International Sugar Journal

Joyn Bio opens new facility to engineer microbes for crop protection applications [Full subscriber]

The ag-biotech start-up Joyn Bio recently announced the opening of a new greenhouse facility that will enable the company’s expansion into pest and disease management. The newly constructed greenhouse will support the screening and discovery of breakthrough engineered microbial strains for a broad set of crop protection applications.

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New screening method could lead to microbe-based alternative to chemical pesticides [Full subscriber]

Researchers from the Tokyo University of Science have developed a screening method based on cultured plant cells that makes such testing easier. This may lead to microorganism-based crop protection methods that reduce the need for chemical pesticides.

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Breakthrough in plant protection: RNAi pesticides designed to target a specific pest [Full subscriber]

Emerging RNA interference (RNAi) tools are increasingly showing potential major impacts on agriculture with applications in crop protection and production. Its discovery led to a Nobel Prize in medicine in 2006, extending the possibility of applications in other fields of biology also. Researchers at the Estonian University of Life Sciences, Ghent, and the University of Maastricht have made a breakthrough in developing RNAi pesticide that targets only one pest species.

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Key mechanism in the plant defense against fungal infections identified [Registered]

Impact of crop damage from fungal infections, pre- and post-harvest, is significant. Researchers at Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG, in Spain) have found that the regulation of the protein activity in the plant by the mechanism known as SUMOylation is crucial for the plant protection against fungal infections.

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Gene-silencing spray – a powerful innovative development for crop protection [Registered]

Plant pathogens cause serious crop losses worldwide. Researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia have demonstrated that they can use a crop spray laced with pathogen-specific double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) to silence genes in plants, rendering the plants resistant to a virus for several weeks.

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Discovery of bacterial biofilm paves way to improved crop protection [Registered]

Researchers have discovered how communities of beneficial bacteria form a waterproof coating on the roots of plants, to protect them from microbes that could potentially cause plant disease.

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