Breeding

"GMO and editing is the way of the future"

In a previous article, we went into the research Esther van der Knaap is doing on the ancestors of our current tomato . Over time, people have selected for traits that are favorable to them, but not necessarily to the plant. Adaptation and disease resistance has been sacrificed for other desirable…

On 12 September, 2019

US (CA): Seed Biotechnology Center at UC Davis celebrates 20th anniversary

The Seed Biotechnology Center at UC Davis is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. They are appreciating the past and looking forward. On Thursday, September 12, 2019 the SBC will host a day-long event with panels highlighting researchers, students, industry representatives and policymakers. The…

UK scientists set to improve shelf-life of strawberries

British scientists have developed a new product that could extend the shelf-life of strawberries. More than 38,000 tons of soft fruit, worth around £180 mln (€197 mln), are…

Inari chosen as 'Technology Pioneer' by World Economic Forum

Joining companies like Google and Twitter, Inari was chosen as a 2019 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum on Monday. Inari, a company recently expanded to West Lafayette developing seeds that improve the economic and environmental realities of production agriculture, was chosen from hundreds…

The quest for better-tasting tomatoes

"Tomato flavor is the result of a combination of sugars, acids and volatile compounds. Volatiles are the aroma compounds that give tomato its unique flavor. Without these aroma compounds, the tomato would not taste like a tomato. There are many volatiles that contribute to tomato flavor, and each must be…

Dutch researchers aim for 100% use of tomato biomass

Luisa Trindade, professor at the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Wageningen, is currently researching fiber crops and the use of their biomass as a raw…

Neighboring aromatic-aromatic amino acid combination governs activity divergence between tomato phytoene synthases

Carotenoids exert multifaceted roles to plants and are critically important to humans. Phytoene synthase (PSY) is a major rate-limiting enzyme in the carotenoid biosynthetic pathway. PSY in plants is normally found as a small enzyme family with up to three members. However, knowledge of PSY isoforms in…

Esther van der Knaap, University of Georgia:

"Providing knowledge a breeder can use and a grower can benefit from"

It's not every day that you get to meet a time traveler. Esther van der Knaap, a professor with the Department of Plant Biology at the University of Georgia, is one - although she doesn't literally travel back in time. Together with the team in her lab , she dives into the predecessors of the tomatoes we…

Romaine lettuce cultivars with low tissue browning

Leaf discoloration (browning) represents a critical issue that limits the quality and shelf life of fresh-cut lettuce. Scientista at USDA - Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Food Quality Laboratory (Beltsville, MD, United States) have tested accessions of romaine lettuce ( Lactuca sativa var.…

New bacterial wilt resistant tomato variety

Multinational firm Bayer East Africa has launched a new variety of tomato that is resistant to the notorious bacterial wilt and is likely to raise income for farmers. The new hybrid variety, called “Seminis Tomato Ansal”, also produces extra-firm fruits that last three weeks after harvest, and which help…

It's taken almost a decade. But this man thinks he's perfected Ontario tomatoes

Valerio Primomo grasps a cluster of five red tomatoes in his hand. It took nine years — and hundreds of tomato trials — to get here. But he thinks he's perfected it. "We're almost there," said Primomo, a vegetable breeder at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. "With breeding, there's always room…

YOOM purple tomato attracts new customers

The new purple-skinned YOOM cocktail tomato was developed through a natural selection breeding program by Syngenta Vegetable Seeds’ tomato specialists. YOOM tomatoes have a distinctive purple-skinned color. It is packed with flavor and has a nice sweet-sour balance, which gives a lasting Umami/savory…

CAN (ON): Long English cucumber grower switches to different variety

In the summer of 2018, Rijk Zwaan representative, Max Saad, introduced Rijk Zwaan’s new summer variety Bluesbrother RZ to Abe Friesen, owner and grower of Hope Lane Farms. The resulting 2-acre test gave more cucumbers overall and an overall higher percentage of medium/large compared to medium/small.…

What future for French varietal innovation?

One year after the decision of the European Court of Justice, French seed companies remain in a context of legal uncertainty. In 2015, 9 organisations referred to the Conseil…

ASTA comments on USDA’s proposed rule on genetically engineered organisms

The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) is pleased to provide comments on USDA’s Proposed Rule regarding the movement of certain genetically engineered organisms. “We…

Virus-resistant tomato declared as non-genetically modified by USDA

Nexgen Plants has received notification from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that its virus resistant tomato variety is nongenetically modified (non-GM) and does not fall under regulation requirements in the U.S. The virus resistant product developed by Nexgen Plants has been declared…

UK: Hairy, spiky, round and knobbly cucumbers

Unusually-shaped cucumbers are flourishing at RHS Garden Harlow Carr in Harrogate this week because of the recent hot weather. This year eighteen weird and wonderful cucumber cultivars (Cucumis sativus) are being grown at the garden for the first time – from round and hairy to long and slender, and even…

To feed its 1.4 billion, China bets big on genome editing of crops

If Gao Caixia were a farmer, she might be spread a little thin. Down the hall from her office at a branch of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) here in Beijing, seeds from a strain of unusually soft rice and a variety of wheat with especially fat grains and resistance to a common fungus sprout in a…

"New UK hybrid super-hot chilli is quicker and easier to harvest"

Armageddon, the newest chili to come from the chili breeding program of Tozer Seeds certainly set pulses racing. "It’s a new super-hot chili, the first British-bred hybrid and has been scored at 1.3 million on the Scoville scale", the company explais. Super-hot chilies are challenging to grow but in…

Spain

"Almeria is a global point of reference in plant genetic improvement"

Manuel Jamilena Quesada and Cecilia Martínez Martínez, professors of Genetics of the University of Almería, were at the Cajamar Cultural Center (Casa de Las Mariposas) to…

The rise, fall and resurrection of a Russian seed bank pioneer

Suspect for State’s Case Number 1500 sat in his cell, facing unending days of solitary confinement and interrogation, accused of spying “for foreign intelligence services.”…

UK: NIAB EMR launches new strawberry varieties

Rt Hon Robert Goodwill MP, Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, has today launched two new strawberry varieties from the East Malling Strawberry Breeding Programme (EMSBC) based at NIAB EMR. MallingTM Champion is a new ever-bearer variety with a very high percentage of Class 1 fruit,…

US (CA): New video about critical aspects of vegetable production

The allied seed and variety improvement industries are critically important aspects of vegetable production systems in California. Most vegetables are annuals and have to be started every year from seeds, so seed production is critical for the vegetable industry. Professors Kent Bradford and Diane…

India: Tissue culture laboratory resumes functioning

After being dormant for over five years, the tissue culture laboratory of the horticulture department in the Nilgiris is back to functioning at full capacity, with hybrid banana plants, strawberries and orchids being developed at the facility over the last few months. Officials said that the laboratory…

Using CRISPR to enhance traditional breeding techniques in nontraditional ways

CRISPR is often thought of as “molecular scissors” used for precision breeding to cut DNA so that a certain trait can be removed, replaced, or edited, but Yiping Qi, assistant…

Keeping Crunchy Caesar Salads extra fresh

Nowadays, every fast-food chain and company canteen has a choice of salads on the menu, often with tempting names such as Veggie Delight, Thai Chicken Salad or Crunchy Caesar Salad. One indispensable ingredient is cos lettuce or iceberg lettuce. A unique innovation that ensures fresh-cut lettuce stays…

University of California releases five new strawberry varieties

The University of California, Davis, Public Strawberry Breeding Program has released five new varieties that will help farmers manage diseases, control costs and produce…

Kazakh growers develop new varieties of vegetables for greenhouses

The Kazakh Research Institute for Horticulture showed varieties bred by scientists of the Research Institute, including varieties of cucumbers and tomatoes, intended for growing in greenhouses, Kazakh Zerno reports. “Kazakhstan does not have its own varieties specifically for greenhouses. These are the…

UC Davis releases five new strawberry varieties

The Public Strawberry Breeding Program at the University of California, Davis, has released five new varieties that will help farmers manage diseases, control costs and produce plenty of large, robust berries using less water, fertilizer and pesticides. Two of the new varieties could increase yields by…

Using nutrigenomics studies to understand and unlock plant’s own defences against esca

Esca, one of the biggest threats to today’s global grape production, is a complex disease involving different fungi. It attacks the main vine of the plant and can destroy it within a few days. There is no questioning the unstoppable pace at which it progresses. We have seen in previous articles its…

Upgraded Tomato Seed Extraction Machine ready for testing

The Tomato Seed Extraction Machine (TEM-010) is specifically designed for extracting tomato seeds from small seed lots and serves for increasing productiveness at breeding stations: at the moment, there are already numerous machines operational at breeding stations throughout the world. After thoroughly…

New race of Bremia lactucae, Bl:36EU identified and denominated in Europe

The International Bremia Evaluation Board Europe (IBEB-EU) has collected more than 300 Bremia isolates in European lettuce in 2018 and compared them with the 500 Isolates found in 2017. Most isolates in 2018 belonged to local races. However, one race already spotted in 2016 and 2017 appeared to spread…

Australia: Next Gen genetic testing to give growers competitive edge

Horticulture growers will benefit from faster access to new plant stock through next-generation genetic sequencing technology designed to reduce port of entry quarantine delays by more than two years. The project, funded by Hort Innovation and facilitated by the Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative…

Superior Taste Award for Tribelli

Bell pepper wins taste award

Tribelli has been awarded with the Superior Taste Award, celebrated by the International Taste Institute in Brussels. The International Taste Institute, formerly ITQi, is an independent organization formed by top chefs and sommeliers with Michelin stars. The institute is dedicated to certifying the superior taste of food and…

Variety descriptions of parental lines and hybrids now publicly available on CPVO website

In order for the CPVO to respect its commitment to openness and to better address public access requests, including in cases where the subject matter is a parental line or a…

Vytenis Andriukaitis, EU Commissioner for Health & Food Safety:

"New breeding techniques can help us tackle some profound challenges"

Vytenis Andriukaitis, EU Commissioner for Health & Food Safety shared his enthusiasm for open discussion on the potential of gene editing during his speech at CRISPRcon, in Wageningen, The Netherlands on 20-21 June 2019. This conference, for the first time in Europe, gathered a broad selection of…

Korean breeders reach out to horticultural world

What better way to find a new market than to just go there? Last week a group of Korean breeders went to the Netherlands to promote their products at Greentech. Lee Jinseong, of the Korea Seed & Variety Service, Kim van Rijssen of Plantipp and Charlie Jeong of Wonwoo Trading. They were joined by a…

Using machine learning to predict metabolic pathways in tomatoes

Understanding the steps in metabolic pathways is important for understanding health and disease, whether in people or plants. But figuring out these biochemical pathways is difficult and time consuming. So why not have a machine do it? Scientists at UC Davis and Ben-Gurion University in Israel have…

Food industry expert joins Benson Hill as Chief Operating Officer

Benson Hill Biosystems has named Chris Wilkins, a food industry executive with more than 25 years of industry experience, as Chief Operating Officer. Wilkins will manage the company’s rapidly emerging relationships with food and ingredient companies as well as grocery retailers. These companies, which…

"CRISPR-Cas would never have become this big without John van der Oost"

Wageningen University & Research hosts the CRISPRcon conference on 20 and 21 June, where experts from all over the world talk about the future of gene editing: adapting genetic material. Professor John van der Oost receives international praise for his long-standing commitment to CRISPR-Cas. Read the…

US: ASTA announces new leadership team, national award winners

The American Seed Trade Association’s (ASTA) newly-elected officer team was announced during ASTA’s Policy & Leadership Development Conference (PLDC) in Denver, CO. Members of the FY2019-20 ASTA officer team—officially taking office on July 1 are: Chair: Wayne Gale, Stokes Seed First Vice Chair: John…

Newly discovered bush tomato plant switches between sexes

A collaborative team of scientists from the US and Australia has named a new plant species from the remote Outback. Bucknell University biology postdoctoral fellow Angela McDonnell and professor Chris Martine led the description of the plant that had confounded field biologists for decades because of the…

Pairwise partners with universities, USDA and PSI

Opportunities for berry improvements through gene editing

Pairwise announced a unique public-private partnership to learn more about the diversity of berries and advance opportunities to offer healthier, more sustainable varieties. The partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), several leading academic institutions and Plant Sciences, Inc.…

Agronico: "A lot of people know that we produce seed, but don't know that we do minitubers."

Raising the profile of its minituber production will be one of the main aims for Tasmania's leading seed potato and agronomy businesses at this month's Hort Connections in Melbourne. Agronico was one of the first companies in Australia to introduce its own tissue culture lab, as part of its quality…

New Zealand: Māori perspectives on gene editing technologies

Plant & Food Research scientists Professor Andrew Allan and Dr. David Chagné were part of a team led by Maui Hudson (University of Waikato) to study Māori perspectives on…

"Biotech Executive Order vital for U.S. agriculture"

President Trump signed the Executive Order on Modernizing the Regulatory Framework for Agricultural Biotechnology Products this week, announcing measures to further promote…

Russia: Breeding center to be created in Moscow region

The government of the Moscow region is planning to create a breeding center for developing various varieties of fruit and berries. As the Minister of Agriculture and Food of the Moscow region, Mr. Andrey Razin has announced there will also be a test field for seeds approbation. It is planned to include…

New gene-editing system precisely inserts large DNA sequences into cellular DNA

A team led by researchers from Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, has characterized and engineered a new gene-editing system that can precisely and efficiently insert large DNA sequences into a genome. The system, harnessed from cyanobacteria and…

June 20, New York

Market trends and breeding innovation charting the path for indoor farming

The second annual Indoor AgTech Innovation Summit to be held in New York City, June 19-20 2019, provides an opportunity for over 300 thought leaders to come together and advance the sustainability, profitability and health-focus of the indoor trend that’s changing the dynamics of fresh food production.…

Universities of Cambridge / Bordeaux

Scientists discover gene that could help crops grow faster

Plant scientists at the Universities of Cambridge and Bordeaux have discovered a gene that they hope can be used to widen a nutrient trafficking bottleneck and potentially…

webinar video

Introduction to plant variety protection in Europe

In this webinar recorded for the EU IPR Helpdesk, Ms. Orsola Lamberti, Legal Advisor at the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO), gives an overview of the European Plant…

European consumers quizzed on tomato preferences

Horizon 2020 multi-actor project TOMRES aims to enhance resilience to combined water and nutrient stress in tomato production and to maximise water and nutrient use efficiency. The project is designing and testing novel combinations of genotypes and management practices to reduce environmental impact.…

BGI partners with NRGene to provide breeding tools for Chinese market

BGI will be offering NRGene’s technology as part of its broad genomics analysis services in agriculture research. BGI supports genomic research worldwide by offering a variety of genetic research and application technologies for the healthcare, agriculture, conservation, and environmental fields. In…

World Food Prize awarded to East-West Seed founder Simon N. Groot

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President of the World Food Prize Foundation Kenneth M. Quinn announced Simon N. Groot as the 2019 World Food Prize Laureate. Mr. Groot has played a transformative role in improving the health and economic opportunities of small farmer communities in more than 60…

Seed industry getting down to the nitty-gritty

While there’s a lot of work to be done, the ISF committees are getting down and dirty to find solutions for the seed industry. Communicating, engaging and changing is just a taste of what the International Seed Federation (ISF) is working to achieve this year. They’re also rolling up their sleeves to…

Using AI to speed up breeding of hybrid tomatoes

Seed-X and TomaTech have announced a new pilot of GeNee Breeder, the seed phenotype analysis system that offers breeders reliable real-time classification of a wide range of genetic traits in vegetable / row crop seeds and grains. "By combining Seed-X advanced computer vision and AI technology with…

Open Days Eminient Seeds June 11-13

A Tinkerbell rainbow, new peppers, and cherry tomatoes

On June 11, 12, 13, Eminent Seeds opens their demo greenhouse in the World Horti Center to present exclusive varieties of tomatoes, bell peppers, and peppers. Introduction 7 colors Tinkerbell The color range of the Tinkerbell has been successfully expanded with the purple Tinkerbell in the summer of…

Precise improvements to crops

What if tomatoes grew deeper roots, so that they could thrive in dry regions? Would we be able to better feed the increasing global population? The CRISPR-Cas technology that enables such adjustments is much more precise than the typical selective breeding method, and the adjustments are comparable to spontaneous natural…

Rijk Zwaan South Africa showcases winter crop varieties

On 23 May Rijk Zwaan South Africa hosted a field day of some of their winter crop varieties at Somerset Farms in Mamogalieskraal, near Brits in the Northwest Province. The South African office of Rijk Zwaan has been expanding briskly and at the event, Gerhard Smit, commercial manager, explained the…

US: Advances in non-browning romaine lettuce

Intrexon is advancing GreenVenus Romaine lettuce to commercial trials. Initial data under commercial indoor production conditions indicate that GreenVenus has improved shelf-life up to 2 weeks and a potential for higher marketable yield with no tip burn. In addition, GreenVenus non-browning lettuce has…

Green pepper variety E20B.0263 named Barkley

Barkley is the new name of the highly productive pepper variety E20B.0263. During the tour at cultivation companies W.A. Beekenkamp v.o.f. and Bergplant BV it turned out that the growers are very positive about this variety. “From the trade, I mainly receive positive responses about the quality of the…

Syngenta breaks ground on 1.4 hectares demo greenhouse in Maasland

Syngenta is going to build a new demo greenhouse for tomatoes. The new 1.4 hectares greenhouse is being built in Maasland in the Netherlands. On the 17th of May, Arend Schot, Head EAME vegetable seeds at Syngenta and Arjan Bassie, Managing Director at Hortics Ltd. and future administrator, both signed a…

Limagrain and Rijk Zwaan announce licensing deal on traits in vegetables

Limagrain, through its listed company Vilmorin & Cie, and Rijk Zwaan have signed an agreement for the exchange of non-exclusive licenses for patented traits in vegetables.…


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