Can GMO agave transform the tequila industry?

tequila shortage internal
Credit: T photography

Black frost is a meteorological phenomenon marked by temperatures that drop below 0 ° C for up to five hours – which puts tequila agave crops at risk. In March 2016, Jalisco Agaveros feared the worst as a snowstorm fell on his crops …. and recalled a black frost that hit the country almost 20 years ago.

[T]he phenomenon that occurred in December of 1997 stopped the production of 250 million liters of tequila and generated losses of 700 million dollars.

The tequilana Agave is the preferred species for the industry, because it has more sugar content than any other species, says June Simpson, researcher at the Genetics Engineering Center for Research and Advanced Studies (CINVESTAV) in Irapuato, Guanajuato.

Weather phenomena such as snowfall not only expose the plant to pests and diseases, they also force it to “invest time and nutrients” in recovery, instead of  growing and accumulating sugars.

Related article:  Philippines poised to embrace gene-edited animals? Lawmakers debate rules for 'safe' use of modern biotech

These situations have motivated scientists, companies and organizations such as the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT), to bet on research and development of technological solutions …. June Simpson is a specialist in plant molecular biology and is part of a group of scientists who, for four years, intensified research that aims to accelerate the maturation of an agave by manipulating its genes, without neglecting the sugar content in the species.

Read full, original article: Transgenic Tequila? Mexicans develop agave that accumulates more sugar in less time

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend