Slicing Into The Bread Wheat Genome

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Bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) is a globally important crop that accounts for 20% of the calories consumed by the world’s human population. Major work is underway to increase wheat production by expanding knowledge of the wheat genome and analysing key traits, however due to the large size and great complexity of the bread wheat genome…
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Watermelon Genome Could Hold the Key to Improved Varieties With Fewer Pest Problems

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A research team led by the Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences have produced the complete genomic sequence of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus). It is hoped that the genomic data from this study will shape future research into watermelon genetics and provide a good resource for crop genetics and future plant breeding projects, resulting in…
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Plantwise Plant Clinics in Trinidad and Tobago

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Trinidad and Tobago Country Coordinator Shamela Rambadan sent the photo below of a Soursop (Annona muricata) plant brought into a clinic in County Victoria in Trinidad and Tobago by farmer Ramesh Ramnanan last month. The symptoms described included yellowed, distorted leaves and visible insects on the leaves, as seen in the photo. Plant health officer…
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Bean and Gone – Controlling the Coffee Berry Borer Using Integrated Pest Management

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The Coffee Berry Borer, Hypothenemus hampei, is a tiny beetle which is widely considered to be the most damaging pest of coffee plantations in the world. Originating in Africa, it is now found in almost all coffee growing areas in the world as an invasive species, with nearly 160 records from different areas worldwide on…
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Colorado Potato Beetles Left With A Sour Taste As Clover Is Found To Be As Effective As Pesticides

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Eggplant or aubergine (Solanum melongena) is a crop often attacked by the Colorado Potato Beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata), a major insect pest of  plants from the Solanaceae family including potato, tomato and eggplant throughout North America, Europe and Asia. This insect pest is exceptionally destructive to crops and readily develops resistance to a wide variety of…
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Kenyan initiative aims to get more cash from cashews

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A new initiative in Kenya is seeking to increase the profitability of the country’s declining cashew sector. The project aims to increase yields as well as improve the price the farmers get for their yield by replacing aging trees, educating farmers on crop management and improving access to markets. It is hoped that by 2015,…
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Nuclear technology used to develop high altitude barley in Peru

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A new video from the International Atomic Energy Agency shows how radiation can be used to make mutations in crop plant DNA. This process applied to a large number of seeds creates a selection of mutants that can be tested to see how well they perform as crops. Research in Peru has led to the…
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US drought could spark a global food crisis

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The US is currently facing its most severe drought of the past 50 years, raising questions about the implications for global food security. The US is a major producer of grain, including maize and soybean, which have both been adversely affected by the drought, causing a knock-on effect for the global market. The predicted reduction…
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Solution to devastating weed draws closer for sub Saharan Africa

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Striga, commonly known as witchweed, is a group of parasitic weeds found in over a third of cereal crops in sub Saharan Africa (SSA). Crops typically yield at least 40% less when they are parasitised by Striga, causing an estimated US$ 7 billion loss and reducing the food security of millions. 
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Banana genome revealed to aid crop yield improvement.

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Scientists working at CIRAD, a French research centre, have sequenced the banana genome for the first time. The researchers have been able to trace the evolution of the banana, as well as study the current genetic make-up of the species. This will help future research into why this crop is so susceptible to pests and…
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