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Agricultural Biotechnology

Science Communication: challenges to ensure innovation can prove itself scientifically

John Entine is a science journalist who has been writing about sustainability issues in biotechnology for 30 years. He has written numerous books on both population genetic related issues and agricultural biotechnology. Presenting at the Plant Genomics & Gene Editing Congress, he gave his perspective on the communication challenges faced by scientists by looking specifically at gene drives and addressing misunderstandings about what the technology can do and active opposition to it by some environmental groups.

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Why haven’t microbial products been more widely adopted by farmers?

This is a question that drives me each day. Microbial products have been around for a long time; starting with rhizobium in legumes, dating back 125 years. Yet, in the United States, rhizobium inoculants have not been widely adopted by soybean farmers – some indicate less than 15% use overall in the United States. Why?

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From Consortia to Recombinants: opportunities and challenges facing the next generation of microbials

In this blog post I will discuss two themes that I see driving the next generation of live microbe biologicals for agriculture. These are the rational design and delivery of pairs or consortia (which I will define as more than two microbes) and the commercialization of engineered strains.

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What does international collaboration mean for you?

The present COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated the vital need for knowledge sharing across the global science community. We asked three of our speakers what international collaboration means for them as leaders in their fields.

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The Biosynthesis of Cannabinoids

We recently spoke to Jeremy Friedberg, CSO of  LAVVAN, a company pioneering the biosynthesis of cannabinoids. The conversation was recorded as a podcast, which can be found here.

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The grass has never been greener for engineering plant immunity and resilience

Scientific research is always working at the frontiers of knowledge, but plant genomics technologies have had a dramatic impact on plant science even by our standards. The wide availability of sequencing technologies has been a rare step-change that has unlocked knowledge in a way nobody in the field could have imagined twenty years ago. Knowledge which could make a considerable contribution to food security in the face of changing climates.

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New Breeding Techniques: cloning major resistance genes in cereals

Advances in breeding techniques for cereal crops will be a focus at the 8th Plant Genomics and Gene Editing Congress: USA. We asked Burleigh Dodds, an agricultural science publisher, to share an extract from one of their recent publications, ‘Advances in breeding techniques for cereal crops’.

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Plant biotech in Europe: Present and future

Marcel Kuntz is a panellist for the panel discussion on the regulatory landscape for plant biotechnology at the 8th Plant Genomics & Gene Editing Congress: Europe. Here he provides us with some background for the discussion.

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