Breeding

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.…

Boosting yield by improving seeds

Incotec is showing a number of new products and technologies at the World Seed Congress 2019. Amongst these are yield-boosting technologies for field crops and vegetables and a range of organic seed enhancing solutions. The underlying theme in all Incotec’s innovations is sustainability. The ISF takes…

Researchers ID genetic traits of modern tomatoes

Researchers at the University of Georgia have found that tomato genes that are lost during domestication lines include those responsible for defensive stress responses as well as flavor traits. That loss means today’s tomatoes are more likely to be disease-prone and tasteless than their progenitors.…

Breeding tomatoes and peppers requires specific software

Joe Ahern and his son Kevin Ahern founded Ahern Seeds in 1981. Today, Ahern Agribusiness, Inc. is based in San Diego, and led by Kevin Ahern as CEO. Ahern Seeds’ main products are vegetable seed genetics like, tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers and more. For these, Ahern supports growers in south…

and 2 cooled greenhouses and 3 cooled storage rooms

NL: 34 Climate chambers installed at Syngenta research and breeding center

For the R&D Technology Center of Syngenta in Enkhuizen, Nijssen realized 34 climate chambers, 2 cooled greenhouses and 3 cooled storage rooms. The new center for research and breeding is part of a multi-year investment program from Syngenta. The Technology Center is cooled with a central cooling…

Growing together with Phenomics

The cooperation achieved in the Phenomics Consortium would seem especially difficult to achieve. After all, what is the point of assembling together people from technology and defense corporations, agriculture companies and academic institutions? And what common language can high-tech professionals hope to find with farmers not…

Breakthrough technique for studying gene expression takes root in plants

An open-source RNA analysis platform has been successfully used on plant cells for the first time – an advance that could herald a new era of fundamental research and bolster efforts to engineer more efficient food and biofuel crop plants. The technology, called Drop-seq, is a popular method for…

Germany: Strabena growers learn about best practices

A group of 11 tomato growers from Germany, Austria & Switzerland gathered at the high-tech greenhouse from Gemüsebau Steiner GmbH in Kirchweidach Germany to join the Strabena Event. Jack Endhoven, Key Account Manager at De Ruiter, started with an introduction of how Strabena was commercialized in…

What is genome editing?

Last year, the European Court of Justice ruled that Genome Edited (GE) plants would not be exempt from the EU GMO directive and would be treated and regulated in the same way as other Genetically Modified (GM) crops. Though GE and GM sound the same they mean slightly different things, and this has led to uncertainty, and…

"Australia easing its GMO regulation puts the EU’s restrictive approach on the spot"

On July 25th of 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that organisms obtained by modern forms of mutagenesis are GMO. Hence, any organism obtained by means of a New Breeding Technique (NBT) that applies muta­genesis are automatically classified as a Genetically Modi­fied Organism…

Benson Hill, RAPiD Genomics to collaborate on crop improvement

Benson Hill Biosystems, a crop improvement company unlocking the natural diversity of plants, has entered into a partnership with RAPiD Genomics, a provider of genotyping and data analysis solutions for applications in the agriculture, forestry and livestock industries. Genotyping is the process of…

Eloy Boon, General Manager Iribov

Ploidy determination in plant material regarding flow cytometry

A breeder does good business when he can deliver the varieties his clients ask for. In the past, this would mean walking through the trials with a wish list, now it generally means putting his material under the microscope. It is there, with the help of increasingly precise techniques and calculation…

Italian-Israeli collaboration leads to downy mildew resistant basil

2019 began with interesting news in the herb sector, with the introduction of a new basil variety named Prospera. This is a Downy mildew resistant hybrid which is born from a long Italian-Israeli collaboration. An important part of the research has been conducted in Italy, where Fenix tested the new…

August 12-16, 2019

US (CA): National Garden Bureau members host Vegetable Summer Trials

What is a now a yearly tradition, vegetable breeding companies dealing in the Fresh Market and Home Garden segments are hosting the Summer Vegetable Trials via Open Houses and Field Days. This event is hosted by six participating breeders from August 12-16, 2019. Those breeders are listed below and on…

New basil seed varieties promise downy mildew resistance

Field-production of new downy mildew resistant basil varieties has yielded positive results, which researchers believe promises the herb-industry some much-needed relief from this debilitating disease. These commercially viable downy mildew resistant (DMR) varieties were developed by a team at Rutgers…

Pan-genome reveals about 5,000 previously undocumented tomato genes

Molecular biologist James Giovannoni with the ARS Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research Laboratory and BTI bioinformatics scientist Zhangjun Fei, both in Ithaca, New York, have finished constructing the pan-genome for the cultivated tomato and its wild relatives, mapping almost 5,000 previously undocumented…

India: Illegal genetically modified eggplant cultivation in Haryana state

Days after two laboratories confirmed illegal Bt brinjal (genetically modified eggplant) cultivation in the Indian state of Haryana, Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan…

Path is open for gene editing of plants in Australia

On 10 April 2019 the Australian Government released amendments to the Gene Technology Regulations 2001 (Cth) (Regulations) which will change the law in Australia so that organisms (including plants, animals and human cell lines) developed using certain types of new gene editing techniques will no longer…

CAN (BC): Berries receive funding boost for innovation, market growth

The governments of Canada and British Columbia are investing in B.C.’s strawberry, blueberry and raspberry industries to help market competitiveness in berry production through innovative genetics and practices in the province. “Our government is committed to ensuring our berry producers have the tools…

Their presentation has included a tasting

Coulant and Chamán, the two newest tomatoes in Almeria

Two new ribbed tomato varieties, the Coulant and the Chamán, have been presented in Vegacañada by Grupo Agroponiente. The tomato specialist has been working together with the seed breeding company Filosem with the aim of obtaining tastier and more aromatic ribbed tomatoes. In order to properly present…

"Cryptic mutation is cautionary tale for crop gene editing"

Even in this “age of the genome,” much about genes remains shrouded in mystery. This is especially true for “cryptic mutations”—mutated genes that are hidden, and have unexpected effects on traits that are only revealed when combined with other mutations. Learning from one infamous cryptic mutation in…

"New toxic-resistant variety is key to improving Chinese tomato industry"

"This year, Chinese vegetable prices are higher than last year. The main reason for this development is the decline of the surface area devoted to vegetable production in response to the low vegetable prices in 2018. The surface area devoted to winter vegetables in south China showed the highest decline.…

Art and science bring general public tomato of the future

During Expeditie NEXT, a new science festival from NWO on 2 May 2019, scientists share their research with a larger audience. Associate professor Rashmi Sasidharan is one of the researchers involved on behalf of Utrecht University. Together with artist Chloé Rutzerveld, she brings the tomato of the…

Dr Richard Harrison is new crop research lead at NIAB

NIAB has appointed Dr Richard Harrison as its new Director of Cambridge Crop Research. Dr Harrison currently leads the crop genetics, genomics and breeding research programme at NIAB EMR in Kent. He takes up his new role with immediate effect, guiding the overall scientific direction, development and…

"One of the long-term goals of my research program is to help Indiana’s tomato growers better manage diseases"

“A lot of people don’t know this, but tomatoes originated in the Andes Mountains,” Lori Hoagland, associate professor of Horticulture said. “For that reason, understanding soil biodiversity there has major implications for developing new disease resistant tomato varieties.” This research is the basis for…

Researchers identify molecules that rein in CRISPR systems

Scientists have identified the first chemical compounds able to inhibit and regulate CRISPR systems, which could ultimately make CRISPR gene-editing technologies more precise, efficient, and safe. To identify these compounds, the researchers developed a new platform for rapidly finding small molecules…

Russian grower introduces Dutch tomato varieties

A. Rudakov, the President of APH ECO-Culture, has signed an exclusive supply agreement with representatives of the Dutch companies Enza Zaden and Rijk Zwaan for seeds. The agreements with another two companies from the Netherlands and Israel are scheduled to be concluded by the end of June. Thus,…

Reinventing the tomato for survival in a changing world

In a borrowed van, Brad Gates of Wild Boar Farms sped south on Interstate 680 with hundreds of fuzzy tomato seedlings bumping around in the back, their trembling leaves, warmed by the sun, filling the cab with the smell of summer. It was one of a half-dozen deliveries on his to-do list. Born and raised…

Pablo Pérez, of Inveseed Creating Seeds:

"We have found an effective solution for seed disinfection"

Inveseed, a research and development company of the Intersemillas group, has found a solution to tackle viruses and/or bacteria in seeds. "We have developed a novel and effective disinfection method against viruses and/or bacteria. It is backed by over three years of research and development in the field…

"Enthusiastic reactions to new Sweet Palermo colours"

Chain partners have reacted enthusiastically to the new Sweet Palermo colours, according to Rijk Zwaan. Orange and chocolate-coloured variants are now available in addition to red and yellow ones within the breeder’s brand of sweet pointed peppers. “We plan to introduce the trio of red, orange and yellow…

CRISPR gets green light in Australia

A Federal Government decision not to regulate some types of gene editing used in agriculture and medicine may have many researchers breathing a sigh of relief. But what does it all mean? Until recently it had been unclear whether Australian gene technology laws would apply to techniques that produce…

Astronauts might soon grow space tomatoes

Tiny tomato plants developed at the University of California, Riverside, could one day feed astronauts on the International Space Station. The plants have minimal leaves and stems but still produce a normal amount of fruit, making them a potentially productive crop for cultivation anywhere with limited…

Crops that may thrive with less water

For Dr. Kasia Glowacka, becoming a plant scientist was a natural extension of her lifelong love of nature. Today, at her lab at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, she focuses on using new plant breeding methods to develop more water-efficient crops. She previously worked on an initiative, funded by the…

Irish niche breeding firm invests €1 million in R&D centre

The Irish firm Beotanics is investing €1 million in a new Research & Development Centre which includes a plant science laboratory, plant quarantine and R&D greenhouse at its headquarters in Stoneyford, Co Kilkenny. Beotanics is an AgTech spinout from an innovative alternative farm enterprise set…

USDA Secretary voices support for gene edited plants

Inari CEO Ponsi Trivisvavet was among a select group of agribusiness executives invited to meet earlier this month with USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue at the home of Purdue University President Mitch Daniels. Read on for Ponsi’s take on what was later discussed on the topic of gene editing and the…

22 European business organisations ask the EU for pro-innovation rules for plant breeding

22 European business organisations jointly call upon member states and the European Commission to initiate a legislative change that provides innovation-friendly rules for plant breeding. The goal is to obtain practical and science-based rules for products resulting from the latest mutagenesis methods…

To protect stem cells, plants have diverse genetic backup plans

Despite evolution driving a wide variety of differences, many plants function the same way. Now a new study has revealed the different genetic strategies various flowering plant species use to achieve the same status quo. In flowering plants, stem cells are critical for survival. Influenced by…

Line × tester analysis for eggplant traits using wild relatives as testers

Wild relatives of eggplant are commonly exploited for eggplant improvement, but the genetic improvement relies on the information of the genetic basis of inheritance of traits. In a new study, two eggplant lines, one with oriental and another with occidental cytoplasm, were crossed with four testers…

Scientists crack the code to regenerate plant tissues

A group of scientists from Tokyo University of Science have discovered a new way to regenerate flowering plant tissues, opening possibilities of mitigating the global food…

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory announces exclusive license with plant breeding start-up Inari

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) announced an exclusive licensing agreement with partner Inari, a company that is advancing plant breeding by tapping nature's genetic…

Genetic variant linked to cucumber fruit length

The cucumber is among the top five vegetable crops grown in the world. Cucumbers are most commonly eaten fresh or preserved as pickles. An important attribute of the cucumber is fruit length. Cucumbers range in size from 5 to 60 cm, depending on the cultivar. In an effort to identify the genetic basis of…

Genetic markers identified for cucumber fruit length

Worldwide, cucumbers are steadfast among the top five vegetable crops. They are most commonly eaten fresh or preserved, as pickles. An important attribute of the cucumber is…

Mapping quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with flavonoid in tomato

The flavonoids are a remarkable group of plant metabolites. These are the only secondary metabolites which have been credited with so many diverse essential functions in growth and development of the plant. Anthocyanins are one of the significant components of flavonoid in a plant system. They play a…

"Interplay of pollinators and pests influences plant evolution"

Brassica rapa plants pollinated by bumblebees evolve more attractive flowers. But this evolution is compromised if caterpillars attack the plant at the same time. With the bees pollinating them less effectively, the plants increasingly self-pollinate. In a greenhouse evolution experiment, scientists at…

Chinese vegetable consumers hungry for apps

Amid the rise of food delivery services in China, popular mobile phone apps are quickly reshaping the vegetable market in Beijing. A Beijing woman said she is too exhausted to go to the market after work and the vegetables by then are usually leftovers anyway. So, she now relies heavily on an app to…

Nigeria to cooperate with the Netherlands on seed development

Nigeria's Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has disclosed plans by the Federal Government to collaborate with the Government of the Netherlands on improved seeds/seedlings to boost food production in the country. The minister disclosed this during a courtesy visit by a…

Resistosome illuminates plant disease resistance mechanisms

Like animals, plants possess an immune system to fight off invading parasites. Unlike vertebrates that possess both adaptive immunity and innate immunity, plants solely rely on innate immunity, which deploys immune receptors to detect molecules derived from parasites and activate defenses. Plant innate…

EPO's Enlarged Board of Appeal asked to clarify pepper plant ruling

European Patent Office (EPO) president António Campinos has submitted questions to the Enlarged Board of Appeal related to the patentability of plants related to conventional…

ASTA applauds international move to streamline phytosanitary system for seed

The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) welcomes the decision by the Commission of Phytosanitary Measures (CPM) to develop a Systems Approach for seed as an Annex to ISPM…

including Fluence, Priva, BASF, Aerofarms

New high-tech consortium develops crops for indoor agriculture

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) is launching the Precision Indoor Plants (PIP) Consortium , a public-private partnership that transcends the bounds of traditional agriculture to develop flavorful, nutritious crops specially intended for indoor agriculture. Sustainably feeding a…

Ernst van den Ende on CRISPR-Cas:

"The GMO directive needs to be amended"

In the latest issue of Wageningen World, Wageningen Plant Research director Ernst van den Ende discusses the future of CRISPR-Cas. Last year, the European Court of Justice ruled that plant breeding using CRISPR-Cas constitutes genetic modification. Van den Ende now gives his thoughts on the consequences…

US: Seed industry storms the Hill

A diverse group of seed-industry leaders, representing companies of all sizes, sectors and geographies, were gathered in Washington, D.C. for the American Seed Trade Association’s (ASTA) annual Storm the Hill legislative fly-in, April 2-3. Topping the list of 2019 legislative priorities are innovation,…

"Florida blueberries stay competitive in global market"

This time of year, we’re used to seeing Florida-grown blueberries show up at the local grocery store. But things weren’t always this way. The Florida blueberry industry got its start in the 1970s when the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences developed the first Southern…

October 13-15, Stockholm

Registration open for Euroseeds Congress 2019

The Euroseeds Congress 2019 will take place in Stockholm, Sweden from 13 to 15 October 2019. You can reserve your place and register via the Congress website as of today: www.euroseedscongress.com . Last year in Madrid, more than 1070 participants from all over the world joined. During the section…


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