Gene silencing immunizes valuable food crops against deadly plant diseases

Screen Shot at PM
Using 'GMO-free' gene silencing to engineer disease resistant crops could help control pests.

The defense of crops from new pathogens and parasites is one of the main challenges that the agriculture sector is currently facing. The economic damage caused by …. the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa and Drosophila suzukii diptera, [for example] amounts to about one million euros per year.

…. Access to all technologies available, including biotechnologies, is fundamental to face new dangers and reduce the use of pesticides in agriculture.

Promising results come from new methods based on the gene silencing system by interfering RNA (RNAi), which is able to enhance the defense capabilities of plants to respond to the attack of pathogens. With the RNAi technique it is possible to modulate the expression of plant genes without requiring the expression of new molecules.

Related article:  Podcast: Can the food we eat change our RNA and the way genes work?

The characteristics of mobility through the plant’s vascular system offer the possibility to transform rootstocks for woody plants for stable expression of RNAi, conferring resistance to scions producing non-GM fruits. RNA molecules can also be produced and applied as a topical treatment to plants to change their physiology or control on pests and pathogens. It is realistic to consider imminent the availability of dsRNA as a biopesticide applicable as foliar spray, seed tanning or directly in the soil.

Read full, original article: European iPlanta Project researches crop defense

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
can you boost your immune system to prevent coronavirus spread x

Video: How to boost your immune system to guard against COVID and other illnesses

Scientists have recently developed ways to measure your immune age. Fortunately, it turns out your immune age can go down ...
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 ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...

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