Scientists hunt for genes to protect oysters

As the climate warms and the world’s oceans take up more carbon dioxide, those waters are becoming increasingly acidic, causing damaging corrosion to the shells of many marine species, including oysters.

U.S.-Chinese team finds genes at heart of tomato flavor

The supermarket tomato, bred to resist bruising, could gain improved flavor thanks to Chinese and U.S. scientists who found a genetic roadmap to the genes that determine the taste of tomatoes, says the Wall Street Journal. Tomatoes are not native to China but the Asian nation has been the world’s largest grower of them since 1995.

Mesoamerican bean genome decoded

A team of scientists from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Spain has deciphered the genome of the Mesoamerican common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), according to Spain's Center for Genomic Regulation. The findings are reported in the current issue of the journal Genome Biology.

Bulk of lawsuit over Syngenta GE corn heads for trial

A federal judge has decided that the bulk of lawsuits by thousands of farmers against Syngenta over a genetically engineered corn variety will proceed to trial, reports DTN.

Braving venomous snakes and crocs for resilient wild rice

Reporter Lisa Hamilton traveled to a remote corner of Australia to shadow a team of researchers looking to “collect, decode, and define” a hardier strain of wild rice that could help them save what Hamilton calls “the daily sustenance of the world’s poor.”

In agricultural espionage, even the corn has ears

The Justice Department's use of a secretive national-security court to prevent the theft of hybrid corn seed developed by U.S. companies indicates the gravity of Sino-U.S. competition, says the The New Republic.

Could GMOs save endangered plants and animals?

Biologist William Powell says the best way to revive the American chestnut tree, one of the most common trees in the country until a fungal blight effectively erased it from the landscape, could be genetic engineering.

A genetically modified chicken that doesn’t spread bird flu

"The solution to avian flu" could be a genetically modified chicken that doesn't infect other fowl when it's hit by the deadly virus, says a National Geographic blog post.

Senate bill would label GE salmon, block beef imports

Retailers would have to identify transgenic salmon as genetically engineered and imports of raw beef from Brazil and Argentina would be barred under the USDA/FDA funding bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Add a barley gene and rice emits less methane

Rice is a staple of half the world's population and also a potent emitter of greenhouse gases. But the Los Angeles Times reports that scientists say genetic engineering may help solve the grain's methane problem.

White House begins update of food and ag biotech regulation

The administration launched an update of its multi-agency system of regulating food and agricultural biotechnology with a goal of writing the new version of its "coordinated framework" by July 2016.

Wheat engineered to deter aphids fails in field trials

A variety of wheat genetically engineered to emit a pheremone to ward off aphids "failed to show any effect" during a field trial in England, says Science Magazine.

Wild ancestors to help wheat adapt to climate change

Wheat scientists will borrow genes from wild ancestors of the staple grain to give it stamina to withstand the stresses of climate change, says the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish abbreviation CIMMYT.

Scientists find gene that helps soybeans to tolerate salinity

A collaboration between researchers in Australia and China identified a gene that allows the soybean plant to better tolerate soil salinity, says the University of Adelaide.

NAS report lists priorities for food animal research

A report from the National Academy of Sciences suggest four priorities for research to assure an adequate meat supply for a world population that could reach 10 billion by 2050.

Baa, baa, black sheep, seldom seen anywhere

There are about 1,500 Black Welsh Mountain sheep, a small and completely black sheep breed, in the United States and possibly 10,000 worldwide, says a story at Harvest Public Media.

Corn DNA strands could affect thousands of genes

A research team led by Florida State University identified four-stranded elements of DNA in corn that could affect thousands of genes, says an FSU release.

Scientists publish genome sequence for canola

An international team of scientists published the genome of canola, the second most-widely grown oilseed in the world and a source of desirable omega-3 fatty acids.

Mustard genes may help canola battle blackleg

The Ethiopian mustard plant could be used to help canola varieties resist the fungal disease blackleg, says a researcher at the University of Alberta.

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