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

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

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

COMSHIP, the COMESA Seed Harmonisation Implementation Plan

Lack of quality and improved seed in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) countries has contributed significantly to food insecurity and poverty. The availability of quality seed in this region in terms of variety, accessibility, and volume currently stands at a meagre 20%. Thi

  European Seed

AFSTA Outlines its Role in Providing the Voice of the Seed Industry in Africa

Prior to the year 2000, the African continent did not have an umbrella body that could collectively be the voice of the seed industry. Something had to be done about it and hence, after several meetings and consultations among key seed stakeholders, the African Seed Trade Association known as “AFSTA

  Aghan Daniel

Benefits of Plant Variety Protection and UPOV Membership: The Case of Kenya

The agriculture sector accounts for 22% of Kenya’s GDP, with the majority of the population dependent directly or indirectly on agriculture. Kenya has a well-established seed sector and is a member of regional and international institutions relevant to the seed sector.Kenya acceded to UPOV under the

  Esther Kimani

Waking Sleeping Plants with Plasmas

Commercial crops like grapes, peaches, berries and flower bulbs all go dormant in the winter, essentially sleeping through the seasonal cold before they resume growing, flowering and fruiting again in the warmer months.A critical concern for commercial farmers is to have good and synchronized tree g

  European Seed

Soil Erosion and Compaction in Scotland: Adapting to a Changing Climate

A new report by James Hutton Institute scientists has found that climate change, along with variations in machinery and farming practices, is likely to increase the susceptibility of Scottish soils to erosion or damage by compaction.The publication, produced for ClimateXChange, the Scottish centre o

  European Seed

Bees on the Brink

For bees, being social is everything.Whether it’s foraging for food, caring for the young, using their bodies to generate heat or to fan the nest, or building and repairing nests, a bee colony does just about everything as a single unit.While recent studies have suggested exposure to pesticides coul

  European Seed

Exploiting Epigenetic Variation for Plant Breeding

The sequence of genes passed on to daughter cells or offspring isn’t the only factor that determines the traits of cells and organisms. Chemical changes in the genetic material that do not alter the underlying DNA sequence also play a role in controlling which genes are active or inactive. Methylati

  European Seed

Say ‘Thallo’ to a New Source of Fertiliser

Rothamsted is trialling a new phosphorous fertiliser made from abattoir waste and industrial by-products as part of a ten-month EU funded project.Concerns over cadmium build-up in soils means that many naturally occurring sources of phosphate could soon be outlawed by the European Government.Accordi

  European Seed

European Scientists Unite to Safeguard Precision Breeding

Leading scientists representing more than 85 European plant and life sciences research centers and institutes have endorsed a position paper that urgently calls upon European policymakers to safeguard innovation in plant science and agriculture.The scientists are deeply concerned about a recent Euro

  European Seed

Innovation in a Bind – European Ruling on CRISPR-Cas has Major Consequences

Research assignments that are being withdrawn, companies that are deciding to relocate their R&D departments outside Europe — it is gradually becoming clear that the decision by the European Court of Justice to treat CRISPR-Cas as a form of genetic modification is having far-reaching consequences. I

  European Seed

Boosting Farm Productivity in Africa Through the Sustainable Use of Machines

FAO and the African Union today launched a new framework document that aims to increase agricultural efficiency and reduce drudgery by helping countries in Africa to develop strategies for sustainable farm mechanization.The Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization: A Framework for Africa (SAMA) is the

  European Seed

Success is Sweet: Researchers Unlock the Mysteries of the Sugarcane Genome

For centuries, sugarcane has supplied human societies with alcohol, biofuel, building and weaving materials, and the world’s most relied-upon source of sugar. Now, researchers have extracted a sweet scientific prize from sugarcane: its massive and complex genome sequence, which may lead to the devel

  European Seed

Improved Genetic Marker for Precise and Accurate EPH Barley Screening

Researchers from the James Hutton Institute and the Scotch Whisky Research Institute (SWRI) have completed a ten-month InnovateUK funded project resulting in the development of an improved genetic marker that can be used by barley breeders to unequivocally identify potential epiheterodendrin (EPH) n

  European Seed

Plant Genetic Resources Ensure Ag’s Future

Imagine a gardener, plant explorer, geneticist, and computer specialist all rolled into one job. You might call that person a steward of plant genetic resources.Plant genetic resources are any plant materials, such as seeds, fruits, cuttings, pollen, and other organs and tissues from which plants ca

  European Seed

Sunflower Pollen has Medicinal, Protective Effects on Bees

With bee populations in decline, a new study offers hope for a relatively simple mechanism to promote bee health and well-being: providing bees access to sunflowers.The study, conducted by researchers at North Carolina State University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, showed that two dif

  European Seed

You’re Not Welcome Here

We are living in a new Dark Age in Europe where innovation and technology are being rejected at an alarming rate. While reactionary pressure is being seen from chemicals to pharmaceuticals and from vaccines to food manufacturing, nowhere has the situation been as severe as in plant biology and agrit

  David Zaruk