The Evolution of Insect Resistance to Bt Crops

A group of scientists at the University of Arizona have this week published a paper in Nature Biotechnology on the evolution of resistance in insect pests populations to insecticidal proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) that are produced by transgenic crops. Resistance is defined as the phenotype of an individual that gives the individual the ability to…
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Plantwise Photo Of The Month – June

Photo Of The Month for June shows a plant clinic during market day at a village near Machakos, 50 kilometers outside Kenya’s capital city Nairobi. The photo shows a farmer showing a crop sample to a plant doctor, who is using his knowledge and reference material on the table to diagnose what is wrong with…
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Glucose Leaves A Bitter Taste As Cockroaches Learn to Avoid Insecticide Baits

Populations of the German cockroach (Blattella germanica) have rapidly evolved to be repelled by the glucose in insecticide baits that are used to kill them. Scientists found that the cockroaches had a ‘re-organised’ sense of taste which makes them perceive the glucose in the insecticide bait as bitter and repellent rather than sweet. Researchers first…
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Black Rot Disease Hits Uganda

Vegetable farmers in the Kayunga and Mukono districts of Uganda are reporting crop losses due to black rot disease. One farmer, Twaha Kahooza of Kyampisi village, Kayunga Sub-county, says he had planted four acres of cabbages and was expecting about Shs18m (about £4,500 or US$7,000) from the harvest, however he only managed to get Shs5m…
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Plantwise Photo Of The Month- May

This photo shows Antonio Limbau, the Deputy Minister for Agriculture of Mozambique speaking on the implications of agricultural open data for developing countries at the G8 Open Data for Agriculture conference on Monday in Washington, D.C.  Governments in developed countries are working hard to make agriculture data open for others and accessible to farmers.  The…
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European Union Vote To Restrict Neonicotinoid Insecticide Use

After a European Commission vote yesterday (Monday 29th April 2013), Europe will enforce the world’s first continent-wide ban on neonicotinoid insecticides after concerns about their non-target impact on bee pollinators. The vote by the 27 European Union member states on whether to suspend the use of neonicotinoid insecticides was supported by 15 nations. The UK…
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Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease Spreads To Uganda

Maize Lethal Necrosis disease, which was first reported in Kenya and Tanzania, has now spread to Uganda, raising concerns for food security in the country. The Ministry of Agriculture has warned that Maize Lethal Necrosis has been reported in districts in eastern Uganda, including Busia and Tororo. A spokesman for the Agriculture Research Organisation, Robert…
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Plantwise Photo Of The Month- April

To read more about the work Plantwise is doing in Bolivia follow this link. To read Spanish factsheets specific to Bolivia on the Plantwise Knowledge Bank click here.
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From Beyonce to Lady Gaga- The Importance of Insect Taxonomy

Taxonomy is the system used to categorise species by defining groups of organisms on the basis of shared characteristics and giving names to those groups. To date, around 1 million insect species have been described, however it is thought that this only represents about 10% of the insect species living on Earth, meaning new species…
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How Mobile Technology is Transforming Livestock Farming In Kenya

Farmers and vets across Africa are increasingly using mobile phones to issue alerts about potential pest and disease outbreaks. The recent introduction of mobile phones that use the open source Android operating system or the iPhone iOS operating system and include GPS and Google Maps have provided new opportunities for developing mobile phone applications, allowing communication…
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