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Agricultural Biotechnology

A regulatory roadmap for the commercialization of microbial products for agriculture

A major paradigm shift in agricultural production is required to meet the demands of a global world population projected to reach 9.7 billion in 2050. We have to increase crop productivity sustainably while preserving biodiversity, natural resources, and grower income in the context of climate change. To optimize sustainable productivity and profitability on farms, grasslands, and forests, scientists and growers must embrace a holistic, systems-level approach and focus on the complexity within phytobiomes.

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Slides from the Plant Genomics & Gene Editing Congress: Europe

The latest event in the Plant Genomics series provided two days of intriguing topics and case studies, not least concerning the ECJ ruling on gene editing and Machine Learning techniques in plant genomics. We have made the following presentation slides available from Ian Bancroft, Anna Coll, Aalt-Jan van Dijk, Nigel Halford, and Jurriaan Ton.

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Microbial solutions to improve crop growth, crop protection, and crop yield

Gregory Maloney, Senior Scientist at Novozymes BioAg will be hosting a roundtable discussion at the Partnerships in Biocontrol, Biostimulants & Microbiome Congress: USA on navigating the regulatory landscape of biological product development. We spoke to him ahead of the congress about his work.

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A new kind of pheromone to control agricultural pests

Karl Cameron Schiller is co-founder of Pheronym, a Davis-based agriculture biotech start-up using a new kind of pheromone from microscopic roundworms called nematodes to control agricultural pests. We asked him about his work.

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Navigating the regulatory landscape for agricultural products

Terry Stone has worked in agricultural products for almost 30 years and has experience in both research and regulatory affairs. He is currently President, TB Stone Solutions. He was previously Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Sustainability Programs for Agrinos, where he worked with industry associations in the US and the EU to develop a regulatory framework for plant biostimulants. We spoke to him about his work.

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Excellence in Breeding: developing breeding programs in Africa and South Asia

Kelly Robbins is Assistant Professor at Cornell University. He started his career in animal breeding and later went on to work as a quantitative geneticist at a large private seed company. We spoke to him ahead of his presentation at the 7th Plant Genomics and Gene Editing Congress: USA.

I came to Cornell University as director of a large project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation called the Genomic Open-Source Breeding Informatics Initiative (GOBII for short).

With the cost of sequencing rapidly declining, it seems inevitable that routine of genomic information in breeding programs in Africa and South Asia will become more prevalent. However, there are certain capabilities, tools, and technologies that need to be in place to be able to exploit this type of information effectively and use it to drive higher rates of genetic gains.

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Improving crop production through understanding the soil microbiome

Sarah Strauss is a soil microbial ecologist at the University of Florida. Her interests lie in understanding the interactions between soil microbes and crops, with the hope that improved understanding will benefit crop production.

We spoke to her about her work ahead of her presentation at the 4th Partnerships in Biocontrol, Biostimulants & Microbiome Congress: USA.

The interactions between soil microbes and plants are still very much uncharted territory, which makes it an exciting area of study. This is especially the case for the interactions between soil microbes and crops in agricultural systems. For example, we know that there are bacteria and fungi that can influence plant growth or soil nutrient availability, but most of those studies have been done with only a few plant species or under very specific growing conditions. Much of my research is looking at what interactions are occurring between specific crops in field conditions – and how those interactions might differ based on specific conditions or crops in a farmer’s field.

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The Plant Genomics and Gene Editing Congress Presentation Slides

Following the Plant Genomics and Gene Editing Congress: Europe, we have made the following presentation slides from Ana Atanassova, Ian Bancroft, Nigel Halford and Kim Hammond-Kossack available.

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