February 2008 E-News
The SBC Publishes Three New Papers:
Bradford Co-authors New CAST Paper which Addresses Gene Flow
The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) released an Issue Paper, Implications of Gene Flow in the Scale-up and Commercial Use of Biotechnology-derived Crops: Economic and Policy Considerations. According to Task Force Chair David Gealy, USDA–ARS, “Humans have selected, adapted, and improved crops from diverse species for numerous purposes. Many useful traits are being imparted into biotech and nonbiotech crops, most of which are likely to impact the dynamics of gene flow very little, especially outside of agricultural fields. Precommercialization procedures that take into account the specific trait being introduced will help to insure that impacts of gene flow remain low.” The paper (Issue Paper No. 37) may be accessed on the CAST website at www.cast-science.org
Toward Sequencing Cotton (Gossypium) Genomes
This paper is about research by a coalition of cotton genome scientists that developed a strategy for sequencing the cotton genomes, which will vastly expand opportunities for cotton research and improvement worldwide. Chen, J.,.. Van Deynze, A, et al. 2007. For more information see Toward Sequencing Cotton (Gossypium) Genomes or Plant Physiology 2007 Volume 145, 1303-1310.
Diversity in conserved genes in tomato
This paper describes the results of a study to identify nucleotide variation within tomato breeding germplasm and mapping parents for a set of conserved single-copy ESTs that are orthologous between tomato and Arabidopsis. Van Deynze, A., Stoffel, K., Buell, C.R., Kozik, A., Liu, J., van der Knaap, E. And Francis, D. 2007. For complete information go to: BMM Genomics 2007, 8:465
Apply Now for the Plant Breeding Academy – Space is Limited!
The Plant Breeding Academy (PBA), sponsored by the UC Davis Seed Biotechnology Center, is accepting applications for Class II, which will begin in September 2008. The PBA is a two year program designed to meet the needs of working professionals, giving them the critical tools they will need to manage a breeding program. Meeting for six one-week sessions over two years, the academy’s schedule allows participants to maintain their current working positions.
Students from Class I, who will complete instruction this June, have had this to say:
“We get the very specific information we need for our programs. I’m grateful
to be able to receive this level of education while keeping my job.”
“I really enjoy the guest speakers – we are extremely fortunate to have the
opportunity to speak with and hear from people with such diverse
and advanced experiences.”
Already accepted to Class II are a number of outstanding professionals from the US, Central America, Europe and Africa. These individuals work with a variety of crops including grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes. Taught by internationally recognized plant breeders, the PBA is limited in size to give students personal attention. Visit the Plant Breeding Academy website for more information and to apply for the 2008-2010 Academy. For questions, contact Cathy Glaeser, Program Representative, at email@example.com, or 530-752-4414.
This 30-minute peer-reviewed documentary follows the journey of three crops — corn, rice, and cotton — from seed to market. It looks at the variety of methods used by farmers to meet the challenges of growing, segregating, and marketing these crops to meet differing market requirements and consumer preferences. The DVD was produced by Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam and Dr. Peggy Lemaux. It can be purchased at: ANR Communications or viewed via streaming video at http://stream.ucanr.org/cornucopia/cornucopia.html.
The Second Biennial Charley Rick Symposium – Plant Responses to Biotic and Abiotic Stress. March 13-14, 2008
Named in honor of the late Dr. Charley Rick, distinguished plant geneticist and UCD professor, the second biennial symposium will bring together scholars whose research addresses plant responses to biotic and abiotic stress. The symposium is organized by the UCD Plant Genomics Program (PGP), which was founded in 2004 to encourage interaction between the wide range of people and disciplines involved in plant genomics research on campus (http://pgp.ucdavis.edu/). The PGP currently has a membership of 45 faculty members representing 19 different UCD departments. The event will begin the evening of March 13, 2008 with a welcome reception for all attendees followed by a keynote address by Paul Schulze-Lefert, Director, Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Cologne, Germany. For more information contact Jeleana Johnson at 530 754-2252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
19th New Phytologist Symposium Physiological Sculpture of Plants: new visions and capabilities for crop development
In recent years there has been a great expansion of knowledge of genes that influence the regulatory pathways that control organismal properties of adaptive and economic importance, such as vegetative architecture; flowering and fruit characteristics; and tolerance of stresses. The goal of this meeting is to discuss this rapidly moving body of knowledge with an eye to future translation, i.e.,how the knowledge might be used to create major advances in breeding, biotechnology, and genetic engineering. By ‘physiological sculpture’ we connote a primary interest in designed modifications to plant properties using knowledge of molecular plant physiology and recombinant DNA methods, rather than importation of simple gene functions or novel pathways from distantly related organisms (i.e., not “GMOs” in the popular sense). It will consider how to improve efficiency, or extend the limits, for phenotype- or marker-based breeding, not to duplicate what breeding can already do well. The Symposium will be held September 17-20, 2008 in Mount Hood, Oregon, USA. For complete details and registration at www.newphytologist.org.
Please contact Susan DiTomaso at email@example.com or at 530-754-7333 for questions or comments.