals (all localities combined should be excluded and species with an abundance higher than 600 should be preserved for statistical analyses. Sixteen species, representing 15 categories of functional traits fulfill these criteria, are typical dominant inhabitants of agroecocoenoses in Central Europe, are easy to determine, and their functional classification is well known. The effect of sampling year is negligible when at least four samples are collected during maize development beginning from 1 April. The recommended methodology fulfills PMEM requirements, including applicability to large-scale use. However, suggested thresholds of carabid comparability should be verified before definitive conclusions are drawn.

  9. Use of Carabids for the Post-Market Environmental Monitoring of Genetically Modified Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oxana Skoková Habuštová

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Post-market environmental monitoring (PMEM of genetically modified (GM crops is required by EU legislation and has been a subject of debate for many years; however, no consensus on the methodology to be used has been reached. We explored the suitability of carabid beetles as surrogates for the detection of unintended effects of GM crops in general PMEM surveillance. Our study combines data on carabid communities from five maize field trials in Central Europe. Altogether, 86 species and 58,304 individuals were collected. Modeling based on the gradual elimination of the least abundant species, or of the fewest categories of functional traits, showed that a trait-based analysis of the most common species may be suitable for PMEM. Species represented by fewer than 230 individuals (all localities combined should be excluded and species with an abundance higher than 600 should be preserved for statistical analyses. Sixteen species, representing 15 categories of functional traits fulfill these criteria, are typical dominant inhabitants of agroecocoenoses in Central Europe, are easy to determine, and their functional classification is well known. The effect of sampling year is negligible when at least four samples are collected during maize development beginning from 1 April. The recommended methodology fulfills PMEM requirements, including applicability to large-scale use. However, suggested thresholds of carabid comparability should be verified before definitive conclusions are drawn.

  10. Benefits of genetically modified crops for the poor: household income, nutrition, and health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qaim, Matin

    2010-11-30

    The potential impacts of genetically modified (GM) crops on income, poverty and nutrition in developing countries continue to be the subject of public controversy. Here, a review of the evidence is given. As an example of a first-generation GM technology, the effects of insect-resistant Bt cotton are analysed. Bt cotton has already been adopted by millions of small-scale farmers, in India, China, and South Africa among others. On average, farmers benefit from insecticide savings, higher effective yields and sizeable income gains. Insights from India suggest that Bt cotton is employment generating and poverty reducing. As an example of a second-generation technology, the likely impacts of beta-carotene-rich Golden Rice are analysed from an ex ante perspective. Vitamin A deficiency is a serious nutritional problem, causing multiple adverse health outcomes. Simulations for India show that Golden Rice could reduce related health problems significantly, preventing up to 40,000 child deaths every year. These examples clearly demonstrate that GM crops can contribute to poverty reduction and food security in developing countries. To realise such social benefits on a larger scale requires more public support for research targeted to the poor, as well as more efficient regulatory and technology delivery systems. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Functions and Application of the AP2/ERF Transcription Factor Family in Crop Improvement

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhao-Shi Xu; Ming Chen; Lian-Cheng Li; You-Zhi Ma

    2011-01-01

    Plants have acquired sophisticated stress response systems to adapt to changing environments. It is important to understand plants' stress response mechanisms in the effort to improve crop productivity under stressful conditions. The AP2/ERF transcription factors are known to regulate diverse processes of plant development and stress responses.In this study, the molecular characteristics and biological functions of AP2/ERFs in a variety of plant species were analyzed. AP2/ERFs,especially those in DREB and ERF subfamilies, are ideal candidates for crop improvement because their overexpression enhances tolerances to drought, salt, freezing, as well as resistances to multiple diseases in the transgenic plants. The comprehensive analysis of physiological functions is useful in elucidating the biological roles of AP2/ERF family genes in gene interaction, pathway regulation, and defense response under stress environments, which should provide new opportunities for the crop tolerance engineering.

  12. Genetic plant improvement and climate changes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magno Antonio Patto Ramalho

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The consequences of climate change for the agribusiness in Brazil have been widely debated. The issue isdiscussed in this publication to show the expected problems, particularly those associated with increases in temperature andwater stress. It is emphasized that the genetic improvement of plants, based on the experience in the past, has much tocontribute to mitigate these problems. To invest in the breeding of new cultivars, selected under stress conditions, is certainlythe best possible strategy for agriculture to cope with changes caused by climate alterations.

  13. Conflicts of interest among committee members in the National Academies’ genetically engineered crop study

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) publishes numerous reports each year that are received with high esteem by the scientific community and public policy makers. The NASEM has internal standards for selecting committee members that author its reports, mostly from academia, and vetting conflicts of interest. This study examines whether there were any financial conflicts of interest (COIs) among the twenty invited committee members who wrote the 2016 report on genetically engineered (GE) crops. Our results showed that six panel members had one or more reportable financial COIs, none of which were disclosed in the report. We also report on institutional COIs held by the NASEM related to the report. The difference between our findings and the NASEM reporting standards are discussed. PMID:28245228

  14. Management of Lignite Fly Ash for Improving Soil Fertility and Crop Productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ram, Lal C.; Srivastava, Nishant K.; Jha, Sangeet K.; Sinha, Awadhesh K.; Masto, Reginald E.; Selvi, Vetrivel A.

    2007-09-01

    Lignite fly ash (LFA), being alkaline and endowed with excellent pozzolanic properties, a silt loam texture, and plant nutrients, has the potential to improve soil quality and productivity. Long-term field trials with groundnut, maize, and sun hemp were carried out to study the effect of LFA on growth and yield. Before crop I was sown, LFA was applied at various doses with and without press mud (an organic waste from the sugar industry, used as an amendment and source of nutrients). LFA with and without press mud was also applied before crops III and V were cultivated. Chemical fertilizer, along with gypsum, humic acid, and biofertilizer, was applied in all treatments, including the control. With one-time and repeat applications of LFA (with and without press mud), yield increased significantly (7.0-89.0%) in relation to the control crop. The press mud enhanced the yield (3.0-15.0%) with different LFA applications. The highest yield LFA dose was 200 t/ha for one-time and repeat applications, the maximum yield being with crop III (combination treatment). One-time and repeat application of LFA (alone and in combination with press mud) improved soil quality and the nutrient content of the produce. The highest dose of LFA (200 t/ha) with and without press mud showed the best residual effects (eco-friendly increases in the yield of succeeding crops). Some increase in trace- and heavy-metal contents and in the level of γ-emitters in soil and crop produce, but well within permissible limits, was observed. Thus, LFA can be used on a large scale to boost soil fertility and productivity with no adverse effects on the soil or crops, which may solve the problem of bulk disposal of fly ash in an eco-friendly manner.

  15. Distributions, ex situ conservation priorities, and genetic resource potential of crop wild relatives of sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L. Lam., I. series Batatas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colin Kahlil Khoury

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Crop wild relatives of sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L. Lam., I. series Batatas] have the potential to contribute to breeding objectives for this important root crop. Uncertainty in regard to species boundaries and their phylogenetic relationships, the limited availability of germplasm with which to perform crosses, and the difficulty of introgression of genes from wild species has constrained their utilization. Here we compile geographic occurrence data on relevant sweetpotato wild relatives and produce potential distribution models for the species. We then assess the comprehensiveness of ex situ germplasm collections, contextualize these results with research and breeding priorities, and use ecogeographic information to identify species with the potential to contribute desirable agronomic traits. The fourteen species that are considered the closest wild relatives of sweetpotato generally occur from the central United States to Argentina, with richness concentrated in Mesoamerica and in the extreme southeastern United States. Currently designated species differ among themselves and in comparison to the crop in their adaptations to temperature, precipitation, and edaphic characteristics and most species also show considerable intraspecific variation. With 79% of species identified as high priority for further collecting, we find that these crop genetic resources are highly under-represented in ex situ conservation systems and thus their availability to breeders and researchers is inadequate. We prioritize taxa and specific geographic locations for further collecting in order to improve the completeness of germplasm collections. In concert with enhanced conservation of sweetpotato wild relatives, further taxonomic research, characterization and evaluation of germplasm, and improving the techniques to overcome barriers to introgression with wild species are needed in order to mobilize these genetic resources for crop breeding.

  16. 转基因植物知识产权的法律分析%Legal Analysis of Intellectual Property of Genetically Modified Crops

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    高茜

    2015-01-01

    With the application of transgenic technology and the global commercial cultivation of genetically modified crops , both of those provide a good effective way to increase food production .However, it also incurred too many problems and dispute recently .So we need to improve the legal institutions of intellectual property of genetically modified crops as soon as possible .This paper chooses European Union and India to make a comparison with the legal institutions of intellectual prop -erty of genetically modified crops .As the typical cases , the two countries bring us much experiences and lessons .This text analyzes the questions from several aspects:equilibrating the conflict of interest between commercial breeders and farmers , solving the difficulties that single cropping of genetically modified crops exert negative influences on biological diversity , u-sing legal method to deal with commercial monopoly behavior and genes of plagiarism of the multinational corporation .we hope all of the analysis above can provide beneficial inspirations for the establishment of legal institutions of intellectual property of genetically modified crops .%转基因技术的应用以及全球转基因植物种植的商业化为解决粮食短缺问题提供了有效路径。然而,转基因技术也带来了一系列问题,使得进一步完善转基因植物知识产权法律制度建设的步伐成为目前迫切需要加快解决的重要课题。选取发达国家和发展中国家的两个典型案例作为研究对象,对其转基因知识产权保护制度进行对比分析,从中吸取成功经验和失败教训,并就育种者的专利权与农民利益间的冲突、转基因植物单一种植对生物多样性的消极影响、跨国公司的商业垄断行为和基因剽窃行为等重大问题展开讨论,以期为我国转基因知识产权法律制度构建提供有益的借鉴。

  17. Gamma greenhouse: A chronic facility for crops improvement and agrobiotechnology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Azhar, M., E-mail: azhar-m@nuclearmalaysia.gov.my; Ahsanulkhaliqin, A. W., E-mail: azhar-m@nuclearmalaysia.gov.my [Malaysian Nuclear Agency, Bangi, 43000 KAJANG, Selangor (Malaysia)

    2014-02-12

    Gamma irradiation is one of the most common procedures in plant mutagenesis and agrobiotechnology activities. The procedures consist of chronic and acute gamma radiation. Generally, {sup 60}Co and {sup 137}Cs are gamma radiation sources for radiation processing with relatively high energy (half-life 5.27 years for {sup 60}Co and 30.1 years for {sup 137}Cs). The energy associated with gamma radiation is high enough to break the molecular bonds and ionize atoms without affecting structure of the atomic nucleus (avoiding induction of radioactivity). The Gamma Green House (GGH) is the only chronic irradiation facility in Malaysia, located at Malaysian Nuclear Agency (Nuclear Malaysia). GGH is used for induction of mutation in plants and other biological samples at low dose radiation over period of time depending on the nature and sensitivity of the plant species. The GGH consist of circular green house with 30 meters radius, control room and irradiator with interlock system. The irradiator produces low dose gamma radiation derived from Caesium-137 radioactive source. The biological samples can be exposed to low dose radiation in days, weeks, months or years. The current irradiation rate for GGH is 2.67 Gy/hr at 1 meter from the source. Chronic gamma irradiation produces a wider mutation spectrum and useful for minimizing radiation damages towards obtaining new improved traits for research and commercial values. The prospect of the gamma greenhouse is its uses in research, educations and services on induced mutation techniques for the improvement of plant varieties and microbes. In generating awareness and attract users to the facility, Nuclear Malaysia provides wide range of irradiation services for plant species and mutagenesis consultancies to academicians, students scientists, and plant breeders, from local universities, other research institutes, and growers. Charges for irradiation and consultancy services are at nominal rates. The utilization activities of the

  18. Gamma greenhouse: A chronic facility for crops improvement and agrobiotechnology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azhar, M.; Ahsanulkhaliqin, A. W.

    2014-02-01

    Gamma irradiation is one of the most common procedures in plant mutagenesis and agrobiotechnology activities. The procedures consist of chronic and acute gamma radiation. Generally, 60Co and 137Cs are gamma radiation sources for radiation processing with relatively high energy (half-life 5.27 years for 60Co and 30.1 years for 137Cs). The energy associated with gamma radiation is high enough to break the molecular bonds and ionize atoms without affecting structure of the atomic nucleus (avoiding induction of radioactivity). The Gamma Green House (GGH) is the only chronic irradiation facility in Malaysia, located at Malaysian Nuclear Agency (Nuclear Malaysia). GGH is used for induction of mutation in plants and other biological samples at low dose radiation over period of time depending on the nature and sensitivity of the plant species. The GGH consist of circular green house with 30 meters radius, control room and irradiator with interlock system. The irradiator produces low dose gamma radiation derived from Caesium-137 radioactive source. The biological samples can be exposed to low dose radiation in days, weeks, months or years. The current irradiation rate for GGH is 2.67 Gy/hr at 1 meter from the source. Chronic gamma irradiation produces a wider mutation spectrum and useful for minimizing radiation damages towards obtaining new improved traits for research and commercial values. The prospect of the gamma greenhouse is its uses in research, educations and services on induced mutation techniques for the improvement of plant varieties and microbes. In generating awareness and attract users to the facility, Nuclear Malaysia provides wide range of irradiation services for plant species and mutagenesis consultancies to academicians, students scientists, and plant breeders, from local universities, other research institutes, and growers. Charges for irradiation and consultancy services are at nominal rates. The utilization activities of the gamma greenhouse mainly

  19. The Virtual Genetics Lab II: Improvements to a Freely Available Software Simulation of Genetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Brian T.

    2012-01-01

    The Virtual Genetics Lab II (VGLII) is an improved version of the highly successful genetics simulation software, the Virtual Genetics Lab (VGL). The software allows students to use the techniques of genetic analysis to design crosses and interpret data to solve realistic genetics problems involving a hypothetical diploid insect. This is a brief…

  20. The Virtual Genetics Lab II: Improvements to a Freely Available Software Simulation of Genetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Brian T.

    2012-01-01

    The Virtual Genetics Lab II (VGLII) is an improved version of the highly successful genetics simulation software, the Virtual Genetics Lab (VGL). The software allows students to use the techniques of genetic analysis to design crosses and interpret data to solve realistic genetics problems involving a hypothetical diploid insect. This is a brief…

  1. Genetic Diversity of Oilseed Rape Fields and Feral Populations in the Context of Coexistence with GM Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailleul, Diane; Ollier, Sébastien; Lecomte, Jane

    2016-01-01

    Despite growing concern about transgenes escaping from fields, few studies have analysed the genetic diversity of crops in an agroecosystem over several years. Accurate information about the dynamics and relationship of the genetic diversity of crops in an agroecosystem is essential for risk assessment and policies concerning the containment of genetically modified crops and their coexistence with crops grown by conventional practices. Here, we analysed the genetic diversity of oilseed rape plants from fields and feral populations over 4 years in an agricultural landscape of 41 km2. We used exact compatibility and maximum likelihood assignment methods to assign these plants to cultivars. Even pure lines and hybrid cultivar seed lots contained several genotypes. The cultivar diversity in fields reflected the conventional view of agroecosystems quite well: that is, there was a succession of cultivars, some grown for longer than others because of their good performance, some used for one year and then abandoned, and others gradually adopted. Three types of field emerged: fields sown with a single cultivar, fields sown with two cultivars, and unassigned fields (too many cultivars or unassigned plants to reliably assign the field). Field plant diversity was higher than expected, indicating the persistence of cultivars that were grown for only one year. The cultivar composition of feral populations was similar to that of field plants, with an increasing number of cultivars each year. By using genetic tools, we found a link between the cultivars of field plants in a particular year and the cultivars of feral population plants in the following year. Feral populations on road verges were more diverse than those on path verges. All of these findings are discussed in terms of their consequences in the context of coexistence with genetically modified crops.

  2. Genetic Diversity of Oilseed Rape Fields and Feral Populations in the Context of Coexistence with GM Crops.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diane Bailleul

    Full Text Available Despite growing concern about transgenes escaping from fields, few studies have analysed the genetic diversity of crops in an agroecosystem over several years. Accurate information about the dynamics and relationship of the genetic diversity of crops in an agroecosystem is essential for risk assessment and policies concerning the containment of genetically modified crops and their coexistence with crops grown by conventional practices. Here, we analysed the genetic diversity of oilseed rape plants from fields and feral populations over 4 years in an agricultural landscape of 41 km2. We used exact compatibility and maximum likelihood assignment methods to assign these plants to cultivars. Even pure lines and hybrid cultivar seed lots contained several genotypes. The cultivar diversity in fields reflected the conventional view of agroecosystems quite well: that is, there was a succession of cultivars, some grown for longer than others because of their good performance, some used for one year and then abandoned, and others gradually adopted. Three types of field emerged: fields sown with a single cultivar, fields sown with two cultivars, and unassigned fields (too many cultivars or unassigned plants to reliably assign the field. Field plant diversity was higher than expected, indicating the persistence of cultivars that were grown for only one year. The cultivar composition of feral populations was similar to that of field plants, with an increasing number of cultivars each year. By using genetic tools, we found a link between the cultivars of field plants in a particular year and the cultivars of feral population plants in the following year. Feral populations on road verges were more diverse than those on path verges. All of these findings are discussed in terms of their consequences in the context of coexistence with genetically modified crops.

  3. IMPROVEMENT OF SEED CROPS IN THE KRASNODAR REGION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prudnikov A. G.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The main detected problems in selection system and seed industry consist of depreciation of laboratory equipment and specialized technique; the lack of funds and low incentives for creators of sorts; decreasing of volumes of elite and original seeds production in the Krasnodar region; common use of low reproduction seeds in production of grain. The existing stairs of seed multiplication system are examined, as well as their organizational and legal status. Directions of improvement of system of state support in this field are defined on the basis of presenting subsidies and preferences on purchasing of import of highly specialized equipment, provided that there are no domestic equivalent; correction of requirements in order of receipt of support for development of elite and original seed industry. The necessity of creation of united seed selection center of seed industry in the Krasnodar region on the basis of a specialized research Institute (KNISH of Lukyanenko. Though, as the result of providing by center of consistent recommendations on peculiarities of cultivation of sorts and their adaptive placement, maintenance of contractual relations based on principals of franchising, evaluation of sort and sowing index of quality of seed lots and hybrids, will allow to speed up the development of domestic seed industry, increase the quality of corn farming in region

  4. Broccoli Cultivar Performance under Organic and Conventional Management Systems and Implications for Crop Improvement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Renaud, E.N.C.; Lammerts Van Bueren, E.; Caldas Paulo, M.J.; Eeuwijk, van F.A.; Juvik, J.A.; Hutton, M.G.; Myers, J.R.

    2014-01-01

    To determine if present commercial broccoli cultivars meet the diverse needs of organic management systems, such as adaptation to low N input, mechanical weed management, and no chemical pesticide use, and to propose the selection environments for crop improvement for organic production, we compared

  5. Assimilation of active and passive microwave observations for improved estimates of soil moisture and crop growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    An Ensemble Kalman Filter-based data assimilation framework that links a crop growth model with active and passive (AP) microwave models was developed to improve estimates of soil moisture (SM) and vegetation biomass over a growing season of soybean. Complementarities in AP observations were incorpo...

  6. A new method for evaluating flowering synchrony to support the temporal isolation of genetically modified crops from their wild relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohigashi, Kentaro; Mizuguti, Aki; Yoshimura, Yasuyuki; Matsuo, Kazuhito; Miwa, Tetsuhisa

    2014-01-01

    Hybridization between crops and their wild relatives potentially threatens the genetic identity of the wild plants, particularly in the case of genetically modified crops. Only a few studies have examined the use of temporal isolation to prevent hybridization, and the indices used in those studies, (e.g., the days of flowering overlap), are not precise to evaluate the degree of synchrony in flowering. Here we propose a flowering similarity index that can compare the degree of flowering synchrony between two relevant species and measure the efficiency of temporal isolation. The results showed that the flowering similarity index predicts the likelihood of hybridization much better than the number of flowering-overlap days, regardless of different flowering patterns among cultivars. Thus, temporal isolation of flowering or flowering asynchrony is the most effective means in preventing hybridization between crops and their wild relatives.

  7. The use of physical/chemical mutagens for crop improvements in Indonesia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Soeranto, H.; Manurung, Simon; Masrizal [National Nuclear Energy Agency of Indonesia, Jakarta (ID)] [and others

    2001-03-01

    Most research on the use of physical and chemical mutagens for crop improvement in Indonesia are carried out at the Center for Research and Development of Isotopes and Radiation Technology, National Nuclear Energy Agency (Bataan). At the plant breeding section of this center, much progress has been achieved in term of facilities set-up (gamma irradiators, laboratory, greenhouse and experimental fields), manpower and expertise development. Mutation breeding activities were initially started in rice in 1972, in attempts to improve the protein content of rice grain. During this earlier time, researches on detecting more effective mutagen treatments, using physical and chemical mutagenesis, were conducted in different plant species. The use of chemical mutagens have recently been very limited and it tends to be abandoned simply because of its unpractical treatment procedures working with it and less effective results. Nowadays, most induced mutations in plant breeding are primarily dependent on the use of physical mutagen i.e. gamma irradiation which is emitted from Cobalt-60 source. The effective use of gamma irradiation in plant breeding has been proven by results of finding useful mutant varieties for the country level. Major achievements were the release of some mutant varieties by the Department of Agriculture of Indonesia. These mutant varieties included 6 varieties for rice, 3 for soybean, and 1 for mungbean. Meanwhile, some promising mutant lines of other important crops such as peanuts, sorghum, banana, onions etc. are now being investigated in the field experiments. The effective use of gamma irradiation seems to vary between crop species or varieties being investigated. Experiences on breeding food crops, restricted on self-pollinated crops, the effective dose treatments of gamma irradiation on the seed materials were found to vary between 10-30 Gy. Some experiment results on the use of physical and chemical mutagens for crop improvements are discussed here

  8. Tempest in a tea pot: How did the public conversation on genetically modified crops drift so far from the facts?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstein, Daniel A

    2014-06-01

    The debate over genetically modified (GM) crops has raged in Europe since 1996, but had barely risen above a whisper in the USA until recent labeling debates raised public attention. This article will explain GM crops and traits discuss safety assessment provide a view on safety from authoritative organizations discuss selected issues of current debate, and provide the author's perspective as to why the public debate has drifted so far from scientific reality. The economic and environmental benefits of GM crops are beyond scope, but references are provided. GM food and feed undergo comprehensive assessments using recognized approaches to assure they are as safe as the conventional congener. Issues of food safety and nutrition, unrelated to the GM process, may arise when GM foods display novel components or composition. Unanticipated genetic effects in GM crops appear to be limited in contrast to existing variations among conventional varieties resulting from breeding, mutation, and natural mobile genetic elements. Allergenic potential is assessed when selecting genes for introduction into GM crops and remains a theoretical risk to date. Emerging weed and insect resistance is not unique to GM technology and will require the use of integrated pest management/best practices for pest control. Gene flow from GM crops to wild relatives is limited by existing biological barriers but can at time be a relevant consideration in gene selection and planting practices. Insect-resistant GM crops have significantly reduced use of chemical insecticides and appear to have reduced the incidence of pesticide poisoning in areas where small scale farming and hand application are common. Changes in herbicide patterns are more complex and are evolving over time in response to weed resistance management needs. Recent public debate is driven by a combination of unfounded allegations about the technology and purveyors, pseudoscience, and attempts to apply a strict precautionary principle.

  9. Improving the efficiency of spatially selective operations for agricultural robotics in cropping field

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. L. Li

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Cropping fields often have well-defined poor-performing patches due to spatial and temporal variability. In an attempt to increase crop performance on poor patches, spatially selective field operations may be performed by agricultural robotics to apply additional inputs with targeted requirements. This paper addresses the route planning problem for an agricultural robot that has to treat some poor-patches in a field with row crops, with respect to the minimization of the total non-working distance travelled during headland turnings and in-field travel distance. The traversal of patches in the field is expressed as the traversal of a mixed weighted graph, and then the problem of finding an optimal patch sequence is formulated as an asymmetric traveling salesman problem and solved by the partheno-genetic algorithm. The proposed method is applied on a cropping field located in Northwestern China. Research results show that by using optimum patch sequences, the total non-working distance travelled during headland turnings and in-field travel distance can be reduced. But the savings on the non-working distance inside the field interior depend on the size and location of patches in the field, and the introduction of agricultural robotics is beneficial to increase field efficiency.

  10. A Critical Assessment of Methods for Analysis of Social Welfare Impacts of Genetically Modified Crops: a Literature Survey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scatasta, S.; Wesseler, J.H.H.; Demont, M.

    2006-01-01

    This paper is a review of existing literature on economic and environmental costs and benefits of genetically modified (GM) crops focusing on methodological issues arising from this literature. Particular attention is given to the production function framework commonly used to quantify costs and ben

  11. Irrigation Strategies and Crop Breeding As Complementary Measures for Improved Water Management and Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vico, G.; Manzoni, S.; Weih, M.; Porporato, A. M.

    2014-12-01

    The projected population growth and changes in climate and dietary habits will further increase the pressure on water resources globally. Within precision farming, a host of technical solutions has been developed to reduce water consumption for agricultural uses. Examples are the shift from scheduled to demand-based irrigation and the use of sophisticated water distribution techniques. The next frontier for a more sustainable agriculture is the combination of reduced water requirements with enhanced ecosystem services. Currently, staple grains are obtained from annuals crops. Enhanced ecosystem services could be obtained shifting from annual to perennial crops, obtained by means of targeted breeding. In fact, perennial plants, with their continuous soil cover and the higher allocation of resources to the below ground, contribute to the reduction of soil erosion, water and nutrient losses, while enhancing carbon sequestration in the root zone. We explore here the implications for water management at the field- to farm-scale of both improved irrigation methods and targeted breeding. A probabilistic description of the soil water balance and crop development is employed to quantify water requirements and yields and their inter-annual variability, as a function of rainfall patterns, soil and crop features. Optimal irrigation strategies are thus defined in terms of maximization of yield and minimization of required irrigation volumes and their inter-annual variability. The probabilistic model is parameterized based on an extensive meta-analysis of traits of co-generic annual and perennial species (including both selected and wild species) to explore the consequences for water requirements of shifting from annual to perennial crops under current and future climates. The larger and more developed roots of perennial crops may allow a better exploitation of soil water resources than annual species. At the same time, perennial crops may require adequate water supply for

  12. Energy efficiency and energy homeostasis as genetic and epigenetic components of plant performance and crop productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Block, Marc; Van Lijsebettens, Mieke

    2011-06-01

    The importance of energy metabolism in plant performance and plant productivity is conceptually well recognized. In the eighties, several independent studies in Lolium perenne (ryegrass), Zea mays (maize), and Festuca arundinacea (tall fescue) correlated low respiration rates with high yields. Similar reports in the nineties largely confirmed this correlation in Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) and Cucumis sativus (cucumber). However, selection for reduced respiration does not always result in high-yielding cultivars. Indeed, the ratio between energy content and respiration, defined here as energy efficiency, rather than respiration on its own, has a major impact on the yield potential of a crop. Besides energy efficiency, energy homeostasis, representing the balance between energy production and consumption in a changing environment, also contributes to an enhanced plant performance and this happens mainly through an increased stress tolerance. Although a few single gene approaches look promising, probably whole interacting networks have to be modulated, as is done by classical breeding, to improve the energy status of plants. Recent developments show that both energy efficiency and energy homeostasis have an epigenetic component that can be directed and stabilized by artificial selection (i.e. selective breeding). This novel approach offers new opportunities to improve yield potential and stress tolerance in a wide variety of crops.

  13. Trade and commerce in improved crops and food: an essay on food security.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kershen, Drew L

    2010-11-30

    Agricultural trade between nations is a significant proportion of total international trade. Agricultural trade in transgenic crops faces extra complications due to the existence of domestic and international regimes that focus specifically on agricultural biotechnology. These specialized regimes create legal and commercial challenges for trade in transgenic crops that have significant implications for the food security of the nations of the world. By food security, one should understand not just the available supply of food, but also the quality of the food and the environmental impact of agricultural production systems. These specialized regimes for transgenic crops can either encourage or hinder the adoption of agricultural biotechnology as a sustainable intensive agriculture. Sustainable intensive agriculture offers hope for agronomic improvements for agricultural production, socio-economic betterment for farmers and environmental benefits for societies. Sustainable intensive agriculture offers particular hope for the poorest farmers of the world because agricultural biotechnology is a technology in the seed.

  14. Green biotechnology, nanotechnology and bio-fortification: perspectives on novel environment-friendly crop improvement strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yashveer, Shikha; Singh, Vikram; Kaswan, Vineet; Kaushik, Amit; Tokas, Jayanti

    2014-10-01

    Food insecurity and malnutrition are prominent issues for this century. As the world's population continues to increase, ensuring that the earth has enough food that is nutritious too will be a difficult task. Today one billion people of the world are undernourished and more than a third are malnourished. Moreover, the looming threat of climate change is exasperating the situation even further. At the same time, the total acreage of arable land that could support agricultural use is already near its limits, and may even decrease over the next few years due to salination and desertification patterns resulting from climate change. Clearly, changing the way we think about crop production must take place on multiple levels. New varieties of crops must be developed which can produce higher crop yields with less water and fewer agricultural inputs. Besides this, the crops themselves must have improved nutritional qualities or become biofortified in order to reduce the chances of 'hidden hunger' resulting from malnourishment. It is difficult to envision the optimum way to increase crop production using a single uniform strategy. Instead, a variety of approaches must be employed and tailored for any particular agricultural setting. New high-impact technologies such as green biotechnology, biofortification, and nanotechnology offer opportunities for boosting agricultural productivity and enhancing food quality and nutritional value with eco-friendly manner. These agricultural technologies currently under development will renovate our world to one that can comfortably address the new directions, our planet will take as a result of climate change.

  15. Tanzanian farmers' knowledge and attitudes to GM biotechnology and the potential use of GM crops to provide improved levels of food security. A Qualitative Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Herron Caroline M

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Genetically Modified (GM crops have been championed as one possible method to improve food security and individual nutritional status in sub Saharan Africa. Understanding and acceptability of GM crop technology to farmers and consumers have not been assessed. We developed a qualitative research study involving farmers as both producers and consumers to gauge the understanding of GM crop technology, its acceptability, and identifying issues of concern. Methods Nineteen individual interviews (10 male and 9 female and five mixed gender focus group discussions with local farmers were conducted in 3 regions in Tanzania. Analysis took place concurrently with data collection. Following initial interviews, subsequent questions were adjusted based on emerging themes. Results Understanding, awareness and knowledge of GM crop technology and terminology and its potential risks and benefits was very poor in all regions. Receptivity to the potential use of GM crops was, however, high. Respondents focused on the potential benefits of GM crops rather than any potential longer term health risks. A number of factors, most significantly field trial data, would influence farmers' decisions regarding the introduction of GM crop varieties into their farming practice. Understanding of the potential improved health provision possible by changes in agricultural practice and food-related decision making, and the health benefits of a diet containing essential vitamins, minerals and micronutrients is also poor in these communities. Conclusion This study forms a basis from which further research work can be undertaken. It is important to continue to assess opinions and attitudes of farmers and consumers in sub Saharan Africa towards potential use of GM technologies whilst highlighting the importance of the relationship between agriculture, health and development. This will allow people in the region to make accurate, informed decisions about whether they

  16. Tanzanian farmers' knowledge and attitudes to GM biotechnology and the potential use of GM crops to provide improved levels of food security. A Qualitative Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Christopher P; Newell, James N; Herron, Caroline M; Nawabu, Haidari

    2010-07-12

    Genetically Modified (GM) crops have been championed as one possible method to improve food security and individual nutritional status in sub Saharan Africa. Understanding and acceptability of GM crop technology to farmers and consumers have not been assessed. We developed a qualitative research study involving farmers as both producers and consumers to gauge the understanding of GM crop technology, its acceptability, and identifying issues of concern. Nineteen individual interviews (10 male and 9 female) and five mixed gender focus group discussions with local farmers were conducted in 3 regions in Tanzania. Analysis took place concurrently with data collection. Following initial interviews, subsequent questions were adjusted based on emerging themes. Understanding, awareness and knowledge of GM crop technology and terminology and its potential risks and benefits was very poor in all regions. Receptivity to the potential use of GM crops was, however, high. Respondents focused on the potential benefits of GM crops rather than any potential longer term health risks. A number of factors, most significantly field trial data, would influence farmers' decisions regarding the introduction of GM crop varieties into their farming practice. Understanding of the potential improved health provision possible by changes in agricultural practice and food-related decision making, and the health benefits of a diet containing essential vitamins, minerals and micronutrients is also poor in these communities. This study forms a basis from which further research work can be undertaken. It is important to continue to assess opinions and attitudes of farmers and consumers in sub Saharan Africa towards potential use of GM technologies whilst highlighting the importance of the relationship between agriculture, health and development. This will allow people in the region to make accurate, informed decisions about whether they believe use of GM biotechnology is an appropriate way in which

  17. [Relationship of genetically modified crops with the environment and health of the Costa Rican human population].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinoza, Ana M; Arrieta-Espinoza, Griselda; Sittenfeld, Ana

    2004-09-01

    Genetic engineering and the food derived from genetically modified crops (GMCs) have been the center of debate worldwide, as has occurred historically with the advent of new technologies. Questions are derived from the potential impact of GMCs to the environment and the safety of the products to the consumers. In relation to the first inquiry, practice has been oriented to a case-by-case-study, according to the own characteristics of the GMC, in order to minimize its impact in the environment. Scientific studies in diverse latitudes of the world have demonstrated that GMCs in the market showed no adverse effects related to this issue. In relation to food derived from the GMCs, rigorous evaluation protocols have been developed and approved by FAO and WHO to guarantee the innocuousness of these products. Up to the moment, no contraindications for human health have been pointed out for the products that are available today in the market. In the particular case of Costa Rica, the country has established since the 90s a regulatory biosafety framework for the management of the GMCs, safeguarding the biodiversity of the country and the health of consumers. At the same time the country has made significant public and private investments in the field that allowed the country to obtain a leading position in biosafety in the region and genetic engineering research at national research centers. Any attempt to restrict or prohibit these activities in the country, will put in risk the previously described investment, will affect the generation of new knowledge for decision making and the leadership in the field, preventing the benefits derived from this promising technology.

  18. Improved Evolvability in Genetic Programming with Polyandry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anisa Waganda Ragalo

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper proposes Polyandry, a new nature-inspired modification to canonical Genetic Programming (GP. Polyandry aims to improve evolvability in GP. Evolvability is a critically important GP trait, the maintenance of which determines the arrival of the GP at the global optimum solution. Specifically evolvability is defined as the ability of the genetic operators employed in GP to produce offspring that are fitter than their parents. When GP fails to exhibit evolvability, further adaptation of the GP individuals towards the global optimum solution becomes impossible. Polyandry improves evolvability by improving the typically disruptive standard GP crossover operator. The algorithm employs a dual strategy towards this goal. The chief part of this strategy is an incorporation of genetic material from multiple mating partners into broods of offspring. Given such a brood, the offspring in the brood then compete according to a culling function, which we make equivalent to the main GP fitness function. Polyandry’s incorporation of genetic material from multiple GP individuals into broods of offspring represents a more aggressive search for building block information. This characteristic of the algorithm leads to an advanced explorative capability in both GP structural space and fitness space. The second component of the Polyandry strategy is an attempt at multiple crossover points, in order to find crossover points that minimize building block disruption from parents to offspring. This strategy is employed by a similar algorithm, Brood Recombination. We conduct experiments to compare Polyandry with the canonical GP. Our experiments demonstrate that Polyandry consistently exhibits better evolvability than the canonical GP. As a consequence, Polyandry achieves higher success rates and finds solutions faster than the latter. The result of these observations is that given certain brood size settings, Polyandry requires less computational effort to

  19. Proposed definition of environmental damage illustrated by the cases of genetically modified crops and invasive species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartz, Robert; Heink, Ulrich; Kowarik, Ingo

    2010-06-01

    The introduction of non-native plant species and the release of genetically modified (GM) crops can induce environmental changes at gene to ecosystem levels. Regulatory frameworks such as the Convention on Biological Diversity or the EU Deliberate Release Directive aim to prevent environmental damage but do not define the term. Although ecologists and conservationists often refer to environmental effects of GM crops or invasive species as damage, most authors do not disclose their normative assumptions or explain why some environmental impacts are regarded as detrimental and others are not. Thus far, a concise definition of environmental damage is missing and is necessary for a transparent assessment of environmental effects or risks. Therefore, we suggest defining environmental damage as a significant adverse effect on a biotic or abiotic conservation resource (i.e., a biotic or abiotic natural resource that is protected by conservational or environmental legislation) that has an impact on the value of the conservation resource, the conservation resource as an ecosystem component, or the sustainable use of the conservation resource. This definition relies on three normative assumptions: only concrete effects on a conservation resource can be damages; only adverse effects that lead to a decrease in the value of the conservation resource can be damages; and only significant adverse effects constitute damage to a conservation resource. Applying this definition within the framework of environmental risk assessment requires further normative determinations, for example, selection of a threshold to distinguish between adverse and significant adverse effects and approaches for assessing the environmental value of conservation resources. Such determinations, however, are not part of the definition of environmental damage. Rather they are part of the definition's operationalization through assessment procedures, which must be grounded in a comprehensible definition of

  20. Biosafety risk assessment approaches for insect-resistant genetically modified crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inaam Ullah

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Background: Environmental risk assessment (ERA is imperative for commercial release of insect resistant, genetically modified crops (IR-GMCs.An insect specific, spider venom peptideω-HXTX-Hv1a (Hvt was successfully expressed in cotton plants. The cotton plants producing Hvt protein have demonstrated resistance against economically important insect pest species. The study was performed to assess the effects of Hvt producing cotton plants on Honey bees (Apis mellifera. Methods: Three approaches were used to evaluate the effects of Hvt protein on adults of honeybees; whole plant assays in flight cages, in vitro assays with pollen of Hvt-cotton, and assays with elevated levels of purified Hvt protein. Pollens of Bt cotton or purified Bt proteins were used as control. Results: The field experiments did not yield any meaningful data due to high rate of mortality in all treatments including the control. However, the laboratory experiments provided conclusive results in which Hvt, purified or in pollens, did not affect the survival or longevity of the bees compared to the control. During the course of study we were able to compare the quality, effectiveness and economics of different experiments. Conclusions: We conclude that Hvt either purified or produced in cotton plants do not affect the survival or longevity of honey bees. We are also of the view that starting at laboratory level assays not only gives meaningful data but also saves a lot of time and money that can be spent on other important questions regarding safety of a particular transgenic crop. Hence, a purpose-based, tiered approach could be the best choice for pre-release ERA of IR-GMCs.

  1. Accurate crop classification using hierarchical genetic fuzzy rule-based systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Topaloglou, Charalampos A.; Mylonas, Stelios K.; Stavrakoudis, Dimitris G.; Mastorocostas, Paris A.; Theocharis, John B.

    2014-10-01

    This paper investigates the effectiveness of an advanced classification system for accurate crop classification using very high resolution (VHR) satellite imagery. Specifically, a recently proposed genetic fuzzy rule-based classification system (GFRBCS) is employed, namely, the Hierarchical Rule-based Linguistic Classifier (HiRLiC). HiRLiC's model comprises a small set of simple IF-THEN fuzzy rules, easily interpretable by humans. One of its most important attributes is that its learning algorithm requires minimum user interaction, since the most important learning parameters affecting the classification accuracy are determined by the learning algorithm automatically. HiRLiC is applied in a challenging crop classification task, using a SPOT5 satellite image over an intensively cultivated area in a lake-wetland ecosystem in northern Greece. A rich set of higher-order spectral and textural features is derived from the initial bands of the (pan-sharpened) image, resulting in an input space comprising 119 features. The experimental analysis proves that HiRLiC compares favorably to other interpretable classifiers of the literature, both in terms of structural complexity and classification accuracy. Its testing accuracy was very close to that obtained by complex state-of-the-art classification systems, such as the support vector machines (SVM) and random forest (RF) classifiers. Nevertheless, visual inspection of the derived classification maps shows that HiRLiC is characterized by higher generalization properties, providing more homogeneous classifications that the competitors. Moreover, the runtime requirements for producing the thematic map was orders of magnitude lower than the respective for the competitors.

  2. Improved Quantum Genetic Algorithm in Application of Scheduling Engineering Personnel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huaixiao Wang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available To verify the availability of the improved quantum genetic algorithm in solving the scheduling engineering personnel problem, the following work has been carried out: the characteristics of the scheduling engineering personnel problem are analyzed, the quantum encoding method is proposed, and an improved quantum genetic algorithm is applied to address the issue. Taking the low efficiency and the bad performance of the conventional quantum genetic algorithm into account, a universal improved quantum genetic algorithm is introduced to solve the scheduling engineering personnel problem. Finally, the examples are applied to verify the effectiveness and superiority of the improved quantum genetic algorithm and the rationality of the encoding method.

  3. Improving plot- and regional-scale crop models for simulating impacts of climate variability and extremes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, F.; Rötter, R.

    2013-12-01

    Many studies on global climate report that climate variability is increasing with more frequent and intense extreme events1. There are quite large uncertainties from both the plot- and regional-scale models in simulating impacts of climate variability and extremes on crop development, growth and productivity2,3. One key to reducing the uncertainties is better exploitation of experimental data to eliminate crop model deficiencies and develop better algorithms that more adequately capture the impacts of extreme events, such as high temperature and drought, on crop performance4,5. In the present study, in a first step, the inter-annual variability in wheat yield and climate from 1971 to 2012 in Finland was investigated. Using statistical approaches the impacts of climate variability and extremes on wheat growth and productivity were quantified. In a second step, a plot-scale model, WOFOST6, and a regional-scale crop model, MCWLA7, were calibrated and validated, and applied to simulate wheat growth and yield variability from 1971-2012. Next, the estimated impacts of high temperature stress, cold damage, and drought stress on crop growth and productivity based on the statistical approaches, and on crop simulation models WOFOST and MCWLA were compared. Then, the impact mechanisms of climate extremes on crop growth and productivity in the WOFOST model and MCWLA model were identified, and subsequently, the various algorithm and impact functions were fitted against the long-term crop trial data. Finally, the impact mechanisms, algorithms and functions in WOFOST model and MCWLA model were improved to better simulate the impacts of climate variability and extremes, particularly high temperature stress, cold damage and drought stress for location-specific and large area climate impact assessments. Our studies provide a good example of how to improve, in parallel, the plot- and regional-scale models for simulating impacts of climate variability and extremes, as needed for

  4. Simultaneous Improvement in Water Use, Productivity and Albedo Through Crop Structural Modification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drewry, D.; Kumar, P.; Long, S.

    2014-12-01

    Agricultural lands provide a tremendous opportunity to address challenges at the intersection of climate change, food and water security. Global demand for the major grain and seed crops is beginning to outstrip production, while population growth and the expansion of the global middle class have motivated calls for a doubling of food production by the middle of this century. This is occurring as yield gains for the major food crops have stagnated. At current rates of yield improvement this doubling will not be achieved. Plants have evolved to maximize the capture of radiation in the upper leaves, resulting in sub-optimal monoculture crop fields for maximizing productivity and other biogeophysical services. Using the world's most important protein crop, soybean, as an example, we show that by applying numerical optimization to a micrometeorological crop canopy model that significant, simultaneous gains in water use, productivity and reflectivity are possible with no increased demand on resources. Here we apply the MLCan multi-layer canopy biophysical model, which vertically resolves the radiation and micro-environmental variations that stimulate biochemical and ecophysiological functions that govern canopy-atmosphere exchange processes. At each canopy level photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, and energy balance are solved simultaneously for shaded and sunlit foliage. A multi-layer sub-surface model accounts for water availability as a function of root biomass distribution. MLCan runs at sub-hourly temporal resolution, allowing it to capture variability in CO2, water and energy exchange as a function of environmental variability. By modifying total canopy leaf area, its vertical distribution, leaf angle, and shortwave radiation reflectivity, all traits available in most major crop germplasm collections, we show that increases in either productivity (7%), water use (13%) or albedo (34%) could be achieved with no detriment to the other objectives, under United

  5. Improving Search Properties in Genetic Programming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janikow, Cezary Z.; DeWeese, Scott

    1997-01-01

    With the advancing computer processing capabilities, practical computer applications are mostly limited by the amount of human programming required to accomplish a specific task. This necessary human participation creates many problems, such as dramatically increased cost. To alleviate the problem, computers must become more autonomous. In other words, computers must be capable to program/reprogram themselves to adapt to changing environments/tasks/demands/domains. Evolutionary computation offers potential means, but it must be advanced beyond its current practical limitations. Evolutionary algorithms model nature. They maintain a population of structures representing potential solutions to the problem at hand. These structures undergo a simulated evolution by means of mutation, crossover, and a Darwinian selective pressure. Genetic programming (GP) is the most promising example of an evolutionary algorithm. In GP, the structures that evolve are trees, which is a dramatic departure from previously used representations such as strings in genetic algorithms. The space of potential trees is defined by means of their elements: functions, which label internal nodes, and terminals, which label leaves. By attaching semantic interpretation to those elements, trees can be interpreted as computer programs (given an interpreter), evolved architectures, etc. JSC has begun exploring GP as a potential tool for its long-term project on evolving dextrous robotic capabilities. Last year we identified representation redundancies as the primary source of inefficiency in GP. Subsequently, we proposed a method to use problem constraints to reduce those redundancies, effectively reducing GP complexity. This method was implemented afterwards at the University of Missouri. This summer, we have evaluated the payoff from using problem constraints to reduce search complexity on two classes of problems: learning boolean functions and solving the forward kinematics problem. We have also

  6. Bridging the phenotypic and genetic data useful for integrated breeding through a data annotation using the Crop Ontology developed by the crop communities of practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shrestha, Rosemary; Matteis, Luca; Skofic, Milko; Portugal, Arllet; McLaren, Graham; Hyman, Glenn; Arnaud, Elizabeth

    2012-01-01

    The Crop Ontology (CO) of the Generation Challenge Program (GCP) (http://cropontology.org/) is developed for the Integrated Breeding Platform (IBP) (http://www.integratedbreeding.net/) by several centers of The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR): bioversity, CIMMYT, CIP, ICRISAT, IITA, and IRRI. Integrated breeding necessitates that breeders access genotypic and phenotypic data related to a given trait. The CO provides validated trait names used by the crop communities of practice (CoP) for harmonizing the annotation of phenotypic and genotypic data and thus supporting data accessibility and discovery through web queries. The trait information is completed by the description of the measurement methods and scales, and images. The trait dictionaries used to produce the Integrated Breeding (IB) fieldbooks are synchronized with the CO terms for an automatic annotation of the phenotypic data measured in the field. The IB fieldbook provides breeders with direct access to the CO to get additional descriptive information on the traits. Ontologies and trait dictionaries are online for cassava, chickpea, common bean, groundnut, maize, Musa, potato, rice, sorghum, and wheat. Online curation and annotation tools facilitate (http://cropontology.org) direct maintenance of the trait information and production of trait dictionaries by the crop communities. An important feature is the cross referencing of CO terms with the Crop database trait ID and with their synonyms in Plant Ontology (PO) and Trait Ontology (TO). Web links between cross referenced terms in CO provide online access to data annotated with similar ontological terms, particularly the genetic data in Gramene (University of Cornell) or the evaluation and climatic data in the Global Repository of evaluation trials of the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security programme (CCAFS). Cross-referencing and annotation will be further applied in the IBP. PMID:22934074

  7. Improving yield potential in crops under elevated CO2: Integrating the photosynthetic and nitrogen utilization efficiencies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Surya eKant

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Increasing crop productivity to meet burgeoning human food demand is challenging under changing environmental conditions. Since industrial revolution atmospheric CO2 levels have linearly increased. Developing crop varieties with increased utilisation of CO2 for photosynthesis is an urgent requirement to cope with the irreversible rise of atmospheric CO2 and achieve higher food production. The primary effects of elevated CO2 levels in most crop plants, particularly C3 plants include increased biomass accumulation, although initial stimulation of net photosynthesis rate is only temporal and plants fail to sustain the maximal stimulation, a phenomenon known as photosynthesis acclimation. Despite this acclimation, grain yield is known to marginally increase under elevated CO2. The yield potential of C3 crops is limited by their capacity to exploit sufficient carbon. The C fertilization through elevated CO2 levels could potentially be used for substantial yield increase. Rubisco is the rate-limiting enzyme in photosynthesis and its activity is largely affected by atmospheric CO2 and nitrogen availability. In addition, maintenance of the C/N ratio is pivotal for various growth and development processes in plants governing yield and seed quality. For maximising the benefits of elevated CO2, raising plant nitrogen pools will be necessary as part of maintaining an optimal C/N balance. In this review, we discuss potential causes for the stagnation in yield increases under elevated CO2 levels and explore possibilities to overcome this limitation by improved photosynthetic capacity and enhanced nitrogen use efficiency. Opportunities of engineering nitrogen uptake, assimilatory, and responsive genes are also discussed that could ensure optimal nitrogen allocation towards expanding source and sink tissues. This might avert photosynthetic acclimation partially or completely and drive for improved crop production under elevated CO2 levels.

  8. Use of a risk communication model to evaluate dietetics professionals' viewpoints on genetically engineered foods and crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Kathy S; Struble, Marie Boyle; McCullum-Gomez, Christine; Wilkins, Jennifer L

    2006-05-01

    The complex issues surrounding the application of genetic engineering to food and agriculture have generated a contentious debate among diverse interest groups. One pervasive dimension in the resultant discourse is the varying perceptions of the risks and benefits of genetically engineered foods and crops. In the risk communication model, technical information is evaluated within the context of an individual's values and perceptions. The purpose of this study was to explore how dietetics professionals respond to a complex set of interrelated issues associated with genetically engineered foods and crops and to identify what varying viewpoints may exist. Participants were asked to sort a total of 48 statements distributed across eight issue areas according to level of agreement and disagreement. Using Q methodology, a total of 256 sortings were analyzed using the centroid method and varimax rotation in factor analysis. Three distinct viewpoints emerged: Precautionary (R(2)=43%), Discerning Supporter (R(2)=11%), and Promoting (R(2)=5%). Across all viewpoints, respondents agreed that dietetics professionals should employ critical thinking skills to communicate the social, economic, environmental, ethical, and technical aspects of genetically engineered foods and crops. The findings have implications for how dietetics professionals can foster an open interchange of information among diverse groups.

  9. Genetically engineered crops and pesticide use in U.S. maize and soybeans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Edward D.; Ciliberto, Federico; Hennessy, David A.; Moschini, GianCarlo

    2016-01-01

    The widespread adoption of genetically engineered (GE) crops has clearly led to changes in pesticide use, but the nature and extent of these impacts remain open questions. We study this issue with a unique, large, and representative sample of plot-level choices made by U.S. maize and soybean farmers from 1998 to 2011. On average, adopters of GE glyphosate-tolerant (GT) soybeans used 28% (0.30 kg/ha) more herbicide than nonadopters, adopters of GT maize used 1.2% (0.03 kg/ha) less herbicide than nonadopters, and adopters of GE insect-resistant (IR) maize used 11.2% (0.013 kg/ha) less insecticide than nonadopters. When pesticides are weighted by the environmental impact quotient, however, we find that (relative to nonadopters) GE adopters used about the same amount of soybean herbicides, 9.8% less of maize herbicides, and 10.4% less of maize insecticides. In addition, the results indicate that the difference in pesticide use between GE and non-GE adopters has changed significantly over time. For both soybean and maize, GT adopters used increasingly more herbicides relative to nonadopters, whereas adopters of IR maize used increasingly less insecticides. The estimated pattern of change in herbicide use over time is consistent with the emergence of glyphosate weed resistance. PMID:27652335

  10. An image segmentation based on a genetic algorithm for determining soil coverage by crop residues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, Angela; Ranz, Juan; Burgos-Artizzu, Xavier P; Pajares, Gonzalo; del Arco, Maria J Sanchez; Navarrete, Luis

    2011-01-01

    Determination of the soil coverage by crop residues after ploughing is a fundamental element of Conservation Agriculture. This paper presents the application of genetic algorithms employed during the fine tuning of the segmentation process of a digital image with the aim of automatically quantifying the residue coverage. In other words, the objective is to achieve a segmentation that would permit the discrimination of the texture of the residue so that the output of the segmentation process is a binary image in which residue zones are isolated from the rest. The RGB images used come from a sample of images in which sections of terrain were photographed with a conventional camera positioned in zenith orientation atop a tripod. The images were taken outdoors under uncontrolled lighting conditions. Up to 92% similarity was achieved between the images obtained by the segmentation process proposed in this paper and the templates made by an elaborate manual tracing process. In addition to the proposed segmentation procedure and the fine tuning procedure that was developed, a global quantification of the soil coverage by residues for the sampled area was achieved that differed by only 0.85% from the quantification obtained using template images. Moreover, the proposed method does not depend on the type of residue present in the image. The study was conducted at the experimental farm "El Encín" in Alcalá de Henares (Madrid, Spain).

  11. Modeling rice metabolism: from elucidating environmental effects on cellular phenotype to guiding crop improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meiyappan Lakshmanan

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Crop productivity is severely limited by various biotic and abiotic stresses. Thus, it is highly needed to understand the underlying mechanisms of environmental stress response and tolerance in plants, which could be addressed by systems biology approach. To this end, high-throughput omics profiling and in silico modeling can be considered to explore the environmental effects on phenotypic states and metabolic behaviors of rice crops at the systems level. Especially, the advent of constraint-based metabolic reconstruction and analysis paves a way to characterize the plant cellular physiology under various stresses by combining the mathematical network models with multi-omics data. Rice metabolic networks have been reconstructed since 2013 and currently 6 such networks are available, where 5 are at genome-scale. Since their publication, these models have been utilized to systematically elucidate the rice abiotic stress responses and identify agronomic traits for crop improvement. In this review, we summarize the current status of the existing rice metabolic networks and models with their applications. Furthermore, we also highlight future directions of rice modeling studies, particularly stressing how these models can be used to contextualize the affluent multi-omics data that are readily available in the public domain. Overall, we envisage a number of studies in the future, exploiting the available metabolic models to enhance the yield and quality of rice and other food crops.

  12. Overcoming Phosphorus Deficiency in West African Pearl Millet and Sorghum Production Systems: Promising Options for Crop Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gemenet, Dorcus C; Leiser, Willmar L; Beggi, Francesca; Herrmann, Ludger H; Vadez, Vincent; Rattunde, Henry F W; Weltzien, Eva; Hash, Charles T; Buerkert, Andreas; Haussmann, Bettina I G

    2016-01-01

    West Africa (WA) is among the most food insecure regions. Rapid human population growth and stagnating crop yields greatly contribute to this fact. Poor soil fertility, especially low plant available phosphorus (P) is constraining food production in the region. P-fertilizer use in WA is among the lowest in the world due to inaccessibility and high prices, often unaffordable to resource-poor subsistence farmers. This article provides an overview of soil P-deficiency in WA and opportunities to overcome it by exploiting sorghum and pearl millet genetic diversity. The topic is examined from the perspectives of plant breeding, soil science, plant physiology, plant nutrition, and agronomy, thereby referring to recent results obtained in a joint interdisciplinary research project, and reported literature. Specific objectives are to summarize: (1) The global problem of P scarcity and how it will affect WA farmers; (2) Soil P dynamics in WA soils; (3) Plant responses to P deficiency; (4) Opportunities to breed for improved crop adaptation to P-limited conditions; (5) Challenges and trade-offs for improving sorghum and pearl millet adaptation to low-P conditions in WA; and (6) Systems approaches to address soil P-deficiency in WA. Sorghum and pearl millet in WA exhibit highly significant genetic variation for P-uptake efficiency, P-utilization efficiency, and grain yield under P-limited conditions indicating the possibility of breeding P-efficient varieties. Direct selection under P-limited conditions was more efficient than indirect selection under high-P conditions. Combining P-uptake and P-utilization efficiency is recommendable for WA to avoid further soil mining. Genomic regions responsible for P-uptake, P-utilization efficiency, and grain yield under low-P have been identified in WA sorghum and pearl millet, and marker-assisted selection could be possible once these genomic regions are validated. Developing P-efficient genotypes may not, however, be a sustainable

  13. Overcoming Phosphorus Deficiency in West African Pearl Millet and Sorghum Production Systems: Promising Options for Crop Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gemenet, Dorcus C.; Leiser, Willmar L.; Beggi, Francesca; Herrmann, Ludger H.; Vadez, Vincent; Rattunde, Henry F. W.; Weltzien, Eva; Hash, Charles T.; Buerkert, Andreas; Haussmann, Bettina I. G.

    2016-01-01

    West Africa (WA) is among the most food insecure regions. Rapid human population growth and stagnating crop yields greatly contribute to this fact. Poor soil fertility, especially low plant available phosphorus (P) is constraining food production in the region. P-fertilizer use in WA is among the lowest in the world due to inaccessibility and high prices, often unaffordable to resource-poor subsistence farmers. This article provides an overview of soil P-deficiency in WA and opportunities to overcome it by exploiting sorghum and pearl millet genetic diversity. The topic is examined from the perspectives of plant breeding, soil science, plant physiology, plant nutrition, and agronomy, thereby referring to recent results obtained in a joint interdisciplinary research project, and reported literature. Specific objectives are to summarize: (1) The global problem of P scarcity and how it will affect WA farmers; (2) Soil P dynamics in WA soils; (3) Plant responses to P deficiency; (4) Opportunities to breed for improved crop adaptation to P-limited conditions; (5) Challenges and trade-offs for improving sorghum and pearl millet adaptation to low-P conditions in WA; and (6) Systems approaches to address soil P-deficiency in WA. Sorghum and pearl millet in WA exhibit highly significant genetic variation for P-uptake efficiency, P-utilization efficiency, and grain yield under P-limited conditions indicating the possibility of breeding P-efficient varieties. Direct selection under P-limited conditions was more efficient than indirect selection under high-P conditions. Combining P-uptake and P-utilization efficiency is recommendable for WA to avoid further soil mining. Genomic regions responsible for P-uptake, P-utilization efficiency, and grain yield under low-P have been identified in WA sorghum and pearl millet, and marker-assisted selection could be possible once these genomic regions are validated. Developing P-efficient genotypes may not, however, be a sustainable

  14. Overcoming Phosphorus Deficiency in West African Pearl Millet and Sorghum Production Systems: Promising Options for Crop Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorcus C. GEMENET

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available West Africa (WA is among the most food insecure regions. Rapid human population growth and stagnating crop yields greatly contribute to this fact. Poor soil fertility, especially low plant available phosphorus (P is constraining food production in the region. P-fertilizer use in WA is among the lowest in the world due to inaccessibility and high prices, unaffordable to resource-poor farmers. This article provides an overview of soil P-deficiency in WA and opportunities to overcome it by exploiting sorghum and pearl millet genetic diversity. The topic is examined from the perspectives of plant breeding, soil science, plant physiology, plant nutrition, and agronomy, thereby referring to recent results obtained in a joint interdisciplinary research project, and reported literature. Specific objectives are to summarize: (1 The global problem of P scarcity and how it will affect WA farmers; (2 Soil P dynamics in WA soils; (3 Plant responses to P deficiency; (4 Opportunities to breed for improved crop adaptation to P-limited conditions; (5 Challenges and trade-offs for improving sorghum and pearl millet adaptation to low-P conditions in WA; and (6 Systems approaches to addressing soil P-deficiency in WA.Sorghum and pearl millet in WA exhibit highly significant genetic variation for P-uptake efficiency, P-utilization efficiency, and grain yield under P-limited conditions indicating the possibility of breeding P-efficient varieties. Direct selection under P-limited conditions was more efficient than indirect selection under high-P conditions. Combining P-uptake and P-utilization efficiency is recommendable for WA to avoid further soil mining. Genomic regions responsible for P-uptake, P-utilization efficiency, and grain yield under low-P have been identified in WA sorghum and pearl millet, and marker-assisted selection could be possible once these genomic regions are validated. Developing P-efficient genotypes may not however be a sustainable solution in

  15. The CRISPR/Cas genome-editing tool: application in improvement of crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SURENDER eKHATODIA

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR associated Cas9/sgRNA system is a novel fledgling targeted genome-editing technique from bacterial immune system, which is a cheap, easy and most rapidly adopted genome editing tool transforming to revolutionary paradigm. Cas9 protein is an RNA guided endonuclease utilized for creating targeted double stranded breaks with only a short RNA sequence to confer recognition of the target in animals and plants. Development of genetically edited (GE crops similar to those developed by conventional or mutation breeding using this potential technique makes it a promising and extremely versatile tool for providing sustainable productive agriculture for better feeding of rapidly growing population in changing climate. The emerging areas of research for the genome editing in plants are like, interrogating gene function, rewiring the regulatory signaling networks, sgRNA library for high-throughput loss-of-function screening. In this review, we will discuss the broad applicability of the Cas9 nuclease mediated targeted plant genome editing for development of designer crops. The regulatory uncertainty and social acceptance of plant breeding by Cas9 genome editing have also been discussed. The non-GM designer genetically edited plants could prospect climate resilient and sustainable energy agriculture in coming future for maximizing the yield by combating abiotic and biotic stresses with this new innovative plant breeding technique.

  16. IMPROVEMENT OF SANDY SOIL WITH WATER-CONSERVING MEMBRANE AND ITS EFFECT ON CROP GROWTH

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Xiu-jun; CUI Xiang-hao; LI Qu-sheng

    2005-01-01

    Water-conserving membrane is a new material of improving sandy soil. It is based on the rule that a compound with organic and inorganic components can produce colloid after its integrating with Ca2+ in soil. The water-conserving membrane will obstruct capillary and increase viscidity of sandy soil, so as to decrease leakage and evaporation in sandy soil. The water-conserving membrane contains polyacrylic acid (PAA) and bentonite. When PAA concentration and Ph of solution are different, water-conserving membrane can be made in different depth of soil. This experiment shows that the solution with 0.2% PAA does not harm and poison the crops, on the contrary,promotes crop germination. The solution with 0.2% or 0.4% PAA can accelerate corn growth. Accordingly, different crops need the application of the different PAA concentrations in the cultivation. Therefore, on the basis of different vadose coefficient in sandy soil, the solution with different PAA concentration can improve sandy soil and increase its water-conserving competence very well. The solution can be used to improve sandy soil and control desert enlargement in arid, semi-arid and semi-humid areas.

  17. Genetic diversity for grain Zn concentration in finger millet genotypes: Potential for improving human Zn nutrition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramegowda Yamunarani

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Nearly half of the world population suffers from micronutrient malnutrition, particularly Zn deficiency. It is important to understand genetic variation for uptake and translocation behaviors of Zn in relevant crop species to increase Zn concentration in edible parts. In the present study, genetic variation in grain Zn concentration of 319 finger millet genotypes was assessed. Large genetic variation was found among the genotypes, with concentrations ranging from 10 to 86 μg g− 1 grain. Uptake and translocation studies with Zn/65Zn application in 12 selected low-Zn genotypes showed wide variation in root uptake and shoot translocation, with genotypes GEC331 and GEC164 showing greater uptake and translocation. Genotypes GEC164 and GEC543 showed increased grain Zn concentration. Genotypes GEC331 and GEC164 also showed improved yield under Zn treatment. Appreciable variation in grain Zn concentration among finger millet genotypes found in this study offers opportunities to improve Zn nutrition through breeding.

  18. Sampling Strategies for Evaluating the Rate of Adventitious Transgene Presence in Non-Genetically Modified Crop Fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makowski, David; Bancal, Rémi; Bensadoun, Arnaud; Monod, Hervé; Messéan, Antoine

    2017-02-23

    According to E.U. regulations, the maximum allowable rate of adventitious transgene presence in non-genetically modified (GM) crops is 0.9%. We compared four sampling methods for the detection of transgenic material in agricultural non-GM maize fields: random sampling, stratified sampling, random sampling + ratio reweighting, random sampling + regression reweighting. Random sampling involves simply sampling maize grains from different locations selected at random from the field concerned. The stratified and reweighting sampling methods make use of an auxiliary variable corresponding to the output of a gene-flow model (a zero-inflated Poisson model) simulating cross-pollination as a function of wind speed, wind direction, and distance to the closest GM maize field. With the stratified sampling method, an auxiliary variable is used to define several strata with contrasting transgene presence rates, and grains are then sampled at random from each stratum. With the two methods involving reweighting, grains are first sampled at random from various locations within the field, and the observations are then reweighted according to the auxiliary variable. Data collected from three maize fields were used to compare the four sampling methods, and the results were used to determine the extent to which transgene presence rate estimation was improved by the use of stratified and reweighting sampling methods. We found that transgene rate estimates were more accurate and that substantially smaller samples could be used with sampling strategies based on an auxiliary variable derived from a gene-flow model.

  19. Improved Quantum Genetic Algorithm in Application of Scheduling Engineering Personnel

    OpenAIRE

    Huaixiao Wang; Ling Li; Jianyong Liu; Yong Wang; Chengqun Fu

    2014-01-01

    To verify the availability of the improved quantum genetic algorithm in solving the scheduling engineering personnel problem, the following work has been carried out: the characteristics of the scheduling engineering personnel problem are analyzed, the quantum encoding method is proposed, and an improved quantum genetic algorithm is applied to address the issue. Taking the low efficiency and the bad performance of the conventional quantum genetic algorithm into account, a universal improved q...

  20. An improved genetic algorithm with dynamic topology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Kai-Quan; Tang, Yan-Wu; Zhang, Xue-Jun; Guan, Xiang-Min

    2016-12-01

    The genetic algorithm (GA) is a nature-inspired evolutionary algorithm to find optima in search space via the interaction of individuals. Recently, researchers demonstrated that the interaction topology plays an important role in information exchange among individuals of evolutionary algorithm. In this paper, we investigate the effect of different network topologies adopted to represent the interaction structures. It is found that GA with a high-density topology ends up more likely with an unsatisfactory solution, contrarily, a low-density topology can impede convergence. Consequently, we propose an improved GA with dynamic topology, named DT-GA, in which the topology structure varies dynamically along with the fitness evolution. Several experiments executed with 15 well-known test functions have illustrated that DT-GA outperforms other test GAs for making a balance of convergence speed and optimum quality. Our work may have implications in the combination of complex networks and computational intelligence. Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation for Young Scientists of China (Grant No. 61401011), the National Key Technologies R & D Program of China (Grant No. 2015BAG15B01), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. U1533119).

  1. Scope for improved eco-efficiency varies among diverse cropping systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carberry, Peter S; Liang, Wei-li; Twomlow, Stephen; Holzworth, Dean P; Dimes, John P; McClelland, Tim; Huth, Neil I; Chen, Fu; Hochman, Zvi; Keating, Brian A

    2013-05-21

    Global food security requires eco-efficient agriculture to produce the required food and fiber products concomitant with ecologically efficient use of resources. This eco-efficiency concept is used to diagnose the state of agricultural production in China (irrigated wheat-maize double-cropping systems), Zimbabwe (rainfed maize systems), and Australia (rainfed wheat systems). More than 3,000 surveyed crop yields in these three countries were compared against simulated grain yields at farmer-specified levels of nitrogen (N) input. Many Australian commercial wheat farmers are both close to existing production frontiers and gain little prospective return from increasing their N input. Significant losses of N from their systems, either as nitrous oxide emissions or as nitrate leached from the soil profile, are infrequent and at low intensities relative to their level of grain production. These Australian farmers operate close to eco-efficient frontiers in regard to N, and so innovations in technologies and practices are essential to increasing their production without added economic or environmental risks. In contrast, many Chinese farmers can reduce N input without sacrificing production through more efficient use of their fertilizer input. In fact, there are real prospects for the double-cropping systems on the North China Plain to achieve both production increases and reduced environmental risks. Zimbabwean farmers have the opportunity for significant production increases by both improving their technical efficiency and increasing their level of input; however, doing so will require improved management expertise and greater access to institutional support for addressing the higher risks. This paper shows that pathways for achieving improved eco-efficiency will differ among diverse cropping systems.

  2. Genetically modified crops and aquatic ecosystems: considerations for environmental risk assessment and non-target organism testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carstens, Keri; Anderson, Jennifer; Bachman, Pamela; De Schrijver, Adinda; Dively, Galen; Federici, Brian; Hamer, Mick; Gielkens, Marco; Jensen, Peter; Lamp, William; Rauschen, Stefan; Ridley, Geoff; Romeis, Jörg; Waggoner, Annabel

    2012-08-01

    Environmental risk assessments (ERA) support regulatory decisions for the commercial cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops. The ERA for terrestrial agroecosystems is well-developed, whereas guidance for ERA of GM crops in aquatic ecosystems is not as well-defined. The purpose of this document is to demonstrate how comprehensive problem formulation can be used to develop a conceptual model and to identify potential exposure pathways, using Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) maize as a case study. Within problem formulation, the insecticidal trait, the crop, the receiving environment, and protection goals were characterized, and a conceptual model was developed to identify routes through which aquatic organisms may be exposed to insecticidal proteins in maize tissue. Following a tiered approach for exposure assessment, worst-case exposures were estimated using standardized models, and factors mitigating exposure were described. Based on exposure estimates, shredders were identified as the functional group most likely to be exposed to insecticidal proteins. However, even using worst-case assumptions, the exposure of shredders to Bt maize was low and studies supporting the current risk assessments were deemed adequate. Determining if early tier toxicity studies are necessary to inform the risk assessment for a specific GM crop should be done on a case by case basis, and should be guided by thorough problem formulation and exposure assessment. The processes used to develop the Bt maize case study are intended to serve as a model for performing risk assessments on future traits and crops.

  3. Use of composts to improve soil properties and crop productivity under low input agricultural system in West Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ouédraogo, E.; Mando, A.; Zombré, N.P.

    2000-01-01

    Lack of adequate nutrient supply and poor soil structure are the principal constraints to crop production under low input agriculture systems of West Africa. Experiments at two sites (Mediga and Yimtenga) were conducted in Burkina Faso to assess the impact of compost on improving crop production and

  4. A novel integrated cropping system for efficient grain production, improved soil quality, and enhanced beneficial arthropod communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    The solar corridor crop system (SCCS) is designed for improved crop productivity by using broad strips (corridors or skip rows) that promote highly efficient use of solar radiation and ambient carbon dioxide by C-4 plants including corn. Field trials in 2013 and 2014 showed that yields of selected c...

  5. Use of composts to improve soil properties and crop productivity under low input agricultural system in West Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ouédraogo, E.; Mando, A.; Zombré, N.P.

    2000-01-01

    Lack of adequate nutrient supply and poor soil structure are the principal constraints to crop production under low input agriculture systems of West Africa. Experiments at two sites (Mediga and Yimtenga) were conducted in Burkina Faso to assess the impact of compost on improving crop production and

  6. Much Improved Irrigation Use Efficiency in an Intensive Wheat-Maize Double Cropping System in the North China Plain

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Crop yield and water use efficiency (WUE) in a wheat-maize double cropping system are influenced by short and uneven rainfalls in the North China Plain (NCP). A 2-year experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of irrigation on soil water balance, crop yield and WUE to improve irrigation use efficiency in the cropping system. Soil water depletion (△SWS)by crop generally decreased with the increase of irrigation and rainfall, while △SWS for the whole rotation was relatively stable among these irrigation treatments. High irrigations in wheat season increased initial soil moisture and △SWS for subsequent maize especially in the drought season. Initial soil water influenced mainly by the irrigation and rainfall in the previous crop season, is essential to high yield in such cropping systems. Grain yield decreased prior to evapotranspiration(ET) when ET reached about 300 mm for wheat, while maize showed various WUEs with similar seasonal ET. For whole rotation, WUE declined when ET exceeded about 650 mm. These results indicate great potential for improving irrigation use efficiency in such wheat-maize cropping system in the NCP. Based on the present results, reasonable irrigation schedules according to different annual rainfall conditions are presented for such a cropping system.

  7. Advances in plant proteomics towards improvement of crop productivity and stress resistance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junjie eHu

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Abiotic and biotic stresses constrain plant growth and development negatively impacting crop production. Plants have developed stress-specific adaptations as well as simultaneous responses to a combination of various abiotic stresses with pathogen infection. The efficiency of stress-induced adaptive responses is dependent on activation of molecular signaling pathways and intracellular networks by modulating expression, or abundance, and/or posttranslational modification of proteins primarily associated with defense mechanisms. In this review, we summarize and evaluate the contribution of proteomic studies to our understanding of stress response mechanisms in different plant organs and tissues. Advanced quantitative proteomic techniques have improved the coverage of total proteomes and sub-proteomes from small amounts of starting material, and characterized post-translational modifications as well as protein–protein interactions at the cellular level, providing detailed information on organ- and tissue-specific regulatory mechanisms responding to a variety of individual stresses or stress combinations during plant life cycle. In particular, we address the tissue-specific signaling networks localized to various organelles that participate in stress-related physiological plasticity and adaptive mechanisms, such as photosynthetic efficiency, symbiotic nitrogen fixation, plant growth, tolerance and common responses to environmental stresses. We also provide an update on the progress of proteomics with major crop species and discuss the current challenges and limitations inherent to proteomics techniques and data interpretation for non-model organisms. Future directions in proteomics research towards crop improvement are further discussed.

  8. Participatory tools working with crops, varieties and seeds. A guide for professionals applying participatory approaches in agrobiodiversity management, crop improvement and seed sector development

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boef, de W.S.; Thijssen, M.H.

    2007-01-01

    Outline to the guide Within our training programmes on local management of agrobiodiversity, participatory crop improvement and the support of local seed supply participatory tools get ample attention. Tools are dealt with theoretically, are practised in class situations, but are also applied in

  9. Participatory tools working with crops, varieties and seeds. A guide for professionals applying participatory approaches in agrobiodiversity management, crop improvement and seed sector development

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boef, de W.S.; Thijssen, M.H.

    2007-01-01

    Outline to the guide Within our training programmes on local management of agrobiodiversity, participatory crop improvement and the support of local seed supply participatory tools get ample attention. Tools are dealt with theoretically, are practised in class situations, but are also applied in fie

  10. Perceptions and attitudes of Riyadh university students towards products derived from genetically modified crops in Saudi Arabia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Jebreen, Dalal Hamad

    2010-01-01

    A survey was conducted during 2008 to assess the attitudes and perceptions of the Riyadh University students towards genetically modified crops and foods. Using descriptive analysis, it was found that the majority of surveyed students had good knowledge of genetic modifications, but lack knowledge about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) values. Most respondents would not purchase clearly labelled GMO products, though considerable number of the respondents was ready to taste or try the products. It is evident from these results that majority of university students who participated in this survey, in general had very little information or didn't know the genetic engineering technology e.g., gene therapy, fingerprinting, role in reducing pesticide application etc., as appeared in the results, therefore, most of the participants did not know or thought GM foods are harmful and could not be easily detected. The implication of this result is that majority will not support GM products.

  11. Ecogeography and utility to plant breeding of the crop wild relatives of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crop wild relatives (CWR) are a rich source of genetic diversity for crop improvement. Combining ecogeographic and phylogenetic techniques can inform both conservation and breeding. Geographic occurrence, bioclimatic, and biophysical data were used to predict species distributions, range overlap and...

  12. Ecogeography and utility to plant breeding of the crop wild relatives of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kantar, M.B.; Sosa, C.C.; Khoury, C.K.; Castaneda-Alvarez, N.P.; Achicanoy, H.A.; Bernau, V.; Kane, N.C.; Marek, L.; Seiler, G.; Rieseberg, L.H.

    2015-01-01

    Crop wild relatives (CWR) are a rich source of genetic diversity for crop improvement. Combining ecogeographic and phylogenetic techniques can inform both conservation and breeding. Geographic occurrence, bioclimatic, and biophysical data were used to predict species distributions, range overlap and

  13. Estimating crop-specific evapotranspiration using remote-sensing imagery at various spatial resolutions for improving crop growth modelling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sepulcre-Canto, G.; Gellens-Meulenberghs, F.; Arboleda, A.; Duveiller, G.; Wit, de A.J.W.; Eerens, H.; Djaby, B.; Defourny, P.

    2013-01-01

    By governing water transfer between vegetation and atmosphere, evapotranspiration (ET) can have a strong influence on crop yields. An estimation of ET from remote sensing is proposed by the EUMETSAT ‘Satellite Application Facility’ (SAF) on Land Surface Analysis (LSA). This ET product is obtained op

  14. Genetically modified and organic crops in developing countries : A review of options for food security

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Azadi, Hossein; Ho, Peter

    2010-01-01

    Since two decades ago, when the first GM crops were introduced, there have increasingly been hot debates on the applications of gene manipulation. Currently, the development of GM crop varieties has raised a wide range of new legal, ethical and economic questions in agriculture. There is a growing b

  15. Genetically modified and organic crops in developing countries : A review of options for food security

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Azadi, Hossein; Ho, Peter

    2010-01-01

    Since two decades ago, when the first GM crops were introduced, there have increasingly been hot debates on the applications of gene manipulation. Currently, the development of GM crop varieties has raised a wide range of new legal, ethical and economic questions in agriculture. There is a growing b

  16. Genetically modified and organic crops in developing countries : A review of options for food security

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Azadi, Hossein; Ho, Peter

    2010-01-01

    Since two decades ago, when the first GM crops were introduced, there have increasingly been hot debates on the applications of gene manipulation. Currently, the development of GM crop varieties has raised a wide range of new legal, ethical and economic questions in agriculture. There is a growing

  17. The release of genetically modified crops into the environment - Part II. Overview of ecological risk assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Conner, A.J.; Glare, T.R.; Nap, J.P.H.

    2003-01-01

    Despite numerous future promises, there is a multitude of concerns about the impact of GM crops on the environment. Key issues in the environmental assessment of GM crops are putative invasiveness, vertical or horizontal gene flow, other ecological impacts, effects on biodiversity and the impact of

  18. Key Frames Extraction Based on the Improved Genetic Algorithm

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHOU Dong-sheng; JIANG Wei; YI Peng-fei; LIURui

    2014-01-01

    In order toovercomethe poor local search ability of genetic algorithm, resulting in the basic genetic algorithm is time-consuming, and low search abilityin the late evolutionary, we use thegray coding instead ofbinary codingatthebeginning of the coding;we use multi-point crossoverto replace the originalsingle-point crossoveroperation.Finally, theexperimentshows that the improved genetic algorithmnot only has a strong search capability, but also thestability has been effectively improved.

  19. Detection of Genetically Modified Crops by Combination of Multiplex PCR and Low-density DNA Microarray1

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    PING-PING ZHOU; JIAN-ZHONG ZHANG; YUAN-HAI YOU; YONG-NING WU

    2008-01-01

    Objective To develop a technique for simultaneous detection of various target genes in Roundup Ready soybean by combining multiplex PCR and low-density DNA microarray.Methods Two sets of the multiplex PCR system were used to amplify the target genes in genetically modified(GM)soybean.Seventeen capture probes(PCR products)and 17 pairs of corresponding primers were designed according to the genetic characteristies of Rroundup Ready soybean(GTS40-3-2),maize (Mort810,Nk603,GA21),canola(T45,MS1/RF1),and rice(SCK)in many identified GM crops.All of the probes were categorized and identified as species-specific probes.One negative probe and one positive control probe were uscd to assess the efficiency of all reactions,and therefore eliminate any false positive and negative results.After multiplex PCR reaction,amplicons were adulterated with Cy5-dUTP and hvbridized with DNA microarray.The array was then scanned to display the specific hybridization signals of target genes.The assay was applied to the analysis of sample of ccrtified transgenic soybean (Roundup Ready GTS40-3-2)and canola(MS1/RF1). Results A combination technique of multiplex PCR and DNA microarray was successfully developed to identify multi-target genes in Roundup Ready soybean and MS1/RF1 canola with a great specificity and reliability.Reliable identification of genetic characteristics of Roundup Ready of GM soybean from genetically modified crops was achieved at 0.5% transgenic events,indicating a high sensitivity. Conclusion A combination technique of multiplex PCR and low-density DNA microarray can reliably detect and identify the genetically modified crops.

  20. 转基因作物安全研究进展及南繁转基因生物安全管理对策%Advances and Mana gement of Crop Winter Multiplication on Biosafety of Genetically Modified Crops

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    罗丰; 孔祥义; 袁经天; 李劲松; 郭安平

    2011-01-01

    Advances on biosafety were introduced from biodiversity, ecosystem and safety of human beings and livestock. The principles and methods of biosafety assessment of genetically modified crops were introduced. Regulation for safety management of genetically modified crops in china were aslo introduced. It showed that genetically modified crops had potential biosafety risks. Biosafety management system of genetically modified crops is constructing all over the world. Environmental security was analyzed in crop winter multiplication of genetically modified crops. The areas which planted winter multiplication of genetically modified crops may have the potential risks as a dye vat. Some suggestions to prevent diffusion in gene drift in areas which planted winter multiplication of genetically modified crops were presented as sone references. It is very essential to construct biosafety management System from which legislation, plant quarantine, Infrastructure and scientific research on crop winter multiplication of genetically modified crops.%本文从生物多样性、生态系统和人畜安全三方面概述了转基因作物生物安全研究进展,并介绍了全世界转基因生物安全评价原则与方法和我国转基因作物安全管理法规.表明转基因作物存在潜在的生物安全风险,全世界正在积极构建转基因生物安全管理体系.通过对我国南繁转基因环境安全问题和情况进行分析,认为南繁地区有成为染缸的潜在威胁.为保护南繁地区的生态环境和生物安全,防止南繁特定地区转基因作物基因漂移扩散提出了一些建议.从立法、检疫、南繁基础设施建设、科研等方面构建南繁转基因生物安全管理体系是十分必要的.

  1. Affordable nutrient solutions for improved food security as evidenced by crop trials

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Velde, Marijn; See, Linda; You, Liangzhi; Balkovic, Juraj; Fritz, Steffen; Khabarov, Nikolay; Obersteiner, Michael; Wood, Stanley

    2013-04-01

    yet still conservative fertilizer application rates, where yield increases of 30 to 190% are possible. External investment in this low technology solution has the potential to kick start development and could complement other interventions such as better crop varieties and improved economic instruments to support farmers.

  2. Rethinking the Risk Management Process for Genetically Engineered Crop Varieties in Small-scale, Traditionally Based Agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A. Cleveland

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Proponents of genetically engineered (GE crops often assume that the risk management used in the industrial world is appropriate for small-scale, traditionally based agriculture in the Third World. Opponents of GE crops often assume that risk management is inappropriate for the Third World, because it is inherently biased in favor of the industrial world. We examine both of these assumptions, by rethinking risk management for GE crops and transgenes, using the example of maize transgene flow from the U.S. to Mexico. Risk management for the Third World is a necessary first step of a broader benefit-cost analysis of GE crops, which would include comparisons with existing varieties and with alternative varieties such as transgenic farmer varieties and organic varieties. Our goal is to use existing information on GE crops and on the social and biological characteristics of Third World agriculture to identify key processes that need to be considered in risk management, and the additional research required to adequately understand them. The four main steps in risk management are hazard identification, risk analysis (exposure x harm, risk evaluation, and risk treatment. We use informal event trees to identify possible exposure to GE crops and transgenes, and resulting biological and social harm; give examples of farmers' ability to evaluate social harm; and discuss the possibilities for risk treatment. We conclude that risk management is relevant for Third World agriculture, but needs to be based on the unique biological and social characteristics of small-scale, traditionally based agriculture, including the knowledge and values of Third World farmers and consumers.

  3. No tillage combined with crop rotation improves soil microbial community composition and metabolic activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Bingjie; Jia, Shuxia; Zhang, Shixiu; McLaughlin, Neil B; Liang, Aizhen; Chen, Xuewen; Liu, Siyi; Zhang, Xiaoping

    2016-04-01

    Soil microbial community can vary with different agricultural managements, which in turn can affect soil quality. The objective of this work was to evaluate the effects of long-term tillage practice (no tillage (NT) and conventional tillage (CT)) and crop rotation (maize-soybean (MS) rotation and monoculture maize (MM)) on soil microbial community composition and metabolic capacity in different soil layers. Long-term NT increased the soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (TN) mainly at the 0-5 cm depth which was accompanied with a greater microbial abundance. The greater fungi-to-bacteria (F/B) ratio was found in NTMS at the 0-5 cm depth. Both tillage and crop rotation had a significant effect on the metabolic activity, with the greatest average well color development (AWCD) value in NTMS soil at all three soil depths. Redundancy analysis (RDA) showed that the shift in microbial community composition was accompanied with the changes in capacity of utilizing different carbon substrates. Therefore, no tillage combined with crop rotation could improve soil biological quality and make agricultural systems more sustainable.

  4. Rice proteomics: a model system for crop improvement and food security.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sun Tae; Kim, Sang Gon; Agrawal, Ganesh Kumar; Kikuchi, Shoshi; Rakwal, Randeep

    2014-03-01

    Rice proteomics has progressed at a tremendous pace since the year 2000, and that has resulted in establishing and understanding the proteomes of tissues, organs, and organelles under both normal and abnormal (adverse) environmental conditions. Established proteomes have also helped in re-annotating the rice genome and revealing the new role of previously known proteins. The progress of rice proteomics had recognized it as the corner/stepping stone for at least cereal crops. Rice proteomics remains a model system for crops as per its exemplary proteomics research. Proteomics-based discoveries in rice are likely to be translated in improving crop plants and vice versa against ever-changing environmental factors. This review comprehensively covers rice proteomics studies from August 2010 to July 2013, with major focus on rice responses to diverse abiotic (drought, salt, oxidative, temperature, nutrient, hormone, metal ions, UV radiation, and ozone) as well as various biotic stresses, especially rice-pathogen interactions. The differentially regulated proteins in response to various abiotic stresses in different tissues have also been summarized, indicating key metabolic and regulatory pathways. We envision a significant role of rice proteomics in addressing the global ground level problem of food security, to meet the demands of the human population which is expected to reach six to nine billion by 2040.

  5. Advances in genetics and molecular breeding of three legume crops of semi-arid tropics using next-generation sequencing and high-throughput genotyping technologies

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Rajeev K Varshney; Himabindu Kudapa; Manish Roorkiwal; Mahendar Thudi; Manish K Pandey; Rachit K Saxena; Siva K Chamarthi; Murali Mohan S; Nalini Mallikarjuna; Hari Upadhyaya; Pooran M Gaur; L Krishnamurthy; K B Saxena; Shyam N Nigam; Suresh Pande

    2012-11-01

    Molecular markers are the most powerful genomic tools to increase the efficiency and precision of breeding practices for crop improvement. Progress in the development of genomic resources in the leading legume crops of the semi-arid tropics (SAT), namely, chickpea (Cicer arietinum), pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan) and groundnut (Arachis hypogaea), as compared to other crop species like cereals, has been very slow. With the advances in next-generation sequencing (NGS) and high-throughput (HTP) genotyping methods, there is a shift in development of genomic resources including molecular markers in these crops. For instance, 2,000 to 3,000 novel simple sequence repeats (SSR) markers have been developed each for chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut. Based on Sanger, 454/FLX and Illumina transcript reads, transcriptome assemblies have been developed for chickpea (44,845 transcript assembly contigs, or TACs) and pigeonpea (21,434 TACs). Illumina sequencing of some parental genotypes of mapping populations has resulted in the development of 120 million reads for chickpea and 128.9 million reads for pigeonpea. Alignment of these Illumina reads with respective transcriptome assemblies have provided > 10,000 SNPs each in chickpea and pigeonpea. A variety of SNP genotyping platforms including GoldenGate, VeraCode and Competitive Allele Specific PCR (KASPar) assays have been developed in chickpea and pigeonpea. By using above resources, the first-generation or comprehensive genetic maps have been developed in the three legume speciesmentioned above. Analysis of phenotyping data together with genotyping data has provided candidate markers for drought-tolerance-related root traits in chickpea, resistance to foliar diseases in groundnut and sterility mosaic disease (SMD) and fertility restoration in pigeonpea. Together with these trait-associated markers along with those already available, molecular breeding programmes have been initiated for enhancing drought tolerance, resistance to

  6. Advances in genetics and molecular breeding of three legume crops of semi-arid tropics using next-generation sequencing and high-throughput genotyping technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varshney, Rajeev K; Kudapa, Himabindu; Roorkiwal, Manish; Thudi, Mahendar; Pandey, Manish K; Saxena, Rachit K; Chamarthi, Siva K; Mohan, S Murali; Mallikarjuna, Nalini; Upadhyaya, Hari; Gaur, Pooran M; Krishnamurthy, L; Saxena, K B; Nigam, Shyam N; Pande, Suresh

    2012-11-01

    Molecular markers are the most powerful genomic tools to increase the efficiency and precision of breeding practices for crop improvement. Progress in the development of genomic resources in the leading legume crops of the semi-arid tropics (SAT), namely, chickpea (Cicer arietinum), pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan) and groundnut (Arachis hypogaea), as compared to other crop species like cereals, has been very slow. With the advances in next-generation sequencing (NGS) and high-throughput (HTP) genotyping methods, there is a shift in development of genomic resources including molecular markers in these crops. For instance, 2,000 to 3,000 novel simple sequence repeats (SSR) markers have been developed each for chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut. Based on Sanger, 454/FLX and Illumina transcript reads, transcriptome assemblies have been developed for chickpea (44,845 transcript assembly contigs, or TACs) and pigeonpea (21,434 TACs). Illumina sequencing of some parental genotypes of mapping populations has resulted in the development of 120 million reads for chickpea and 128.9 million reads for pigeonpea. Alignment of these Illumina reads with respective transcriptome assemblies have provided more than 10,000 SNPs each in chickpea and pigeonpea. A variety of SNP genotyping platforms including GoldenGate, VeraCode and Competitive Allele Specific PCR (KASPar) assays have been developed in chickpea and pigeonpea. By using above resources, the first-generation or comprehensive genetic maps have been developed in the three legume speciesmentioned above. Analysis of phenotyping data together with genotyping data has provided candidate markers for drought-tolerance-related root traits in chickpea, resistance to foliar diseases in groundnut and sterility mosaic disease (SMD) and fertility restoration in pigeonpea. Together with these traitassociated markers along with those already available, molecular breeding programmes have been initiated for enhancing drought tolerance, resistance

  7. The CRISPR/Cas Genome-Editing Tool: Application in Improvement of Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khatodia, Surender; Bhatotia, Kirti; Passricha, Nishat; Khurana, S M P; Tuteja, Narendra

    2016-01-01

    The Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats associated Cas9/sgRNA system is a novel targeted genome-editing technique derived from bacterial immune system. It is an inexpensive, easy, most user friendly and rapidly adopted genome editing tool transforming to revolutionary paradigm. This technique enables precise genomic modifications in many different organisms and tissues. Cas9 protein is an RNA guided endonuclease utilized for creating targeted double-stranded breaks with only a short RNA sequence to confer recognition of the target in animals and plants. Development of genetically edited (GE) crops similar to those developed by conventional or mutation breeding using this potential technique makes it a promising and extremely versatile tool for providing sustainable productive agriculture for better feeding of rapidly growing population in a changing climate. The emerging areas of research for the genome editing in plants include interrogating gene function, rewiring the regulatory signaling networks and sgRNA library for high-throughput loss-of-function screening. In this review, we have described the broad applicability of the Cas9 nuclease mediated targeted plant genome editing for development of designer crops. The regulatory uncertainty and social acceptance of plant breeding by Cas9 genome editing have also been described. With this powerful and innovative technique the designer GE non-GM plants could further advance climate resilient and sustainable agriculture in the future and maximizing yield by combating abiotic and biotic stresses.

  8. Lessons from Domestication: Targeting Cis-Regulatory Elements for Crop Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swinnen, Gwen; Goossens, Alain; Pauwels, Laurens

    2016-06-01

    Domestication of wild plant species has provided us with crops that serve our human nutritional needs. Advanced DNA sequencing has propelled the unveiling of underlying genetic changes associated with domestication. Interestingly, many changes reside in cis-regulatory elements (CREs) that control the expression of an unmodified coding sequence. Sequence variation in CREs can impact gene expression levels, but also developmental timing and tissue specificity of expression. When genes are involved in multiple pathways or active in several organs and developmental stages CRE modifications are favored in contrast to mutations in coding regions, due to the lack of detrimental pleiotropic effects. Therefore, learning from domestication, we propose that CREs are interesting targets for genome editing to create new alleles for plant breeding.

  9. What Does Behavioral Genetics Offer for Improving Educaton?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panofsky, Aaron

    2015-01-01

    For much of its history, behavioral genetics, or research into the influence genetics has on human behavior, has been associated with a pessimistic view of educational reforms' potential to make much difference in improving educational outcomes or reducing inequality. Recently, however, some behavioral geneticists have begun to speak in more optimistic terms about the promise of genetically informed education to improve learning for all children, especially those who are socially or economically disadvantaged. This shift in emphasis should be welcome news for everyone interested in promoting educational improvement who worried that behavioral genetics offered support for the status quo. However, I think it amounts to little more than a shift in tone. Behavioral genetics, I will argue, does not advance educational reform: its proposed solutions are rooted in the limits, not the strength, of behavioral genetics knowledge; repeat the ideas of earlier U.S. educational reform efforts; and rely on a naive optimism about the power of choice and personalization.

  10. Genetic diversity and genomic strategies for improving drought and waterlogging tolerance in soybeans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valliyodan, Babu; Ye, Heng; Song, Li; Murphy, MacKensie; Shannon, J Grover; Nguyen, Henry T

    2016-12-07

    Drought and its interaction with high temperature are the major abiotic stress factors affecting soybean yield and production stability. Ongoing climate changes are anticipated to intensify drought events, which will further impact crop production and food security. However, excessive water also limits soybean production. The success of soybean breeding programmes for crop improvement is dependent on the extent of genetic variation present in the germplasm base. Screening for natural genetic variation in drought- and flooding tolerance-related traits, including root system architecture, water and nitrogen-fixation efficiency, and yield performance indices, has helped to identify the best resources for genetic studies in soybean. Genomic resources, including whole-genome sequences of diverse germplasms, millions of single-nucleotide polymorphisms, and high-throughput marker genotyping platforms, have expedited gene and marker discovery for translational genomics in soybean. This review highlights the current knowledge of the genetic diversity and quantitative trait loci associated with root system architecture, canopy wilting, nitrogen-fixation ability, and flooding tolerance that contributes to the understanding of drought- and flooding-tolerance mechanisms in soybean. Next-generation mapping approaches and high-throughput phenotyping will facilitate a better understanding of phenotype-genotype associations and help to formulate genomic-assisted breeding strategies, including genomic selection, in soybean for tolerance to drought and flooding stress.

  11. Risk assessment of genetically engineered crops: fitness effects of virus-resistance transgenes in wild Cucurbita pepo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laughlin, Karen D; Power, Alison G; Snow, Allison A; Spencer, Lawrence J

    2009-07-01

    The development of crops genetically engineered for pathogen resistance has raised concerns that crop-to-wild gene flow could release wild or weedy relatives from regulation by the pathogens targeted by the transgenes that confer resistance. Investigation of these risks has also raised questions about the impact of gene flow from conventional crops into wild plant populations. Viruses in natural plant populations can play important roles in plant fecundity and competitive interactions. Here, we show that virus-resistance transgenes and conventional crop genes can increase fecundity of wild plants under virus pressure. We asked how gene flow from a cultivated squash (Cucurbita pepo) engineered for virus resistance would affect the fecundity of wild squash (C. pepo) in the presence and absence of virus pressure. A transgenic squash cultivar was crossed and backcrossed with wild C. pepo from Arkansas. Wild C. pepo, transgenic backcross plants, and non-transgenic backcross plants were compared in field plots in Ithaca, New York, USA. The second and third generations of backcrosses (BC2 and BC3) were used in 2002 and 2003, respectively. One-half of the plants were inoculated with zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV), and one-half of the plants were maintained as healthy controls. Virus pressure dramatically decreased the fecundity of wild C. pepo plants and non-transgenic backcross plants relative to transgenic backcross plants, which showed continued functioning of the virus-resistance transgene. In 2002, non-transgenic backcross fecundity was slightly higher than wild C. pepo fecundity under virus pressure, indicating a possible benefit of conventional crop alleles, but they did not differ in 2003 when fecundity was lower in both groups. We detected no fitness costs of the transgene in the absence of the virus. If viruses play a role in the population dynamics of wild C. pepo, we predict that gene flow from transgenic, virus-resistant squash and, to a much lesser

  12. Food Allergy - Basic Mechanisms and Applications to Identifying Risks Associated with Plant Incorporated Pesticides and Other Genetically Modified Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Food allergy is a relatively new concern for toxicologists as a result of the incorporation of novel proteins into food crops in order to promote resistance to pests and other stresses, improve nutrition, or otherwise modify the phenotype. Food allergy can manifest as inflammatio...

  13. Genetic variation in wild populations of the tuber crop Amorphophallus konjac (Araceae) in central China as revealed by AFLP markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, C; Gichira, A W; Chen, J M

    2015-12-29

    Amorphophallus konjac is an economically important crop. In order to provide baseline information for sustainable development and conservation of the wild plant resources of A. konjac, we studied the genetic diversity and population structure of this species using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) molecular markers. We sampled 139 individuals from 10 wild populations of A. konjac in central China. Using five AFLP primer combinations, we scored a total of 270 DNA fragments, most of which were polymorphic (98.2%). Percentage of polymorphic loci, Nei's genetic diversity index, and Shannon's information index showed high levels of genetic variation within A. konjac populations. Analysis of molecular variance indicated that most of the variance (68%) resided within populations. The coefficient of genetic differentiation between populations was 0.348 and the estimated gene flow was 0.469, indicating that there was limited gene flow among the populations. Unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean cluster analysis and principal coordinates analysis indicated that geographically close populations were more likely to cluster together. The Mantel test revealed a significant correlation between geographic and genetic distances (R2 = 0.2521, P konjac and the complex geography of central China are likely to have contributed to the current pattern of genetic variation of this species. In the present study, we provide several suggestions on the future protection of the wild plant genetic resources of A. konjac.

  14. Excavating abiotic stress-related gene resources of terrestrial macroscopic cyanobacteria for crop genetic engineering: dawn and challenge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Shuifeng; Gao, Xiang

    2015-01-01

    Genetically engineered (GE) crops with resistance to environmental stresses are one of the most important solutions for future food security. Numerous genes associated to plant stress resistance have been identified and characterized. However, the current reality is that only a few transgenic crops expressing prokaryotic genes are successfully applied in field conditions. These few prokaryotic genes include Agrobacterium strain CP4 EPSPS gene, Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ab gene and a bacterial chaperonin gene. Thus, the excavation of potentially critical genes still remains an arduous task for crop engineering. Terrestrial macroscopic cyanobacteria, Nostoc commune and Nostoc flagelliforme, which exhibit extreme resistance to desiccation stress, may serve as new prokaryotic bioresources for excavating critical genes. Recently, their marker gene wspA was heterologously expressed in Arabidopsis plant and the transgenics exhibited more flourishing root systems than wild-type plants under osmotic stress condition. In addition, some new genes associated with drought response and adaptation in N. flagelliforme are being uncovered by our ongoing RNA-seq analysis. Although the relevant work about the terrestrial macroscopic cyanobacteria is still underway, we believe that the prospect of excavating their critical genes for application in GE crops is quite optimistic.

  15. Precise Genome Modification via Sequence-Specific Nucleases-Mediated Gene Targeting for Crop Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yongwei; Li, Jingying; Xia, Lanqin

    2016-01-01

    Genome editing technologies enable precise modifications of DNA sequences in vivo and offer a great promise for harnessing plant genes in crop improvement. The precise manipulation of plant genomes relies on the induction of DNA double-strand breaks by sequence-specific nucleases (SSNs) to initiate DNA repair reactions that are based on either non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) or homology-directed repair (HDR). While complete knock-outs and loss-of-function mutations generated by NHEJ are very valuable in defining gene functions, their applications in crop improvement are somewhat limited because many agriculturally important traits are conferred by random point mutations or indels at specific loci in either the genes’ encoding or promoter regions. Therefore, genome modification through SSNs-mediated HDR for gene targeting (GT) that enables either gene replacement or knock-in will provide an unprecedented ability to facilitate plant breeding by allowing introduction of precise point mutations and new gene functions, or integration of foreign genes at specific and desired “safe” harbor in a predefined manner. The emergence of three programmable SSNs, such as zinc finger nucleases, transcriptional activator-like effector nucleases, and the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) systems has revolutionized genome modification in plants in a more controlled manner. However, while targeted mutagenesis is becoming routine in plants, the potential of GT technology has not been well realized for traits improvement in crops, mainly due to the fact that NHEJ predominates DNA repair process in somatic cells and competes with the HDR pathway, and thus HDR-mediated GT is a relative rare event in plants. Here, we review recent research findings mainly focusing on development and applications of precise GT in plants using three SSNs systems described above, and the potential mechanisms underlying HDR events in

  16. Precise Genome Modification via Sequence-Specific Nucleases-Mediated Gene Targeting for Crop Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yongwei; Li, Jingying; Xia, Lanqin

    2016-01-01

    Genome editing technologies enable precise modifications of DNA sequences in vivo and offer a great promise for harnessing plant genes in crop improvement. The precise manipulation of plant genomes relies on the induction of DNA double-strand breaks by sequence-specific nucleases (SSNs) to initiate DNA repair reactions that are based on either non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) or homology-directed repair (HDR). While complete knock-outs and loss-of-function mutations generated by NHEJ are very valuable in defining gene functions, their applications in crop improvement are somewhat limited because many agriculturally important traits are conferred by random point mutations or indels at specific loci in either the genes' encoding or promoter regions. Therefore, genome modification through SSNs-mediated HDR for gene targeting (GT) that enables either gene replacement or knock-in will provide an unprecedented ability to facilitate plant breeding by allowing introduction of precise point mutations and new gene functions, or integration of foreign genes at specific and desired "safe" harbor in a predefined manner. The emergence of three programmable SSNs, such as zinc finger nucleases, transcriptional activator-like effector nucleases, and the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) systems has revolutionized genome modification in plants in a more controlled manner. However, while targeted mutagenesis is becoming routine in plants, the potential of GT technology has not been well realized for traits improvement in crops, mainly due to the fact that NHEJ predominates DNA repair process in somatic cells and competes with the HDR pathway, and thus HDR-mediated GT is a relative rare event in plants. Here, we review recent research findings mainly focusing on development and applications of precise GT in plants using three SSNs systems described above, and the potential mechanisms underlying HDR events in plant

  17. Precise genome modification via sequence-specific nucleases-mediated gene targeting for crop improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yongwei Sun

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Genome editing technologies enable precise modifications of DNA sequences in vivo and offer a great promise for harnessing plant genes in crop improvement. The precise manipulation of plant genomes relies on the induction of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs by sequence-specific nucleases (SSNs to initiate DNA repair reactions that are based on either non-homologous end joining (NHEJ or homology-directed repair (HDR. While complete knock-outs and loss-of-function mutations generated by NHEJ are very valuable in defining gene functions, their applications in crop improvement are somewhat limited because many agriculturally important traits are conferred by random point mutations or indels at specific loci in either the genes’ encoding or promoter regions. Therefore, genome modification through SSNs-mediated HDR for gene targeting (GT that enables either gene replacement or knock-in will provide an unprecedented ability to facilitate plant breeding by allowing introduction of precise point mutations and new gene functions, or integration of foreign genes at specific and desired ‘safe’ harbor in a predefined manner. The emergence of three programmable SSNs such as zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs, transcriptional activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs, and the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9 systems has revolutionized genome modification in plants in a more controlled manner. However, while targeted mutagenesis is becoming routine in plants, the potential of GT technology has not been well realized for traits improvement in crops, mainly due to the fact that NHEJ predominates DNA repair process in somatic cells and competes with the HDR pathway, and thus HDR-mediated GT is a relative rare event in plants. Here, we review recent research findings mainly focusing on development and applications of precise GT in plants using three SSNs systems described above, and the potential

  18. Crop Model Improvement Reduces the Uncertainty of the Response to Temperature of Multi-Model Ensembles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maiorano, Andrea; Martre, Pierre; Asseng, Senthold; Ewert, Frank; Mueller, Christoph; Roetter, Reimund P.; Ruane, Alex C.; Semenov, Mikhail A.; Wallach, Daniel; Wang, Enli

    2016-01-01

    To improve climate change impact estimates and to quantify their uncertainty, multi-model ensembles (MMEs) have been suggested. Model improvements can improve the accuracy of simulations and reduce the uncertainty of climate change impact assessments. Furthermore, they can reduce the number of models needed in a MME. Herein, 15 wheat growth models of a larger MME were improved through re-parameterization and/or incorporating or modifying heat stress effects on phenology, leaf growth and senescence, biomass growth, and grain number and size using detailed field experimental data from the USDA Hot Serial Cereal experiment (calibration data set). Simulation results from before and after model improvement were then evaluated with independent field experiments from a CIMMYT worldwide field trial network (evaluation data set). Model improvements decreased the variation (10th to 90th model ensemble percentile range) of grain yields simulated by the MME on average by 39% in the calibration data set and by 26% in the independent evaluation data set for crops grown in mean seasonal temperatures greater than 24 C. MME mean squared error in simulating grain yield decreased by 37%. A reduction in MME uncertainty range by 27% increased MME prediction skills by 47%. Results suggest that the mean level of variation observed in field experiments and used as a benchmark can be reached with half the number of models in the MME. Improving crop models is therefore important to increase the certainty of model-based impact assessments and allow more practical, i.e. smaller MMEs to be used effectively.

  19. Improved Wood Properties Through Genetic Manipulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2006-10-01

    This factsheet describes a research project to replacing the more chemically resistant guaiacyl (G) lignin with the less resistant hardwood guaiacyl (G)-syringyl (S) lignin genes. Achieving this genetic change would reduce the energy, chemical, and bleaching required in Kraft pulp production of softwoods.

  20. Genetically modified and organic crops in developing countries: a review of options for food security.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azadi, Hossein; Ho, Peter

    2010-01-01

    Since two decades ago, when the first GM crops were introduced, there have increasingly been hot debates on the applications of gene manipulation. Currently, the development of GM crop varieties has raised a wide range of new legal, ethical and economic questions in agriculture. There is a growing body of literature reflecting the socio-economic and environmental impacts of GM crops which aims to criticize their value for farming systems. While organic crops are promoted as environmentally-friendly products in developed countries, they have provoked great controversy in developing countries facing food security and a low agricultural productivity. Discussion has been especially vigorous when organic farming was introduced as an alternative method. There are in fact, a few tradeoffs in developing countries. On the one hand, farmers are encouraged to accept and implement GM crops because of their higher productivity, while on the other hand, organic farming is encouraged because of socio-economic and environmental considerations. A crucial question facing such countries is therefore, whether GM crops can co-exist with organic farming. This paper aims to review the main considerations and tradeoffs.

  1. Tracing back seed and pollen flow within the crop-wild Beta vulgaris complex: genetic distinctiveness vs. hot spots of hybridization over a regional scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viard, Frédérique; Arnaud, Jean-François; Delescluse, Maxime; Cuguen, Joël

    2004-06-01

    Hybrids between transgenic crops and wild relatives have been documented successfully in a wide range of cultivated species, having implications on conservation and biosafety management. Nonetheless, the magnitude and frequency of hybridization in the wild is still an open question, in particular when considering several populations at the landscape level. The Beta vulgaris complex provides an excellent biological model to tackle this issue. Weed beets contaminating sugar beet fields are expected to act as a relay between wild populations and crops and from crops-to-crops. In one major European sugar beet production area, nine wild populations and 12 weed populations were genetically characterized using cytoplasmic markers specific to the cultivated lines and nuclear microsatellite loci. A tremendous overall genetic differentiation between neighbouring wild and weed populations was depicted. However, genetic admixture analyses at the individual level revealed clear evidence for gene flow between wild and weed populations. In particular, one wild population displayed a high magnitude of nuclear genetic admixture, reinforced by direct seed flow as evidenced by cytoplasmic markers. Altogether, weed beets were shown to act as relay for gene flow between crops to wild populations and crops to crops by pollen and seeds at a landscape level.

  2. NOTE - Genetic improvement of vegetables: development of open-pollinated cultivars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo César Tavares de Melo

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The estimated market value for vegetable seeds in Brazil, based on prices paid by producers, reached around R$ 300million in 2007. Seeds from open-pollinated cultivars accounted for only 18 %. This data clearly indicates the changeover fromopen-pollinated to hybrid seeds in recent decades in the main varietal segments of the Brazilian vegetable market. This lecture willoutline a historical retrospective of the pioneer activities of genetic improvement of vegetable crops targeting open-pollinatedcultivars in breeding programs conducted by the public universities and research institutes and their impact on the development ofthe Brazilian horticulture. The current situation, challenges and future prospects will also be discussed.

  3. Simulation of collaborative studies for real-time PCR-based quantitation methods for genetically modified crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Satoshi; Sawada, Hiroshi; Naito, Shigehiro; Akiyama, Hiroshi; Teshima, Reiko; Furui, Satoshi; Kitta, Kazumi; Hino, Akihiro

    2013-01-01

    To study impacts of various random effects and parameters of collaborative studies on the precision of quantitation methods of genetically modified (GM) crops, we developed a set of random effects models for cycle time values of a standard curve-based relative real-time PCR that makes use of an endogenous gene sequence as the internal standard. The models and data from a published collaborative study for six GM lines at four concentration levels were used to simulate collaborative studies under various conditions. Results suggested that by reducing the numbers of well replications from three to two, and standard levels of endogenous sequence from five to three, the number of unknown samples analyzable on a 96-well PCR plate in routine analyses could be almost doubled, and still the acceptable repeatability RSD (RSDr crops by real-time PCR and their collaborative studies.

  4. Affordable nutrient solutions for improved food security as evidenced by crop trials.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marijn van der Velde

    Full Text Available The continuing depletion of nutrients from agricultural soils in Sub-Saharan African is accompanied by a lack of substantial progress in crop yield improvement. In this paper we investigate yield gaps for corn under two scenarios: a micro-dosing scenario with marginal increases in nitrogen (N and phosphorus (P of 10 kg ha(-1 and a larger yet still conservative scenario with proposed N and P applications of 80 and 20 kg ha(-1 respectively. The yield gaps are calculated from a database of historical FAO crop fertilizer trials at 1358 locations for Sub-Saharan Africa and South America. Our approach allows connecting experimental field scale data with continental policy recommendations. Two critical findings emerged from the analysis. The first is the degree to which P limits increases in corn yields. For example, under a micro-dosing scenario, in Africa, the addition of small amounts of N alone resulted in mean yield increases of 8% while the addition of only P increased mean yields by 26%, with implications for designing better balanced fertilizer distribution schemes. The second finding was the relatively large amount of yield increase possible for a small, yet affordable amount of fertilizer application. Using African and South American fertilizer prices we show that the level of investment needed to achieve these results is considerably less than 1% of Agricultural GDP for both a micro-dosing scenario and for the scenario involving higher yet still conservative fertilizer application rates. In the latter scenario realistic mean yield increases ranged between 28 to 85% in South America and 71 to 190% in Africa (mean plus one standard deviation. External investment in this low technology solution has the potential to kick start development and could complement other interventions such as better crop varieties and improved economic instruments to support farmers.

  5. Transportability of confined field trial data from cultivation to import countries for environmental risk assessment of genetically modified crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakai, Shuichi; Hoshikawa, Kana; Shimono, Ayako; Ohsawa, Ryo

    2015-12-01

    Requirement of in-country confined field trials for genetically modified (GM) crops prior to unrestricted release is well-established among countries with domestic regulations for the cultivation approval of GM crops. However, the requirement of in-country confined field trials is not common in countries where the scope of the application does not include cultivation. Nonetheless, Japan and China request in-country confined field trials for GM crops which are intended only for use as food, feed and processing. This paper considers the transportability of confined field trial data from cultivation countries (e.g. United States, Canada, and South American countries) to import countries like Japan for the environmental risk assessment of GM crops by reviewing: (1) the purpose of confined field trial assessment, (2) weediness potential, defined as "an ability to establish and persist in an unmanaged area that is frequently disturbed by human activity", of host crops, and (3) reliability of the confined field trial data obtained from cultivation countries. To review the reliability of the confined field data obtained in the US, this paper describes actual examples of three confined field trials of approved GM corn events conducted both in the US and Japan. Based on the above considerations, this paper concludes that confined field data of GM corn and cotton is transportable from cultivation countries to importing countries (e.g. from the US to Japan), regardless of the characteristics of the inserted gene(s). In addition, this paper advocates harmonization of protocols for confined field trials to facilitate more efficient data transportability across different geographies.

  6. Implementation of Sustainable Soil Management Practices to Improve Crop Production in the Different Ethiopian Agro Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    García Moreno, R.; Gameda, S.; Diaz Alvarez, M. C.; Selasie, Y. G.

    2012-04-01

    Agriculture in Ethiopia is one of first priority since close to 10 In this context, the Ethiopian crop production faces to the following soil management challenges: lack of updated soil data, macro and micro nutrient depletion, acidity, salinity and soil surface erosion and crusting. One of the biggest issues is the loss of arable land, above 137 T/yr, reaching during some particularly dried periods until 300 T/yr. In this context, the authors constituted a working group of experts from Spanish and Ethiopian universities, local producers and international and governmental organisms to analyse the problems related to the different agro ecological zones found in Ethiopia and the management practices of different local producers. The study produced the trends to implement in the different areas to improve soil management practices in order to contribute to increase the crop production mainly to achieve food security problems. The analyse produced different working fields for the next years for addressing soil degradation, improving land resources management practices, increasing agricultural productivity, updating the available soil data, developing an international program of education, transferring of knowledge from similar study cases and implementing economical tools to help producers to assure income after severe edapho-climatic events. The practical work and the projects developed for the next period is addressed to smallholder farms belonging to the different 34 agro ecological zones identified in Ethiopia, each of them with very specific environmental, cultural and soil management practices.

  7. Development of agricultural biotechnology and biosafety regulations used to assess the safety of genetically modified crops in Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mousavi, Amir; Malboobi, Mohammad A; Esmailzadeh, Nasrin S

    2007-01-01

    Rapid progress in the application of biotechnological methodologies and development of genetically modified crops in Iran necessitated intensive efforts to establish proper organizations and prepare required rules and regulations at the national level to ensure safe application of biotechnology in all pertinent aspects. Practically, preparation of a national biotechnology strategic plan in the country coincided with development of a national biosafety framework that was the basis for the drafted biosafety law. Although biosafety measures were observed by researchers voluntarily, the establishment of national biosafety organizations since the year 2000 built a great capacity to deal with biosafety issues in the present and future time, particularly with respect to food and agricultural biotechnology.

  8. Genetically modified crops and the scientific paradigms from which they emerge in the light of the rights of nature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Bravo Velásquez

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available In this work the scientific paradigms in which the genetic modified organisms were developed are analysed, and how the right of nature are violated, since in the process of developing then, the DNA structure is altered and consequently, the functions of the manipulated organisms, with impacts on the biological cycles and the processes of evolution. The Constitution of Ecuador on rights of nature is the base to analyse violations occurring at the stage of commercial production and handling of GM crops.

  9. Principle and application of plant mutagenesis in crop improvement: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yusuff Oladosu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The first step in plant breeding is to identify suitable genotypes containing the desired genes among existing varieties, or to create one if it is not found in nature. In nature, variation occurs mainly as a result of mutations and without it, plant breeding would be impossible. In this context, the major aim in mutation-based breeding is to develop and improve well-adapted plant varieties by modifying one or two major traits to increase their productivity or quality. Both physical and chemical mutagenesis is used in inducing mutations in seeds and other planting materials. Then, selection for agronomic traits is done in the first generation, whereby most mutant lines may be discarded. The agronomic traits are confirmed in the second and third generations through evident phenotypic stability, while other evaluations are carried out in the subsequent generations. Finally, only the mutant lines with desirable traits are selected as a new variety or as a parent line for cross breeding. New varieties derived by induced mutatgenesis are used worldwide: rice in Vietnam, Thailand, China and the United States; durum wheat in Italy and Bulgaria; barley in Peru and European nations; soybean in Vietnam and China; wheat in China; as well as leguminous food crops in Pakistan and India. This paper integrates available data about the impact of mutation breeding-derived crop varieties around the world and highlights the potential of mutation breeding as a flexible and practicable approach applicable to any crop provided that appropriate objectives and selection methods are used.

  10. Prioritizing stream types according to their potential risk to receive crop plant material--A GIS-based procedure to assist in the risk assessment of genetically modified crops and systemic insecticide residues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bundschuh, Rebecca; Kuhn, Ulrike; Bundschuh, Mirco; Naegele, Caroline; Elsaesser, David; Schlechtriemen, Ulrich; Oehen, Bernadette; Hilbeck, Angelika; Otto, Mathias; Schulz, Ralf; Hofmann, Frieder

    2016-03-15

    Crop plant residues may enter aquatic ecosystems via wind deposition or surface runoff. In the case of genetically modified crops or crops treated with systemic pesticides, these materials may contain insecticidal Bt toxins or pesticides that potentially affect aquatic life. However, the particular exposure pattern of aquatic ecosystems (i.e., via plant material) is not properly reflected in current risk assessment schemes, which primarily focus on waterborne toxicity and not on plant material as the route of uptake. To assist in risk assessment, the present study proposes a prioritization procedure of stream types based on the freshwater network and crop-specific cultivation data using maize in Germany as a model system. To identify stream types with a high probability of receiving crop materials, we developed a formalized, criteria-based and thus transparent procedure that considers the exposure-related parameters, ecological status--an estimate of the diversity and potential vulnerability of local communities towards anthropogenic stress--and availability of uncontaminated reference sections. By applying the procedure to maize, ten stream types out of 38 are expected to be the most relevant if the ecological effects from plant-incorporated pesticides need to be evaluated. This information is an important first step to identifying habitats within these stream types with a high probability of receiving crop plant material at a more local scale, including accumulation areas. Moreover, the prioritization procedure developed in the present study may support the selection of aquatic species for ecotoxicological testing based on their probability of occurrence in stream types having a higher chance of exposure. Finally, this procedure can be adapted to any geographical region or crop of interest and is, therefore, a valuable tool for a site-specific risk assessment of crop plants carrying systemic pesticides or novel proteins, such as insecticidal Bt toxins, expressed

  11. [Mathematical modeling of the spatial distribution of the pollen produced by genetically modified crops].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medvinskiĭ, A B; Rusakov, A V; Chakraborty, A; Li, B- L-; Marchenko, A I; Sokolov, M S

    2009-01-01

    We represent and analyze the results of mathematical simulation of pollen dispersion from the origin, a field sowed by genetically modified plants. Factors responsible for the genetic isolation of such fields are discussed.

  12. Genetic construction of recombinant Pseudomonas chlororaphis for improved glycerol utilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    The objective of this study is to improve by genetic engineering the glycerol metabolic capability of Pseudomonas chlororaphis which is capable of producing commercially valuable biodegradable poly(hydroxyalkanoate) (PHA) and biosurfactant rhamnolipids (RLs). In the study, glycerol uptake facilitat...

  13. Converging strategies by farmers and scientists to improve soil fertility and enhance crop production in Benin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Saidou, A.

    2006-01-01

    Keywords: Farmer perception, indigenous knowledge, extensive cassava, earthworm casts, arbuscular mycorrhiza, crop rotation, nutrient uptake, soil fertility, co-research, land tenure.Farmers in the transitional zone of Benin claim that extensive cassava cropping and prior cotton fertiliser enhance

  14. Debates on Genetically Modified Crops in the Context of Sustainable Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerasimova, Ksenia

    2016-04-01

    The paper discusses conflicts in perceptions of GM crops illustrating the complexities of GM debates and applications of the concept of sustainable development. The concept consists of three discourses that both opponents and supporters of GM crops refer to in their analyses: environmentalism, social and economic development and the two sub-issues of sustainable development-biodiversity loss and food security. This creates a unique situation when both proponents and opponents of GM food use the same framework of sustainable development to support their arguments and do not reach a common ground. This will be illustrated by a review of the arguments brought by these two groups.

  15. Assessment of genetically modified soybean crops and different cultivars by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and chemometric analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glaucia Braz Alcantara

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes the potentiality of Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR spectroscopy associated to chemometric analysis for assessment of conventional and genetically modified soybean crops. Recently, genetically modified organisms have been queried about their influence on the environment and their safety as food/feed. In this regard, chemical investigations are ever more required. Thus three different soybean cultivars distributed in transgenic Roundup ReadyTM soybean and theirs conventional counterparts were directly investigated by FT-IR spectroscopy and chemometric analysis. The application of PCA and KNN methods permitted the discrimination and classification of the genetically modified samples from conventional ones when they were separately analysed. The analyses showed the chemical variation according to genetic modification. Furthermore, this methodology was efficient for cultivar grouping and highlights cultivar dependence for discrimination between transgenic and non-transgenic samples. According to this study, FT-IR and chemometrics could be used as a quick, easy and low cost tool to assess the chemical composition variation in genetically modified organisms.

  16. Cover-crops - improvement of soil fertility and provision of biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirchmeyr, Franz; Szerencsits, Manfred

    2017-04-01

    Besides climate change, erosion, inadequate crop rotation and intensive tillage may turn arable land into marginal land. On the other hand, reclamation approaches which include arable farming methods may result only in short-term success if they do not consider their effects on humus content and erosion. Additionally, effective reclamation will also have to address the growing need for food production besides biomass provision. Therefore, we investigated if cover or catch crops (CC) may accomplish both goals: Improve soil quality and humus content even if CC-biomass is used for biogas production. Humus content and soil fertility: In comparison to complete fallow in a crop rotation with silage maize and cereals the humus balance can be improved from -50 to +280 kg humus carbon (C) ha-1 year-1 through additional CC (4.5 t DM ha-1) used for biogas production and an equivalent amount of digestate returned to the field. With a CC-yield of 2.5 t DM ha-1 the humus balance results in 220 kg C ha-1 year-1. It is still slightly higher if the same CC remains on the field as green manure (170 kg C ha-1 year-1). Additionally it is important to consider that 20 - 50 % of the assimilated carbon can be found in the plant roots and that roots and root exudates as well as CC harvest residues provide fresh organic matter for soil life. Furthermore, biomass production of cover crops was considerably higher, if they were used for biogas production because of earlier cultivation and later harvest than mulching. Erosion control: The risk of erosion can be reduced by approx. 50 % in comparison to complete fallow if CC with 2.5 t DM ha-1 remain on the field as green manure. A comparable reduction can be achieved, if CC with 4.5 t DM ha-1 are harvested for biogas production. Because of better weed suppression, tilth and soil structure of CC with higher biomass, it is more likely to apply conservation tillage and avoid ploughing. Without ploughing a CC with 4.5 t DM ha-1 used for biogas the

  17. Can Novel Management Practice Improve Soil and Environmental Quality and Sustain Crop Yield Simultaneously?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sainju, Upendra M

    2016-01-01

    Little is known about management practices that can simultaneously improve soil and environmental quality and sustain crop yields. The effects of novel and traditional management practices that included a combination of tillage, crop rotation, and N fertilization on soil C and N, global warming potential (GWP), greenhouse gas intensity (GHGI), and malt barley (Hordeum vulgarie L.) yield and quality were examined under non-irrigated and irrigated cropping systems from 2008 to 2011 in eastern Montana and western North Dakota, USA. In loamy soil under non-irrigated condition in eastern Montana, novel and traditional management practices were no-till malt barley-pea (Pisum sativum L.) with 80 kg N ha(-1) and conventional till malt barley-fallow with 80 kg N ha(-1), respectively. In sandy loam soil under irrigated and non-irrigated conditions in western North Dakota, novel and traditional management practices included no-till malt barley-pea with 67 (non-irrigated) to 134 kg N ha(-1) (irrigated) and conventional till malt barley with 67 (non-irrigated) to 134 kg N ha(-1) (irrigated), respectively. Compared with the traditional management practice, soil organic C (SOC) and total N (STN) at 0-120 cm were 5% greater with the novel management practice under non-irrigated condition in eastern Montana and under irrigated condition in western North Dakota, but were not different under non-irrigated condition in western North Dakota. In both places under irrigated and non-irrigated conditions, total applied N rate, residual soil NO3-N content at 0-120 cm, global warming potential (GWP), and greenhouse gas intensity (GHGI) were 15 to 70% lower with the novel than the traditional management practice. Malt barley yield and quality were not different between the two practices in both places. Novel management practices, such as no-till malt barley-pea with reduced N rate, can simultaneously enhance soil and environmental quality, reduce N input, and sustain crop yield compared with

  18. Can Novel Management Practice Improve Soil and Environmental Quality and Sustain Crop Yield Simultaneously?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Upendra M Sainju

    Full Text Available Little is known about management practices that can simultaneously improve soil and environmental quality and sustain crop yields. The effects of novel and traditional management practices that included a combination of tillage, crop rotation, and N fertilization on soil C and N, global warming potential (GWP, greenhouse gas intensity (GHGI, and malt barley (Hordeum vulgarie L. yield and quality were examined under non-irrigated and irrigated cropping systems from 2008 to 2011 in eastern Montana and western North Dakota, USA. In loamy soil under non-irrigated condition in eastern Montana, novel and traditional management practices were no-till malt barley-pea (Pisum sativum L. with 80 kg N ha(-1 and conventional till malt barley-fallow with 80 kg N ha(-1, respectively. In sandy loam soil under irrigated and non-irrigated conditions in western North Dakota, novel and traditional management practices included no-till malt barley-pea with 67 (non-irrigated to 134 kg N ha(-1 (irrigated and conventional till malt barley with 67 (non-irrigated to 134 kg N ha(-1 (irrigated, respectively. Compared with the traditional management practice, soil organic C (SOC and total N (STN at 0-120 cm were 5% greater with the novel management practice under non-irrigated condition in eastern Montana and under irrigated condition in western North Dakota, but were not different under non-irrigated condition in western North Dakota. In both places under irrigated and non-irrigated conditions, total applied N rate, residual soil NO3-N content at 0-120 cm, global warming potential (GWP, and greenhouse gas intensity (GHGI were 15 to 70% lower with the novel than the traditional management practice. Malt barley yield and quality were not different between the two practices in both places. Novel management practices, such as no-till malt barley-pea with reduced N rate, can simultaneously enhance soil and environmental quality, reduce N input, and sustain crop yield compared

  19. Roots Withstanding their Environment : Exploiting Root System Architecture Responses to Abiotic Stress to Improve Crop Tolerance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koevoets, Iko T; Venema, Jan Henk; Elzenga, J Theo M; Testerink, Christa

    2016-01-01

    To face future challenges in crop production dictated by global climate changes, breeders and plant researchers collaborate to develop productive crops that are able to withstand a wide range of biotic and abiotic stresses. However, crop selection is often focused on shoot performance alone, as obse

  20. The uncertainty of crop yield projections is reduced by improved temperature response functions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, Enli; Martre, Pierre; Zhao, Zhigan; Ewert, Frank; Maiorano, Andrea; Rötter, Reimund P.; Kimball, Bruce A.; Ottman, Michael J.; Wall, Gerard W.; White, Jeffrey W.; Reynolds, Matthew P.; Alderman, Phillip D.; Aggarwal, Pramod K.; Anothai, Jakarat; Basso, Bruno; Biernath, Christian; Cammarano, Davide; Challinor, Andrew J.; Sanctis, De Giacomo; Doltra, Jordi; Fereres, Elias; Garcia-Vila, Margarita; Gayler, Sebastian; Hoogenboom, Gerrit; Hunt, Leslie A.; Izaurralde, Roberto C.; Jabloun, Mohamed; Jones, Curtis D.; Kersebaum, Kurt Christian; Koehler, Ann Kristin; Liu, Leilei; Müller, Christoph; Naresh Kumar, Soora; Nendel, Claas; O'Leary, Garry; Olesen, Jørgen E.; Palosuo, Taru; Priesack, Eckart; Eyshi Rezaei, Ehsan; Ripoche, Dominique; Ruane, Alex C.; Semenov, Mikhail A.; Shcherbak, Iurii; Stöckle, Claudio O.; Stratonovitch, Pierre; Streck, Thilo; Supit, Iwan; Tao, Fulu; Thorburn, Peter J.; Waha, Katharina; Wallach, Daniel; Wang, Zhimin; Wolf, Joost; Zhu, Yan; Asseng, Senthold

    2017-01-01

    Increasing the accuracy of crop productivity estimates is a key element in planning adaptation strategies to ensure global food security under climate change. Process-based crop models are effective means to project climate impact on crop yield, but have large uncertainty in yield simulations. Here,

  1. The simulation of cropping pattern to improve the performance of irrigation network in Cau irrigation area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahyuningsih, Retno; Rintis Hadiani, RR; Sobriyah

    2017-01-01

    Cau irrigation area located in Madiun district, East Java Province, irrigates 1.232 Ha of land which covers Cau primary channel irrigation network, Wungu Secondary channel irrigation network, and Grape secondary channel irrigation network. The problems in Cau irrigation area are limited availability of water especially during the dry season (planting season II and III) and non-compliance to cropping patterns. The evaluation of irrigation system performance of Cau irrigation area needs to be done in order to know how far the irrigation system performance is, especially based on planting productivity aspect. The improvement of irrigation network performance through cropping pattern optimization is based on the increase of water necessity fulfillment (k factor), the realization of planting area and rice productivity. The research method of irrigation system performance is by analyzing the secondary data based on the Regulation of Ministry of Public Work and State Minister for Public Housing Number: 12/PRT/M/2015. The analysis of water necessity fulfillment (k factor) uses Public Work Plan Criteria Method. The performance level of planting productivity aspect in existing condition is 87.10%, alternative 1 is 93.90% dan alternative 2 is 96.90%. It means that the performance of the irrigation network from productivity aspect increases 6.80% for alternative 1 and 9.80% for alternative 2.

  2. Estimation of Crop Gross Primary Production (GPP). 2; Do Scaled (MODIS) Vegetation Indices Improve Performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qingyuan; Cheng, Yen-Ben; Lyapustin, Alexei I.; Wang, Yujie; Zhang, Xiaoyang; Suyker, Andrew; Verma, Shashi; Shuai, Yanmin; Middleton, Elizabeth M.

    2015-01-01

    Satellite remote sensing estimates of Gross Primary Production (GPP) have routinely been made using spectral Vegetation Indices (VIs) over the past two decades. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), the green band Wide Dynamic Range Vegetation Index (WDRVIgreen), and the green band Chlorophyll Index (CIgreen) have been employed to estimate GPP under the assumption that GPP is proportional to the product of VI and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) (where VI is one of four VIs: NDVI, EVI, WDRVIgreen, or CIgreen). However, the empirical regressions between VI*PAR and GPP measured locally at flux towers do not pass through the origin (i.e., the zero X-Y value for regressions). Therefore they are somewhat difficult to interpret and apply. This study investigates (1) what are the scaling factors and offsets (i.e., regression slopes and intercepts) between the fraction of PAR absorbed by chlorophyll of a canopy (fAPARchl) and the VIs, and (2) whether the scaled VIs developed in (1) can eliminate the deficiency and improve the accuracy of GPP estimates. Three AmeriFlux maize and soybean fields were selected for this study, two of which are irrigated and one is rainfed. The four VIs and fAPARchl of the fields were computed with the MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite images. The GPP estimation performance for the scaled VIs was compared to results obtained with the original VIs and evaluated with standard statistics: the coefficient of determination (R2), the root mean square error (RMSE), and the coefficient of variation (CV). Overall, the scaled EVI obtained the best performance. The performance of the scaled NDVI, EVI and WDRVIgreen was improved across sites, crop types and soil/background wetness conditions. The scaled CIgreen did not improve results, compared to the original CIgreen. The scaled green band indices (WDRVIgreen, CIgreen) did not exhibit superior performance to either the

  3. Host plant associated genetic divergence of two Diatraea spp. (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) stemborers on novel crop plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diatraea lineolata and Diatraea saccharalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) are moths with stemboring larvae that feed and develop on economically important grasses. This study investigated whether these moths have diverged from a native host plant, corn, onto introduced crop plants including sorghum, suga...

  4. Particle bombardment and the genetic enhancement of crops: myths and realities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Altpeter, F.; Baisakh, N.; Beachy, R.; Bock, R.; Capell, T.; Christou, P.; Daniell, H.; Datta, K.; Datta, S.; Dix, P.J.; Fauquet, C.; Huang, N.; Kohli, A.; Mooibroek, H.; Nicholson, L.; Nguyen, T.T.; Nugent, G.; Raemakers, C.J.J.M.; Romano, A.; Somers, D.A.; Stoger, E.; Taylor, N.; Visser, R.G.F.

    2005-01-01

    DNA transfer by particle bombardment makes use of physical processes to achieve the transformation of crop plants. There is no dependence on bacteria, so the limitations inherent in organisms such as Agrobacterium tumefaciens do not apply. The absence of biological constraints, at least until DNA ha

  5. Host-plant associated genetic divergence of two Diatraea spp. (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) stemborers on novel crop plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joyce, Andrea L; Sermeno Chicas, Miguel; Serrano Cervantes, Leopoldo; Paniagua, Miguel; Scheffer, Sonja J; Solis, M Alma

    2016-12-01

    Diatraea lineolata and Diatraea saccharalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) are moths with stemboring larvae that feed and develop on economically important grasses. This study investigated whether these moths have diverged from a native host plant, corn, onto introduced crop plants including sorghum, sugarcane, and rice. Diatraea larvae were collected from these four host plants throughout the year in El Salvador and were reared on artificial diet until moths or parasitoids emerged. Adult moths were subsequently identified to species. Amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) and mitochondrial DNA cytochrome oxidase I (COI) were used to examine whether or not there was genetic divergence of D. lineolata or D. saccharalis populations on the four host plants. Percent parasitism was also determined for each moth on its host plants. D. lineolata was collected from corn in the rainy season and sorghum in the dry season. D. saccharalis was most abundant on sugarcane in the rainy season and sorghum in the dry season. The AFLP analysis found two genetically divergent populations of both D. lineolata and D. saccharalis. Both moths had high levels of parasitism on their dominant host plant in the rainy season, yet had low levels of parasitism on sorghum in the dry season. The presence of two genotypes of both Diatraea spp. on sorghum suggest that host-associated differentiation is occurring on this novel introduced crop plant.

  6. [Progress in improvement of continuous monoculture cropping problem in Panax ginseng by controlling soil-borne disease management].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Rui; Dong, Lin-Lin; Xu, Jiang; Chen, Jun-Wen; Li, Xi-Wen; Chen, Shi-Lin

    2016-11-01

    The continuous monoculture cropping problem severely has hindered the land resource of Panax ginseng cultivation and threatened the sustainable development of ginseng industry. There are comprehensive factors causing the continuous monoculture cropping problem, such as deterioration of soil physical and chemical properties, accumulation of allelochemical, increase of pesticide residue and heavy metal, imbalance of rhizospheric micro-ecosystem, and increase of soil-borne diseases. Among soil-borne disease was one of the key factors. More than 40 soil-borne diseases have been reported in the ginseng cultivation, especially, the diseases were more serious in the ginseng replanting land. Here main soil-borne diseases and their prevention way have been summarized, and we try to provide the effective improvement strategy of continuous monoculture cropping problem focusing on the disease control and offer reference for overcoming the ginseng continuous monoculture cropping problem. Copyright© by the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association.

  7. Molecular identification of sex in Simarouba glauca by RAPD markers for crop improvement strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gayatri Vaidya

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Due to lack of morphological methods to identify sex at early stage in the plants with long juvenile period the application of molecular markers is expected to facilitate breeding program. The objective of this study is to identify molecular markers linked to sex determination of the plant Simarouba glauca which assists in crop improvement program. Random amplified polymorphic DNA primers were tested on dioeceious and hermaphrodite plant Simarouba glauca. A set of eighty five RAPD primers were screened out of which only five primers were found to be associated with sex. The primer OPU-10 is male specific and OPD-19 primer is female specific. Another primer OPU-19 produced a unique amplification in only hermaphrodite individuals. Female and hermaphrodite specific primer OPS-05 amplified an amplicon in female and hermaphrodite and was absent in male plant. Primer OPW-03 produced amplicon specific to male and hermaphrodite plants and was absent in female plants.

  8. Cytosolic glutamine synthetase: a target for improvement of crop nitrogen use efficiency?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomsen, Hanne C; Eriksson, Dennis; Møller, Inge S; Schjoerring, Jan K

    2014-10-01

    Overexpression of the cytosolic enzyme glutamine synthetase 1 (GS1) has been investigated in numerous cases with the goal of improving crop nitrogen use efficiency. However, the outcome has generally been inconsistent. Here, we review possible reasons underlying the lack of success and conclude that GS1 activity may be downregulated via a chain of processes elicited by metabolic imbalances and environmental constraints. We suggest that a pivotal role of GS1 may be related to the maintenance of essential nitrogen (N) flows and internal N sensing during critical stages of plant development. A number of more refined overexpression strategies exploiting gene stacking combined with tissue and cell specific targeting to overcome metabolic bottlenecks are considered along with their potential in relation to new N management strategies.

  9. Efficiency and emission of crop residues combustion facilities in Serbia: Status and needed measures for improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martinov Milan

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Use of crop residues as fuel has a long tradition in rural areas of Serbia. Numerous biomass-fueled facilities were built during the 80s. Among those were small facilities for household heating, with thermal power from 5 to 50 kW, medium-size facilities for farm and greenhouses, with thermal power 50 to 1000 kW, and large facilities for processing of agricultural products, with thermal powers higher than 1000 kW. The results showed that the level of biomass combustion facilities is in general very low. This is especially the case for heating facilities used for house-hold heating. The measures for improvement were proposed. .

  10. Phylogenetically diverse AM fungi from Ecuador strongly improve seedling growth of native potential crop trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schüßler, Arthur; Krüger, Claudia; Urgiles, Narcisa

    2016-04-01

    In many deforested regions of the tropics, afforestation with native tree species could valorize a growing reservoir of degraded, previously overused and abandoned land. The inoculation of tropical tree seedlings with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AM fungi) can improve tree growth and viability, but efficiency may depend on plant and AM fungal genotype. To study such effects, seven phylogenetically diverse AM fungi, native to Ecuador, from seven genera and a non-native AM fungus (Rhizophagus irregularis DAOM197198) were used to inoculate the tropical potential crop tree (PCT) species Handroanthus chrysanthus (synonym Tabebuia chrysantha), Cedrela montana, and Heliocarpus americanus. Twenty-four plant-fungus combinations were studied in five different fertilization and AMF inoculation treatments. Numerous plant growth parameters and mycorrhizal root colonization were assessed. The inoculation with any of the tested AM fungi improved seedling growth significantly and in most cases reduced plant mortality. Plants produced up to threefold higher biomass, when compared to the standard nursery practice. AM fungal inoculation alone or in combination with low fertilization both outperformed full fertilization in terms of plant growth promotion. Interestingly, root colonization levels for individual fungi strongly depended on the host tree species, but surprisingly the colonization strength did not correlate with plant growth promotion. The combination of AM fungal inoculation with a low dosage of slow release fertilizer improved PCT seedling performance strongest, but also AM fungal treatments without any fertilization were highly efficient. The AM fungi tested are promising candidates to improve management practices in tropical tree seedling production.

  11. IMPROVING PLANT GENETIC ENGINEERING BY MANIPULATING THE HOST. (R829479C001)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrobacterium-mediated transformation is a major technique for the genetic engineering of plants. However, there are many economically important crop and tree species that remain highly recalcitrant to Agrobacterium infection. Although attempts have been made to ...

  12. Comparative analysis of maize (Zea mays) crop performance: natural variation, incremental improvements and economic impacts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leibman, Mark; Shryock, Jereme J; Clements, Michael J; Hall, Michael A; Loida, Paul J; McClerren, Amanda L; McKiness, Zoe P; Phillips, Jonathan R; Rice, Elena A; Stark, Steven B

    2014-09-01

    Grain yield from maize hybrids continues to improve through advances in breeding and biotechnology. Despite genetic improvements to hybrid maize, grain yield from distinct maize hybrids is expected to vary across growing locations due to numerous environmental factors. In this study, we examine across-location variation in grain yield among maize hybrids in three case studies. The three case studies examine hybrid improvement through breeding, introduction of an insect protection trait or introduction of a transcription factor trait associated with increased yield. In all cases, grain yield from each hybrid population had a Gaussian distribution. Across-location distributions of grain yield from each hybrid partially overlapped. The hybrid with a higher mean grain yield typically outperformed its comparator at most, but not all, of the growing locations (a 'win rate'). These results suggest that a broad set of environmental factors similarly impacts grain yields from both conventional- and biotechnology-derived maize hybrids and that grain yields among two or more hybrids should be compared with consideration given to both mean yield performance and the frequency of locations at which each hybrid 'wins' against its comparators. From an economic standpoint, growers recognize the value of genetically improved maize hybrids that outperform comparators in the majority of locations. Grower adoption of improved maize hybrids drives increases in average U.S. maize grain yields and contributes significant value to the economy.

  13. Maximizing root/rhizosphere efficiency to improve crop productivity and nutrient use efficiency in intensive agriculture of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Jianbo; Li, Chunjian; Mi, Guohua; Li, Long; Yuan, Lixing; Jiang, Rongfeng; Zhang, Fusuo

    2013-03-01

    Root and rhizosphere research has been conducted for many decades, but the underlying strategy of root/rhizosphere processes and management in intensive cropping systems remain largely to be determined. Improved grain production to meet the food demand of an increasing population has been highly dependent on chemical fertilizer input based on the traditionally assumed notion of 'high input, high output', which results in overuse of fertilizers but ignores the biological potential of roots or rhizosphere for efficient mobilization and acquisition of soil nutrients. Root exploration in soil nutrient resources and root-induced rhizosphere processes plays an important role in controlling nutrient transformation, efficient nutrient acquisition and use, and thus crop productivity. The efficiency of root/rhizosphere in terms of improved nutrient mobilization, acquisition, and use can be fully exploited by: (1) manipulating root growth (i.e. root development and size, root system architecture, and distribution); (2) regulating rhizosphere processes (i.e. rhizosphere acidification, organic anion and acid phosphatase exudation, localized application of nutrients, rhizosphere interactions, and use of efficient crop genotypes); and (3) optimizing root zone management to synchronize root growth and soil nutrient supply with demand of nutrients in cropping systems. Experiments have shown that root/rhizosphere management is an effective approach to increase both nutrient use efficiency and crop productivity for sustainable crop production. The objectives of this paper are to summarize the principles of root/rhizosphere management and provide an overview of some successful case studies on how to exploit the biological potential of root system and rhizosphere processes to improve crop productivity and nutrient use efficiency.

  14. Capacity Building on Food-Crop Farming to Improve Food Production and Food Security in Central Java, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Waridin

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes the capacity of food-crop production for improving regional food security in Central Java, Indonesia. It is also identify crops which have high and prospective economic-values. The results of the study might help in formulating a proposed model to improve food crops production in supporting food security. The case study was conducted in districts which play the important roles on agriculture (rice production in Central Java, Indonesia. These are Klaten and Magelang districts. Data were collected from farmers and officers from agriculture-related institutions. The results show that Central Java Province has the capacity on food crop (rice production for securing food availability, distribution, and accessibility for people in the region. It has a moderate on food security for the products, and surplus of production have distributed to other regions within the country. However, other food crops still facing shortage of supply since lack of productions. It requires a commitment from government and stakeholders for improving capacity building on agricultural development.

  15. Are biofortified staple food crops improving vitamin A and iron status in women and children? New evidence from efficacy trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Moura, Fabiana F; Palmer, Amanda C; Finkelstein, Julia L; Haas, Jere D; Murray-Kolb, Laura E; Wenger, Michael J; Birol, Ekin; Boy, Erick; Peña-Rosas, Juan Pablo

    2014-09-01

    Biofortification is the breeding of crops to increase their nutritional value, including increased contents of micronutrients or their precursors. Biofortification aims to increase nutrient levels in crops during plant growth rather than during processing of the crops into foods. Emerging research from 8 human trials conducted in the past decade with staple food crops that have been biofortified by traditional plant breeding methods were presented in this symposium. Specifically, data from 6 efficacy and 2 effectiveness trials were discussed to assess the effects of regular consumption of these enhanced staple crops on improving population vitamin A and iron status and reducing the burden of micronutrient deficiencies in targeted populations living in South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America. Biofortified food crops appear to have a positive impact on nutritional and functional health outcomes, as the results from the trials suggest. Additional implementation research will be needed to ensure maximization of the beneficial impact of this intervention and a smooth scaling up to make biofortification a sustainable intervention in public health. The challenge for the global health community remains how to take this efficacious intervention and implement at large scale in the real world.

  16. Support Vector Machine Optimized by Improved Genetic Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiang Chang Sheng

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Parameters of support vector machines (SVM which is optimized by standard genetic algorithm is easy to trap into the local minimum, in order to get the optimal parameters of support vector machine, this paper proposed a parameters optimization method for support vector machines based on improved genetic algorithm, the simulation experiment is carried out on 5 benchmark datasets. The simulation show that the proposed method not only can assure the classification precision, but also can reduce training time markedly compared with standard genetic algorithm.

  17. Cover crops to improve soil health and pollinator habitat in nut orchards: Part II

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerry. Van Sambeek

    2017-01-01

    Integrating cover crops into a nut orchard can have some unique benefits and problems not found when used cover crops during the fallow period between cash crops. Studies show ground covers can reduce hardwood tree growth anywhere from a few percent to more than 70 percent in the case of tall fescue. This means if it takes 3 years to put on one inch of diameter growth...

  18. In vitro plant propagation and crop improvement in Lisianthus (Lisianthus Russelianus Hook.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodica Pop

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Romania assists at the present time to an increase of production crops for ornamental plants and as a consequence an increased demand of planting material. Thus, improvements of the current multiplication methods are sought after. Lisianthus russelianus Hook. (Eustoma grandiflorum Grise. is a relatively new floral crop to the international market, known for beautiful flowers of various colors and for having a long vase life. This study focused on the development of an efficient protocol for rapid regeneration of this species following known basic and applied aspects of lisianthus biotechnology but exploring new potentials. In the course of experiments conducted, for in vitro multiplication there were used nodal segments (1.5 cm with axillary buds from three F1 hybrids ‘Echo Lavender’, ‘Flamenco White’, ‘Mirage Pastel Pink’ that were inoculated on MS basal medium supplemented with 0.50 mg 1-1 TDZ, 1.0 mg 1-1 BAP and 0.50 mg 1-1 AIA. The results show that the medium with BAP was most effective for obtaining the highest shoots number compared to medium containing TDZ. For rooting induction, two different concentrations of auxin IBA 0.5 mg 1-1 and 1.5 mg 1-1 were used simultaneously on MS basal medium. The highest roots number occurred when using 1.5 mg 1-1 IBA. Both the number of shoots and rooting regeneration were dependent on the cultivar. The highest shoots number was achieved for ’Mirage Pastel Pink’ hybrid (6.91 on the medium containing 1.0 mg 1-1 BAP and 0.50 mg 1-1 IAA.

  19. Increasing Crop Diversity Mitigates Weather Variations and Improves Yield Stability: e0113261

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Amélie C M Gaudin; Tor N Tolhurst; Alan P Ker; Ken Janovicek; Cristina Tortora; Ralph C Martin; William Deen

    2015-01-01

    .... Yield advantages of more diverse crop rotations and their synergistic effects with reduced tillage are well documented, but few studies have quantified the impact of these management practices...

  20. An improved genetic algorithm for searching for pollution sources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Quan-min BU

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available As an optimization method that has experienced rapid development over the past 20 years, the genetic algorithm has been successfully applied in many fields, but it requires repeated searches based on the characteristics of high-speed computer calculation and conditions of the known relationship between the objective function and independent variables. There are several hundred generations of evolvement, but the functional relationship is unknown in pollution source searches. Therefore, the genetic algorithm cannot be used directly. Certain improvements need to be made based on the actual situation, so that the genetic algorithm can adapt to the actual conditions of environmental problems, and can be used in environmental monitoring and environmental quality assessment. Therefore, a series of methods are proposed for the improvement of the genetic algorithm: (1 the initial generation of individual groups should be artificially set and move from lightly polluted areas to heavily polluted areas; (2 intervention measures should be introduced in the competition between individuals; (3 guide individuals should be added; and (4 specific improvement programs should be put forward. Finally, the scientific rigor and rationality of the improved genetic algorithm are proven through an example.

  1. Improved Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Crop Production at the Catchment Scale via a Process-Based Nitrogen Simulation Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Wenjie; van der Werf, Hayo M G; Salmon-Monviola, Jordy

    2015-09-15

    One of the major challenges in environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) of crop production is the nonlinearity between nitrogen (N) fertilizer inputs and on-site N emissions resulting from complex biogeochemical processes. A few studies have addressed this nonlinearity by combining process-based N simulation models with LCA, but none accounted for nitrate (NO3(-)) flows across fields. In this study, we present a new method, TNT2-LCA, that couples the topography-based simulation of nitrogen transfer and transformation (TNT2) model with LCA, and compare the new method with a current LCA method based on a French life cycle inventory database. Application of the two methods to a case study of crop production in a catchment in France showed that, compared to the current method, TNT2-LCA allows delineation of more appropriate temporal limits when developing data for on-site N emissions associated with specific crops in this catchment. It also improves estimates of NO3(-) emissions by better consideration of agricultural practices, soil-climatic conditions, and spatial interactions of NO3(-) flows across fields, and by providing predicted crop yield. The new method presented in this study provides improved LCA of crop production at the catchment scale.

  2. AGROBACTERIUM-MEDIATED GENETIC TRANSFORMATION OF SORGHUM USING TISSUE CULTURE-BASED AND POLLEN-MEDIATED APPROACHES

    OpenAIRE

    Elkonin L.A.; O.N. Nosova; J.V. Italianskaya

    2012-01-01

    Genetic transformation is a powerful tool for genetic improvement of arable crops. Genetic engineering approaches are especially important for modification of starch and protein contents, vitamin and micronutrient concentration, improvement of nutritive value of protein fractions, and increase tolerance to environmental stresses. Application of transgenic technologies for genetic improvement of sorghum, a highly productive heat tolerant and drought resistant crop, is extremely important since...

  3. Improved Genetic Algorithm Application in Textile Defect Detection

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GENG Zhao-feng; Li Bei-bei; ZHAO Zhi-hong

    2007-01-01

    Based on an efficient improved genetic algorithm,a pattern recognition approach is represented for textile defects inspection. An image process is developed to automatically detect the drawbacks on textile caused by three circumstances: break, dual, and jump of yams. By statistic method, some texture feature values of the image with defects points can be achieved. Therefore, the textile defects are classified properly. The advanced process of the defect image is done. Image segmentation is realized by an improved genetic algorithm to detect the defects. This method can be used to automatically classify and detect textile defects. According to different users' requirements, ifferent types of textile material can be detected.

  4. Converging strategies by farmers and scientists to improve soil fertility and enhance crop production in Benin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Saidou, A.

    2006-01-01

    Keywords: Farmer perception, indigenous knowledge, extensive cassava, earthworm casts, arbuscular mycorrhiza, crop rotation, nutrient uptake, soil fertility, co-research, land tenure.Farmers in the transitional zone of Benin claim that extensive cassava cropping and prior cotton fertiliser enhance y

  5. Exploring options for improving water and nitrogen use efficiency in crop production systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Qin, W.

    2015-01-01

    Water and nitrogen (N) are two key limiting factors in global crop production. However, the optimization of water and N use is often studied separately, and the interactions between water and N use in crop production are often neglected. Lack of systematic

  6. An Improved Genetic Algorithm with Quasi-Gradient Crossover

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiao-Ling Zhang; Li Du; Guang-Wei Zhang; Qiang Miao; Zhong-Lai Wang

    2008-01-01

    The convergence of genetic algorithm is mainly determined by its core operation crossover operation. When the objective function is a multiple hump function, traditional genetic algorithms are easily trapped into local optimum, which is called premature conver gence. In this paper, we propose a new genetic algorithm with improved arithmetic crossover operation based on gradient method. This crossover operation can generate offspring along quasi-gradient direction which is the Steepest descent direction of the value of objective function. The selection operator is also simplified, every individual in the population is given an opportunity to get evolution to avoid complicated selection algorithm. The adaptive mutation operator and the elitist strategy are also applied in this algorithm. The case 4 indicates this algorithm can faster converge to the global optimum and is more stable than the conventional genetic algorithms.

  7. Using Metabolomics To Estimate Unintended Effects in Transgenic Crop Plants: Problems, Promises, and Opportunities

    OpenAIRE

    2008-01-01

    Transgenic crops are widespread in some countries and sectors of the agro-economy, but are also highly contentious. Proponents of transgenic crop improvement often cite the “substantial equivalence” of transgenic crops to the their nontransgenic parents and sibling varieties. Opponents of transgenic crop improvement dismiss the substantial equivalence standard as being without statistical basis and emphasize the possible unintended effects to food quality and composition due to genetic transf...

  8. Defining multiple-trait objectives for sustainable genetic improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, J P; Wilton, J W

    1998-09-01

    Genetic improvement is inherently a long-term process in which progress in the future is built upon improvement in the past. Discounting of future returns is often used in deriving economic values of traits under selection, but this gives a short-term perspective that is in conflict with the long-term nature of genetic improvement. Changes in management, market environment, and genetic potential over time can negatively affect the attainment of breeding goals. Nonlinear optimization techniques can be used to find optimum economic weights each year over any time horizon. Nearly optimal solutions can be found by deriving economic weights for a single, specified future date. Uncertainty about future production and marketing environments creates risk that might be lessened by maintaining or selecting for diverse genetic stocks that could be used in the future. Such programs may need to be coordinated internationally because they may be too expensive for individual companies to undertake. Consideration of risk and careful analyses of future technical and environmental conditions are needed to define multiple trait objectives for long-term genetic change.

  9. Rooms for genetic improvement in Indonesian Bali cattle population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widyas, N.; Nugroho, T.; Prastowo, S.

    2017-04-01

    Bali cattle is a species of Bos javanicus d’Alton, a local cattle in Indonesia. They are loaded with potential as meat producer and well adapted to tropical climate and limited feed resources. Studies have been made to characterize the species. This paper presents a rough estimate of the opportunity to improve the Bali cattle population genetically. Our aim is to endorse that the Bali cattle could be both superior and efficient as tropical meat producer cattle. Results shows that Bali cattle population size is decreasing for the last years with a possibility to be accompanied by genetic quality decline. However, there is hope in improving Bali cattle genetically by a proper breeding strategy. This could also be an answer to the challenge of climate change which leads to global warming; where species adaptable to such environment is more beneficial in the future.

  10. Putting mechanisms into crop production models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boote, Kenneth J; Jones, James W; White, Jeffrey W; Asseng, Senthold; Lizaso, Jon I

    2013-09-01

    Crop growth models dynamically simulate processes of C, N and water balance on daily or hourly time-steps to predict crop growth and development and at season-end, final yield. Their ability to integrate effects of genetics, environment and crop management have led to applications ranging from understanding gene function to predicting potential impacts of climate change. The history of crop models is reviewed briefly, and their level of mechanistic detail for assimilation and respiration, ranging from hourly leaf-to-canopy assimilation to daily radiation-use efficiency is discussed. Crop models have improved steadily over the past 30-40 years, but much work remains. Improvements are needed for the prediction of transpiration response to elevated CO₂ and high temperature effects on phenology and reproductive fertility, and simulation of root growth and nutrient uptake under stressful edaphic conditions. Mechanistic improvements are needed to better connect crop growth to genetics and to soil fertility, soil waterlogging and pest damage. Because crop models integrate multiple processes and consider impacts of environment and management, they have excellent potential for linking research from genomics and allied disciplines to crop responses at the field scale, thus providing a valuable tool for deciphering genotype by environment by management effects. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Applying remote sensing expertise to crop improvement: progress and challenges to scale up high throughput field phenotyping from research to industry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gouache, David; Beauchêne, Katia; Mini, Agathe; Fournier, Antoine; de Solan, Benoit; Baret, Fred; Comar, Alexis

    2016-05-01

    Digital and image analysis technologies in greenhouses have become commonplace in plant science research and started to move into the plant breeding industry. However, the core of plant breeding work takes place in fields. We will present successive technological developments that have allowed the migration and application of remote sensing approaches at large into the field of crop genetics and physiology research, with a number of projects that have taken place in France. These projects have allowed us to develop combined sensor plus vector systems, from tractor mounted and UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) mounted spectroradiometry to autonomous vehicle mounted spectroradiometry, RGB (red-green-blue) imagery and Lidar. We have tested these systems for deciphering the genetics of complex plant improvement targets such as the robustness to nitrogen and water deficiency of wheat and maize. Our results from wheat experiments indicate that these systems can be used both to screen genetic diversity for nitrogen stress tolerance and to decipher the genetics behind this diversity. We will present our view on the next critical steps in terms of technology and data analysis that will be required to reach cost effective implementation in industrial plant breeding programs. If this can be achieved, these technologies will largely contribute to resolving the equation of increasing food supply in the resource limited world that lies ahead.

  12. Combinatorial optimization problem solution based on improved genetic algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Peng

    2017-08-01

    Traveling salesman problem (TSP) is a classic combinatorial optimization problem. It is a simplified form of many complex problems. In the process of study and research, it is understood that the parameters that affect the performance of genetic algorithm mainly include the quality of initial population, the population size, and crossover probability and mutation probability values. As a result, an improved genetic algorithm for solving TSP problems is put forward. The population is graded according to individual similarity, and different operations are performed to different levels of individuals. In addition, elitist retention strategy is adopted at each level, and the crossover operator and mutation operator are improved. Several experiments are designed to verify the feasibility of the algorithm. Through the experimental results analysis, it is proved that the improved algorithm can improve the accuracy and efficiency of the solution.

  13. Genetics- and genomics-based interventions for nutritional enhancement of grain legume crops: status and outlook.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohra, Abhishek; Sahrawat, Kanwar L; Kumar, Shiv; Joshi, Rohit; Parihar, Ashok K; Singh, Ummed; Singh, Deepak; Singh, Narendra P

    2015-05-01

    Meeting the food demands and ensuring nutritional security of the ever increasing global population in the face of degrading natural resource base and impending climate change is the biggest challenge of the twenty first century. The consequences of mineral/micronutrient deficiencies or the hidden hunger in the developing world are indeed alarming and need urgent attention. In addressing the problems associated with mineral/micronutrient deficiency, grain legumes as an integral component of the farming systems in the developing world have to play a crucial role. For resource-poor populations, a strategy based on selecting and/or developing grain legume cultivars with grains denser in micronutrients, by biofortification, seems the most appropriate and attractive approach to address the problem. This is evident from the on-going global research efforts on biofortification to provide nutrient-dense grains for use by the poorest of the poor in the developing countries. Towards this end, rapidly growing genomics technologies hold promise to hasten the progress of breeding nutritious legume crops. In conjunction with the myriad of expansions in genomics, advances in other 'omics' technologies particularly plant ionomics or ionome profiling open up novel opportunities to comprehensively examine the elemental composition and mineral networks of an organism in a rapid and cost-effective manner. These emerging technologies would effectively guide the scientific community to enrich the edible parts of grain legumes with bio-available minerals and enhancers/promoters. We believe that the application of these new-generation tools in turn would provide crop-based solutions to hidden hunger worldwide for achieving global nutritional security.

  14. Accelerating adoption of genetically modified crops in Africa through a trade liability regime.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smyth, Stuart J; Kerr, William A; Phillips, Peter W B

    2013-06-01

    Given the apparently unbridgeable divide that has developed between the 25 odd countries that grow and trade GM crops and the evolving EU regulatory hurdles, it may be time to consider alternative strategies for realizing a global market for agricultural products. Africa is one area of the world where the battle over GM agriculture is being played out, yet it is the continent where GM could have the greatest positive impact. Numerous African nations, given their long-standing trade connections to European nations, fear that allowing the commercialization of GM crops could lead to comingling of GM and conventional products and, hence, the loss of export opportunities to the EU. These are legitimate concerns. One potential solution that warrants serious consideration would be to establish a pool of funds that could be accessed by African agricultural commodity exporters in instances where exports to Europe are rejected. A production levy could be imposed in leading industrial adopting nations (i.e., Australia, Canada and the United States). The revenue raised would provide an endowment fund that could be used to offset the costs arising from import refusals. African-sourced shipments rejected by the EU will most certainly have alternate markets, but could receive a reduced price or incur higher costs associated with serving alternate markets. The intent of the fund would be to compensate for the real difference between the net returns contracted with European importers and the final market price received. This article examines the feasibility of establishing such a fund and discusses the funding options.

  15. General surveillance of genetically modified crops : possibilities of GIS and remote sensing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roerink, G.J.; Danes, M.H.G.I.

    2010-01-01

    According EU legislation a General Surveillance is necessary to monitor for unanticipated adverse effects of genetically modified organisms on the environment. In this report a prototype of a monitoring system for such a Surveillance is introduced on the basis of time series analysis of satellite im

  16. UTILIZATION OF ROOT-COLONIZING FUNGI FOR IMPROVED PERFORMANCE OF AGRICULTURAL CROPS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JOY MICHAL JOHNSON

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Soil is a non-renewable natural resource which forms all ecosystems on the earth and provides the basis for food production for heterotrophic organisms, including men. The increase in the world population requires also an increase in agricultural production which was and is mainly achieved by massive use of mineral nutrients. However, the experience of the last century has demonstrated that the high mineral input has severe consequences for the ecosystems. An alternative more environmentally friendly strategy for agricultural production is provided by the nature itself: Beneficial root-colonizing fungi and bacteria have tremendous impact on the performance of agricultural plants (crops. Understanding of these symbioses requires knowledge about the communication between the partners. The microbes often release bioactive compounds into the rhizosphere which activate signaling or transport processes and thus promote plant performance. A general new concept for fertilizers in the agriculture could be to utilize microbe-derived bio-effectors in combination with appropriate nutrient supplies to promote biomass and yield production of agricultural plants while simultaneously reducing the input of agrochemicals. Here, we describe some concepts for the identification and utilization of microbial preparations and microbe-derived bio-effectors for the improvement of the performance of agricultural plants, using the root-colonizing endophytic fungus Piriformospora indica.

  17. Improved time complexity analysis of the Simple Genetic Algorithm

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oliveto, Pietro S.; Witt, Carsten

    2015-01-01

    A runtime analysis of the Simple Genetic Algorithm (SGA) for the OneMax problem has recently been presented proving that the algorithm with population size μ≤n1/8−ε requires exponential time with overwhelming probability. This paper presents an improved analysis which overcomes some limitations...

  18. Genetic improvement of tomato by targeted control of fruit softening

    KAUST Repository

    Uluisik, Selman

    2016-07-25

    Controlling the rate of softening to extend shelf life was a key target for researchers engineering genetically modified (GM) tomatoes in the 1990s, but only modest improvements were achieved. Hybrids grown nowadays contain \\'non-ripening mutations\\' that slow ripening and improve shelf life, but adversely affect flavor and color. We report substantial, targeted control of tomato softening, without affecting other aspects of ripening, by silencing a gene encoding a pectate lyase. © 2016 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. An Improved Genetic Algorithm for Allocation Optimization of Distribution Centers

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    钱晶; 庞小红; 吴智铭

    2004-01-01

    This paper introduced an integrated allocation model for distribution centers (DCs). The facility cost, inventory cost, transportation cost and service quality were considered in the model. An improved genetic algorithm (IGA) was proposed to solve the problem. The improvement of IGA is based on the idea of adjusting crossover probability and mutation probability. The IGA is supplied by heuristic rules too. The simulation results show that the IGA is better than the standard GA(SGA) in search efficiency and equality.

  20. Adaptation of the ToxRTool to Assess the Reliability of Toxicology Studies Conducted with Genetically Modified Crops and Implications for Future Safety Testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Michael S; DeSesso, John M; Williams, Amy Lavin; Michalek, Suzanne; Hammond, Bruce

    2016-01-01

    To determine the reliability of food safety studies carried out in rodents with genetically modified (GM) crops, a Food Safety Study Reliability Tool (FSSRTool) was adapted from the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods' (ECVAM) ToxRTool. Reliability was defined as the inherent quality of the study with regard to use of standardized testing methodology, full documentation of experimental procedures and results, and the plausibility of the findings. Codex guidelines for GM crop safety evaluations indicate toxicology studies are not needed when comparability of the GM crop to its conventional counterpart has been demonstrated. This guidance notwithstanding, animal feeding studies have routinely been conducted with GM crops, but their conclusions on safety are not always consistent. To accurately evaluate potential risks from GM crops, risk assessors need clearly interpretable results from reliable studies. The development of the FSSRTool, which provides the user with a means of assessing the reliability of a toxicology study to inform risk assessment, is discussed. Its application to the body of literature on GM crop food safety studies demonstrates that reliable studies report no toxicologically relevant differences between rodents fed GM crops or their non-GM comparators.

  1. Genetic structure and pathogenicity of populations of Phytophthora infestans from organic potato crops in France, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Flier, W.G.; Kroon, L.P.N.M.; Hermansen, A.; Raaij, van H.M.G.; Speiser, B.; Tamm, L.; Fuchs, J.G.; Lambion, J.; Razzaghian, J.; Andrivon, D.; Wilcockson, S.; Leifert, C.

    2007-01-01

    Genetic variation and pathogenicity of Pbytophthora infestans isolates collected from organic potato crops of the susceptible cv. Bintje and the moderately resistant cv. Sante were assessed in France, Norway, and the United Kingdom in 2001 and in Switzerland in 2001 and 2002. Population structures d

  2. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification: rapid visual and real-time methods for detection of genetically modified crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randhawa, Gurinder Jit; Singh, Monika; Morisset, Dany; Sood, Payal; Zel, Jana

    2013-11-27

    A rapid, reliable, and sensitive loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) system was developed for screening of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The optimized LAMP assays using designed primers target commonly employed promoters, i.e., Cauliflower Mosaic Virus 35S (P-35S) and Figwort Mosaic Virus promoter (P-FMV), and marker genes, i.e., aminoglycoside 3'-adenyltransferase (aadA), neomycin phosphotransferase II (nptII), and β-glucuronidase (uidA). The specificity and performance of the end-point and real-time LAMP assays were confirmed using eight genetically modified (GM) cotton events on four detection systems, employing two chemistries. LAMP assays on the isothermal real-time system were found to be most sensitive, detecting up to four target copies, within 35 min. The LAMP assays herein presented using alternate detection systems can be effectively utilized for rapid and cost-effective screening of the GM status of a sample, irrespective of the crop species or GM trait. These assays coupled with a fast and simple DNA extraction method may further facilitate on-site GMO screening.

  3. Salt resistant crop plants

    KAUST Repository

    Roy, Stuart J.

    2014-04-01

    Soil salinity is a major constraint to agriculture. To improve salinity tolerance of crops, various traits can be incorporated, including ion exclusion, osmotic tolerance and tissue tolerance. We review the roles of a range of genes involved in salt tolerance traits. Different tissues and cells are adapted for specific and often diverse function, so it is important to express the genes in specific cell-types and to pyramid a range of traits. Modern biotechnology (marker- assisted selection or genetic engineering) needs to be increasingly used to introduce the correct combination of genes into elite crop cultivars. Importantly, the effects of introduced genes need to be evaluated in the field to determine their effect on salinity tolerance and yield improvement.

  4. Best practice document for coexistence of genetically modified soybean crops with conventional and organic farming

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    The present technical report deals with coexistence issues of genetically modified (GM) soybean cultivation with non-GM soybean and honey production in the EU. The Technical Working Group (TWG) for Soybean of the European Coexistence Bureau (ECoB) analysed the possible sources for potential GM cross-pollination and admixture and agreed on the best practices for coexistence. The terms of reference for this review are presented in Section 1. The scope of the Best Practice Document is coexistenc...

  5. The iPot Project: improved potato monitoring in Belgium using remote sensing and crop growth modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piccard, Isabelle; Nackaerts, Kris; Gobin, Anne; Goffart, Jean-Pierre; Planchon, Viviane; Curnel, Yannick; Tychon, Bernard; Wellens, Joost; Cools, Romain; Cattoor, Nele

    2015-04-01

    Belgian potato processors, traders and packers are increasingly working with potato contracts. The close follow up of contracted parcels on the land as well as from above is becoming an important tool to improve the quantity and quality of the potato crop and reduce risks in order to plan the storage, packaging or processing and as such to strengthen the competitiveness of the Belgian potato chain in a global market. At the same time, precision agriculture continues to gain importance and progress. Farmers are obligated to invest in new technologies. Between mid-May and the end of June 2014 potato fields in Gembloux were monitored from emergence till canopy closure. UAV images (RGB) and digital (hemispherical) photographs were taken at ten-daily intervals. Crop emergence maps show the time (date) and degree of crop emergence and crop closure (in terms of % cover). For three UAV flights during the growing season RGB images at 3 cm resolution were processed using a K-means clustering algorithm to classify the crop according to its greenness. Based on the greenness %cover and daily cover growth were derived for 5x5m pixels and 25x25m pixels. The latter resolution allowed for comparison with high resolution satellite imagery. Vegetation indices such as %Cover and LAI were calculated with the Cyclopes algorithm (INRA-EMMAH) from high resolution satellite images (DMC/Deimos, 22m pixel size). DMC based cover maps showed similar patterns as compared with the UAV-based cover maps, and allows for further applications of the data in crop management. Today the use of geo-information by the (private) agricultural sector in Belgium is rather limited, notwithstanding the great benefits this type of information may offer, as recognized by the sector. The iPot project, financed by the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO), aims to provide the Belgian potato sector, represented by Belgapom, with near real time information on field condition (weather-soil) and crop development and

  6. Improved Early Crop Type Identification By Joint Use of High Temporal Resolution SAR And Optical Image Time Series

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordi Inglada

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available High temporal and spatial resolution optical image time series have been proven efficient for crop type mapping at the end of the agricultural season. However, due to cloud cover and image availability, crop identification earlier in the season is difficult. The recent availability of high temporal and spatial resolution SAR image time series, opens the possibility of improving early crop type mapping. This paper studies the impact of such SAR image time series when used in complement of optical imagery. The pertinent SAR image features, the optimal working resolution, the effect of speckle filtering and the use of temporal gap-filling of the optical image time series are assessed. SAR image time series as those provided by the Sentinel-1 satellites allow significant improvements in terms of land cover classification, both in terms of accuracy at the end of the season and for early crop identification. Haralik textures (Entropy, Inertia, the polarization ratio and the local mean together with the VV imagery were found to be the most pertinent features. Working at at 10 m resolution and using speckle filtering yield better results than other configurations. Finally it was shown that the use of SAR imagery allows to use optical data without gap-filling yielding results which are equivalent to the use of gap-filling in the case of perfect cloud screening, and better results in the case of cloud screening errors.

  7. Food crops face rising temperatures: An overview of responses, adaptive mechanisms, and approaches to improve heat tolerance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neeru Kaushal

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The rising temperatures are resulting in heat stress for various agricultural crops to limit their growth, metabolism, and leading to significant loss of yield potential worldwide. Heat stress adversely affects normal plant growth and development depending on the sensitivity of each crop species. Each crop species has its own range of temperature maxima and minima at different developmental stages beyond which all these processes get inhibited. The reproductive stage is on the whole more sensitive to heat stress, resulting in impaired fertilization to cause abortion of flowers. During seed filling, heat stress retards seed growth by affecting all the biochemical events to reduce seed size. Unfavorable temperature may significantly affect photosynthesis, respiration, water balance, and membrane stability of leaves. To combat heat stress, plants acquire various defense mechanisms for their survival such as maintaining membrane stability, and scavenging reactive oxygen species by generating antioxidants and stress proteins. Thermo-tolerance can be improved by the accumulation of various compounds of low molecular mass known as thermo-protectants as well as phyto-hormones. Exogenous application of these molecules has benefited plants growing under heat stress. Alternatively, transgenic plants over-expressing the enzymes catalyzing the synthesis of these molecules may be raised to increase their endogenous levels to improve heat tolerance. In recent times, various transgenics have been developed with improved thermo-tolerance having potential benefits for inducing heat tolerance in food crops. Updated information about of the effects of heat stress on various food crops and their responses as well as adaptive mechanisms is reviewed here.

  8. An inventory of crop wild relatives of the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    The use of crop wild relatives (CWR) in breeding is likely to continue to intensify as utilization techniques improve and crop adaptation to climate change becomes more pressing. Significant gaps remain in the conservation of these genetic resources, constraining availability for research. As a fi...

  9. An Inventory of Crop Wild Relatives of the United States

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Khoury, C.K.; Greene, S.; Wiersema, J.; Maxted, N.; Jarvis, A.; Struik, P.C.

    2013-01-01

    The use of crop wild relatives (CWRs) in breeding is likely to continue to intensify as utilization techniques improve and crop adaptation to climate change becomes more pressing. Signifi cant gaps remain in the conservation of these genetic resources. As a fi rst step toward a national strategy for

  10. Genetic improvement of biofuel plants: recent progress and patents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, T Sudhakar; Badri, Jyothi; Sastry, R Kalpana; Shrivastava, Anshul; Kishor, P B Kavi; Sujatha, M

    2013-04-01

    Due to depleting reserves of fossil fuels, political uncertainties, increase in demand of energy needs and growing concerns of environmental effects, bioenergy as an alternative source of energy needs had taken centre stage globally. In this report, we review the progress made in lignocellulose, cellulose and fermentation based biofuels in addition to tree borne oil seeds. Algae as a source of feedstock for the biofuel has also been reviewed. Recent efforts in genome sequencing of biofuel crops and molecular breeding approaches have increased our understanding towards crop improvement of major feedstocks. Besides, patenting trends in bioenergy sector were assessed by patent landscape analysis. The results showed an increasing trend in published patents during the last decade which is maximum during 2011. A conceptual framework of "transgenesis in biofuels to industrial application" was developed based on the patent analytics viz., International Patent Classification (IPC) analysis and Theme Maps. A detailed claim analysis based on the conceptual framework assessed the patenting trends that provided an exhaustive dimension of the technology. The study emphasizes the current thrust in bioenergy sector by various public and private institutions to expedite the process of biofuel production.

  11. Using an Adaptive Genetic Algorithm to Improve Finance Decision

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    FaliangGui; TiesongHu

    2004-01-01

    Optimising both qualitative and quantitative factors is a key challenge in solving construction finance decisions. The semi-structured nature of construction finance optimisation problems precludes conventional optimisation techniques. With a desire to improve the performance of the canonical genetic algorithm (CCA) which is characterised by static crossover and mutation probability, and to provide contractors with a profit-risk trade-off curve and cash flow prediction, an adaptive genetic algorithm (AGA) model is developed. Ten projects being undertaken by a major construction firm in Hong Kong were used as case studies to evaluate the performance of the genetic algorithm (CA). The results of case study reveal that the ACA outperformed the CGA both in terms of its quality of solutions and the computational time required for a certain level of accuracy. The results also indicate that there is a potential for using the GA for modelling financial decisions should both quantitative and qualitative factors be optimised simultaneously.

  12. Manipulating DNA repair for improved genetic engineering in Aspergillus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nødvig, Christina Spuur

    engineering strategies. Chapter 1 gives an introduction to the genus Aspergillus and some of the tools relevant to fungal genetic engineering. It also contains a short introduction to DNA repair and its interplay with gene targeting and finally an overview over the different genome editing technologies......Aspergillus is a genus of filamentous fungi, which members includes industrial producers of enzymes, organic acids and secondary metabolites, important pathogens and a model organism. As such no matter the specific area of interest there are many reasons to perform genetic engineering, whether...... it is metabolic engineering to create better performing cell factory, elucidating pathways to study secondary metabolism etc. In this thesis, the main focus is on different ways to manipulate DNA repair for optimizing gene targeting, ultimately improving the methods available for faster and better genetic...

  13. Genetic improvement of leaf photosynthesis and intrinsic water use efficiency in C3 plants: Why so much little success?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flexas, J

    2016-10-01

    There is an urgent need for simultaneously increasing photosynthesis/yields and water use efficiency (WUE) in C3 crops. Potentially, this can be achieved by genetic manipulation of the key traits involved. However, despite significant efforts in the past two decades very limited success has been achieved. Here I argue that this is mostly due to the fact that single gene/single trait approaches have been used thus far. Photosynthesis models demonstrate that only limited improving of photosynthesis can be expected by large improvements of any of its single limiting factors, i.e. stomatal conductance, mesophyll conductance, and the biochemical capacity for photosynthesis, the latter co-limited by Rubisco and the orchestrated activity of thylakoid electron transport and the Calvin cycle enzymes. Accordingly, only limited improvements of photosynthesis have been obtained by genetic manipulation of any of these single factors. In addition, improving photosynthesis by genetic manipulation in general reduced WUE, and vice-versa, and in many cases pleiotropic effects appear that cancel out some of the expected benefits. I propose that success in genetic manipulation for simultaneous improvement of photosynthesis and WUE efficiency may take longer than suggested in previous reports, and that it can be achieved only by joint projects addressing multi-gene manipulation for simultaneous alterations of all the limiting factors of photosynthesis, including the often neglected phloem capacity for loading and transport the expected surplus of carbohydrates in plants with improved photosynthesis.

  14. Genetic improvement of brewer's yeast: current state, perspectives and limits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saerens, Sofie M G; Duong, C Thuy; Nevoigt, Elke

    2010-05-01

    Brewer's yeast strain optimisation may lead to a more efficient beer production process, better final quality or healthier beer. However, brewer's yeast genetic improvement is very challenging, especially true when it comes to lager brewer's yeast (Saccharomyces pastorianus) which contributes to 90% of the total beer market. This yeast is a genetic hybrid and allopolyploid. While early studies applying traditional genetic approaches encountered many problems, the development of rational metabolic engineering strategies successfu