SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center (SEARCA BIC) releases The Bt Eggplant Story, a new video series that documents the development of Bt eggplant in the Philippines and highlights the clamor of farmers for the release of the genetically modified (GM) crop.
Eggplant farming is a major source of farmer income but the current situation puts farmers, consumers, and the environment at risk. Eggplants are susceptible to the eggplant fruit and shoot borer (EFSB), causing around 73% yield loss annually.
To address this problem, scientists from the University of the Philippines Los Baños-Institute of Plant Breeding (UPLB-IPB) are currently developing a GM eggplant that contains a gene from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. Inserting the Bt gene into the eggplant protects the plant by making it resistant from EFSB.