Genetic Study Reveals How Citrus Became the Med’s Favourite Squeeze

Genetic detective work has illuminated the important role of Jewish culture in the widespread adoption of citrus fruit by early Mediterranean societies.The fascinating find came to light in an investigation into a bizarre acidless mutation which makes citrus juice 1000 times less acidic.John Innes C

  European Seed

UK: Ban on the Outdoor Use Of Metaldehyde in 2020

A ban on the outdoor use of metaldehyde, a pesticide used to control slugs in a range of crops and in gardens, is to be introduced across Great Britain from spring 2020, the Environment Secretary announced today (19 December).The decision to prohibit the use of metaldehyde, except in permanent green

  European Seed

Sustainable Bananas In Greenhouses: First ‘Dutch Bananas’ Harvested

Researchers from Wageningen University & Research harvested the first Dutch bananas in early December. Boerenhart, a supplier of fresh and local products will offer the bananas as ‘regional product’ to restaurants and hospitals in the region of Wageningen. The cultivation took place on two types of

  European Seed

Time For Growers To Take A Closer Look At Their Soils

The AHDB GREATsoils programme has been signposted as a vital resource and tool for growers as part of two new soil qualifications from BASIS, the independent standards setting and auditing organisation.BASIS facilitated the creation of two new syllabuses as requested by its members for foundation an

  European Seed

Will Digital Technologies Allow A Better Seed User Experience?

It’s a quite common promise from all brands to declare that the daily experience for customers will be improved thanks to the digital technology.On the other hand, in some case digitization might be felt as too intrusive. Agriculture will not be able to escape from this global trend and for sure far

  Jean-Pierre Dufourcq

Warmer Winters Threaten UK Blackcurrant Farming

Warmer winters may not provide sufficient chilling for blackcurrants in the UK, delaying the start of the growing season and resulting in reduced yields and lower fruit quality, researchers have found.Like many fruit crops and woody plants, blackcurrants require a period of chilling before they star

  European Seed

Gene Edited Food Imports Into EU Will Be Almost Impossible To Spot

European law currently requires food packaging to be labelled GM if more than 0.9% of any one ingredient is genetically modified.But Rothamsted’s Professor Johnathan Napier, who has pioneered the GM production of Omega-3 fish oils by camelina plants, said the nature of the changes brought about by t

  European Seed

New Elite Barley Could Be A Budding Success

New gene combinations in barley could prove a budding success for breeders and brewers across the world, according to a new study by plant scientists at the University of Dundee and the James Hutton Institute. The study, published in New Phytologist, suggests new barley lines created by bringing tog

  European Seed

Plants As Antifungal Factories

The results of this research published in the Plant Biotechnology Journal could impact the pharmaceutical and agri-food industriesResearchers from the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) at the Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG) and the Institute for Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology

  European Seed

European Recognition For Talented Early-Career Researcher

John Innes Centre researcher Dr Xiaoqi Feng today receives a prestigious award reserved for Europe’s most promising young researchers. Dr Feng is one of 26 Young Investigators named by the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO).EMBO selects life science researchers within their first four ye

  European Seed

A New Sweet Potato Variety has Arrived on the Market

Sweet potato has its centre of origin in the tropical regions of the Americas but is now mainly produced in Africa. According to FAO data, after China, most production takes place in Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia.In Europe, sweet potatoes are part of a trending demand for exotic and ethnic

  Marcel Bruins and Marc Zienkiewicz

Can Seed Industry Play A Key Role In Changing The Future Of West Africa?

Definitively yes! And immediately, having full conscience that this is operating in a system where crop failure is not just an economic problem for a farmer, but a life-threatening issue. The question is, can we move ahead? Progresses have been relatively limited the last few decades and cannot cope

  European Seed

Glyphosate on Trial

In a decision that made headlines around the world, a California jury awarded $289 million dollars, a stunning amount, to a former groundskeeper for a California school district who claims that he contracted non-Hodgkins lymphoma from exposure to a commercial preparation of glyphosate, the world’s m

  Joe Schwarcz

No Access, No Benefits – Part 3 – The View From Academia

In previous editions of European Seed, seed company experts discussed struggles relating to the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) for plant genetic resources (PGR), entered into force in October 2014. In our second article in this series, we sat down with experts at various global

  Treena Hein

Can Rice Filter Water From Ag Fields?

Rice is a staple food crop of 20 percent of the world’s population. It’s also grown on every continent except Antarctica.While it’s an important part of our diets, new research shows that rice plants can be used in a different way, too: to clean runoff from farms before it gets into rivers, lakes, a

  European Seed

Revitalizing Seed Morphology

For years, there has been a shrinking level of expertise in the area of seed morphology. According to Germany’s Wolfgang Stuppy, scientific curator for the Botanic Garden at Ruhr-University Bochum, since the mid-20th century, seed morphology has not been a discipline practised by many botanists who

  Marc Zienkiewicz

Increasing Crop Insurances Adoption In Developing Countries

Farmers in developing countries often rely heavily on their yearly harvest to feed their families. A bad crop can have severe consequences for their livelihood. Despite the significant advantages crop insurances would offer in alleviating this risk, only a small percentage of farmers insure their cr

  European Seed

Run For Cover: Cropping Up Better Soil

There’s a revolution going on in the ground below us. A growing group of passionate farmers have been experimenting with complex combinations of cover crops seed species which may have as much influence as cash crops on the future of sustainable farming. Have plant biologists kept up with these pion

  David Zaruk

Uganda Parliament Passes GMO Bill

The Parliament of the Republic of Uganda finally passed the Bill designed to provide a regulatory framework for the safe development and application of biotechnology in the country.The Bill, formerly known as the National Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill 2012, is now renamed as the Genetic Engineeri

  European Seed

Five Tips For Event Networking (Or, What I Learned In Manila)

I recently had the honour of attending the 25th annual Asia and Pacific Seed Association (APSA) Asian Seed Congress in Manila, Philippines. APSA is the world’s largest regional association, with membership from over 50 countries. Networking is a central function at events like APSA’s World Congress.

  Kelly Saunderson

Ever Heard of Purple Tea?

Tea plants are native to East Asia, and probably originated in the borderlands of north Burma and southwestern China. By annual per capita consumption of tea, the countries with the highest consumption are Northern Ireland (6.9 kg), Ireland (2.19kg) and United Kingdom (1.94kg).After China and India,

  Marcel Bruins

New EU Agricultural Policy Brings New Risks

Under the new European agricultural policy, all Member States will have to draft their own plans to achieve the EU objectives. According to experts, including experts at Wageningen University & Research (WUR), this may prove risky.The proposed policy will bring more responsibilities for Member State

  European Seed

Global Warming Increases Frost Damage on Trees in Central Europe

Global warming increases frost damage on trees in large areas of Central Europe, according to a new Finnish-Chinese study by researchers from the University of Eastern Finland, the Chinese Academy of Science and Zhejiang A&F University.Late frost damages are economically important in agriculture and

  European Seed