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Biologicals

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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Vertically transmitted endophyte improved plant-rhizobacteria interaction

Plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) have been identified as potential biofertilizers, eco-friendly, renewable and have been demonstrated to actively restore soil fertility. Beyond this, they have been shown to be a promising biological resource to augment chemical fertilizer, and drastically reduce its application and subsequent negative effects.

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A look back at 2019’s Federal Regulatory Update on Plant Biostimulants

On June 11, 2019, President Trump signed an Executive Order directing the heads of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take specific steps to streamline and improve the regulatory processes applicable to the products of agricultural biotechnology.

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Phytobiomes Alliance: Convergent Research & Regulatory Science Activities

Kellye Eversole told us that “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.”

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Role of indigenous and inoculated Trichoderma spp. in managing soilborne fungal diseases

David Butler is Associate Professor at the University of Tennessee, USA. His research focuses on soil-plant and soil-plant-microbe relationships in horticultural cropping systems. In particular, David is interested in understanding non-chemical and biological soil disinfestation techniques and their mechanisms of pathogen control, the effect of alternative soil disinfestation practices on soil fertility and crop nutrition, and the how the nutrient cycle dynamics of annual and perennial cover crops can alter to improve crop nutrition.

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Presentation Slides from the 4th Partnerships in Biocontrol, Biostimulants & Microbiome Congress: USA

At the recent 4th Partnerships in Biocontrol, Biostimulants & Microbiome Congress: USA we heard a number of interesting presentations on how plant and soil microbiome research is identifying microbes to enhance crop productivity and disease resistance.

Thanks to some of our speakers, we have made the following slides discussing the current regulatory landscape from Sarah Caffery, Keith Matthews, and Terry Stone available to view.

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