View basket

IOBC-WPRS Bulletin Vol. 131, 2018


IOBC-WPRS Bulletin Vol. 131, 2018

Working Group "GMOs in Integrated Plant Production"
Proceedings of the eighth meeting at Ghent (Belgium), 4 – 6 September, 2017
Editors: Michael Meissle, Adinda De Schrijver, Guy Smagghe
ISBN 978-92-9067-316-3 [VIII + 100 pp]


25.00 €





Add this product to your basket





Technology transfer and capacity building in biotechnology and biosafety for a sustainable and intensified agriculture in Africa
Sylvie De Buck, Marc Heijde, Silvia Travella, Vanessa De Bauw, Dulce de Oliveira, Godelieve Gheysen, Marc Van Montagu

Abstract: The IPBO (International Plant Biotechnology Outreach) promotes access to scientific and technological innovations as ways of enhancing food security and promoting a sustainable intensification of agriculture in Africa. Innovations in biotechnology hold massive opportunities for developing a more sustainable agriculture. However, converting these opportunities into practice in emerging economies requires a concerted effort in training in – and access to – the latest technological developments and the design of effective biosafety and regulatory mechanisms.
IPBO, founded by Prof. Marc Van Montagu in 2000, is an active cell within VIB (Flemish Institute for Biotechnology), Belgium. Its mission is threefold: (1) improve understanding and create awareness about the importance of green biotechnology applications for sustainable development (communication), (2) empower plant biotechnologists and plant breeders from developing countries and emerging economies through training and capacity building in plant biotechnology and biosafety (training), and (3) act as a focal platform for green biotechnology in Europe and leverage outreach to developing countries and emerging economies (networking).


5.00 €


Genetic diversity of Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumach.) in Western Kenya; implication on Napier stunting disease resistant breeding
B. J. Awalla, B. Were, O. G. Dangasuk, G. Kawube, B. Wanjala, R. Skilton, F. N. Muyekho, M. Njahira

Abstract: Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumach.) is an allotetraploid (2n = 4x = 28) and has a genome formula of A’A’BB, where A’A’ is homologous to the AA genome of pearl millet (2n = 2 x = 14) Pennisetum glaucum (L). It is the dominant livestock fodder in all stall feeding systems in Kenya and has numerous other applications. Candidate clones for Napier stunt disease resistance need to be diverse in order to increase the probability of having resistant genes within a given population. In this study, the diversity of Napier grass was assessed in relation to Napier stunt disease using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers derived from other related plants in the Pennisetum genus which included pearl millet, sorghum and maize. A total of 96 samples were studied using 25 selected SSR markers. The results showed that 90% of the molecular variation in Napier grass populations exists among individuals within a given population, while 1% is encountered between populations. There was no distinct population structuring in the five populations studied. This study recommends increasing the level of diversity in the Western Kenya Napier grass germplasm through introductions of new Napier clones and proper selection to increase the chances of getting resistant genes to Napier stunt disease.


5.00 €


Status of maize breeding at mid-altitude and sub-humid low land agro-ecology of Ethiopia
Belay Garoma

Abstract: Maize is one of the most important cereal crops in Ethiopia, ranking second in area coverage and first in total production. In the last two decades, the production and productivity of maize increased in Ethiopia. However, the national average yield (3.5 t/ha) is still low as compared to the world average (5.5 t/ha). An important portion of this low yielding in maize is attributable to abiotic and biotic stresses. To tackle the existing and emerging production constraints, continuous maize research is required using modern breeding techniques that are supported by conventional breeding and management aspects. Bako National Maize Research Center under the Ethiopian Institute of Agriculture Research is striving to develop diverse inbred lines including non-quality protein (normal maize), quality protein and pro-vitamin-A lines. The combing ability of these inbred lines is assessed and their respective crosses are evaluated. So far, different maize hybrids were released, and some of them are under production and competitive market. The Ethiopian maize research center is still applying phenotypic selection for these traits of interest. This technique, however, has delayed the output in the process of pre-breeding programs (inbred lines development) and variety release in the country. Though, application of modern breeding techniques of maize, such as marker assisted selection, DH and other tools should be applied to speed up pre-breeding programs. These tools should be integrated with conventional breeding to develop maize varieties without penalty of other traits for end users at potential maize growing regions.


5.00 €


Application, environmental risk assessment and regulation of GM microbial biocontrol agents in the EU
Debora C. M. Glandorf, Petra A. M. Hogervorst, Jacqueline W. A. Scheepmaker

Abstract: A desk study was performed to study developments, regulation and risk assessment of genetically modified microbial biocontrol agents (GM mBCAs) applied in agriculture as a plant protection product. It was concluded that existing risk assessment methodologies under EU regulation adequately cover potential risks of agricultural applications of GM mBCAs for food, feed, human health and the environment. Only cases where the GM mBCA or its newly produced metabolites are capable of changing the composition of the food/feed product, are not taken into account in the current risk assessment approach. It is suggested to include this aspect in the risk assessment of GM mBCAs on a case-by-case basis.


5.00 €


Establishing habitats in GM crop landscapes to benefit monarch butterflies, pollinators and ecological services
Richard L. Hellmich, Seth R. Appelgate, Teresa R. Blader, Sue L. Blodgett, Steven P. Bradbury, Diane M. Debinski, Kelsey E. Fisher, Tyler J. Grant, Robert G. Hartzler, Niranjana Krishnan, Sydney E. Lizotte-Hall, John M. Pleasants, Victoria M. Pocius, Dana D. Schweitzer

Abstract: For two decades genetically modified (GM) maize and soybeans have dominated crop fields in Iowa. Among other benefits their use led to reduced insect pressure and initially more efficient weed control. There are concerns that herbicide use associated with herbicide-tolerant crops reduced common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) in crop fields. Common milkweed is the most important host plant of the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) in the United States (U.S.) Corn Belt. The monarch butterfly is perhaps the most recognizable insect in North America. Their populations have declined dramatically over the past two decades due to multiple factors, including loss of overwintering habitat in Mexico, breeding habitat in the U.S., and milkweed within crop fields. Research has focused on ways to increase biodiversity in agricultural landscapes in Iowa by planting native plants near and sometimes in borders of crop fields. These plantings provide shelter and food for butterflies, pollinators, birds and other organisms. Strategically placed habitat also can be stacked with edge of field practices designed to control erosion and nutrient runoff. The Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium that includes agricultural, conservation, academic and governmental organizations was formed to improve survival and reproduction success through voluntary action. The goal is to establish native plant habitats throughout Iowa with a focus on areas near agricultural land by working with the more than 30 consortium members and partners. Science-based approaches will be used to develop practical, cost-effective guidelines to help landowners establish habitats in filter strips, bioreactors and grass-dominated land. The premise is that growers do not want milkweeds on productive land but they would consider establishing them and nectar plants on non-crop and non-productive land.


5.00 €


Current status and future of genetically modified crops in Benin
Carlos A. Houdegbe, Dèdeou A. Tchokponhoue1, E. O. Dêêdi Sogbohossou, Jeanne Zoundjihekpon, Enoch G. Achigan-Dako

Abstract: Genetically modified crops (GMCs) are remarkable outputs of science with controversial benefits for end-users. In Benin, these crops are banned officially while neighbouring countries move in the opposite direction. This study aimed at assessing the current environment of GMCs in Benin to understand its future development in the country. A desk research was carried out to identify actors involved and the legal, organizational and institutional frameworks related to GMCs in Benin. Interviews were also conducted with 10 individual resource persons. In addition, samples of cotton and cowpea seeds were randomly collected in production areas to test their status. Our results indicated that in Benin, GMC-issues are tackled by non-governmental organizations, universities, ministries, international organisations and the civil society with scattered and non-coordinated interventions. Benin has ratified several international conventions and has already adopted two moratoriums on GMCs. Currently, there is a legal vacuum reflected by the lack of organisational framework for regulating production, commercialisation and importation of GMCs. Benin has relevant institutions that, however, are not operational. The reluctance about GMCs was associated to their elusive and likely negative impact on health and environment in addition to the additional dependency of local farmers on international seed companies. Although pilot testing indicated no GMCs yet, the risks of presence of GMCs is Benin is high, in particular with the porosity of the borders, and no adequate infrastructures for the control of agricultural products. We recommend to organize a national forum on GMCs in order to clearly set up a training and research agenda as well as regulatory context that will guide future interventions.


5.00 €


Analysis of artificial diet to deliver dsRNA in the western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis)
Mona Jahani, Olivier Christiaens, Guy Smagghe

Abstract: Western flower thrips (WFT), Frankliniella occidentalis, is one of the most serious crop pests worldwide, and its control represents a major challenge. The development of insecticide resistance and the unsatisfactory performance of existing control methods indicate the need for an alternative, environmental-friendly method such as RNAi. One of the first steps toward an efficient RNAi through oral delivery is to establish an efficient and effective delivery method. In this paper, we report on a bioassay with use of a liquid artificial diet in a Parafilm bubble that can later be used for instance to deliver dsRNA to WFT adults and larvae. The result was that there are no significant changes in survival and development between the artificial diet and natural food as fresh bean. Also there was no degradation of dsRNA in the liquid diet.


5.00 €


RNAi-mediated control of spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii): efficacy challenges and biosafety considerations
Wolfgang Jarausch, Miriam Runne, Michael Wassenegger, Gabi Krzcal

Abstract: Drosophila suzukii Matsumura (Diptera: Drosophilidae) is a rapidly emerging invasive pest in America and Europe. First described in Germany in 2011, high yield losses were already recorded in 2014 in cherries, small fruits and grapevine. Pesticide and mechanical control measures have been applied which are neither environmentally nor economically sustainable. As D. suzukii is well established in Germany, long-term solutions have to be developed. In this regard, RNAi-based pest control strategies could have potential. However, a major bottleneck is delivery of RNA molecules and efficacy of control. D. suzukii attacks intact maturing and ripening fruits and damage is produced by the developing larvae inside the fruits. D. suzukii can rapidly produce high population densities. Fruit damages caused by D. suzukii can serve as entrance for additional pests and microbes, which is of major concern in grapevine. Therefore, RNAi-mediated control has to aim at adult flies before egg deposition in fruits and has to be efficient against high population densities. Furthermore, RNAi-mediated shut down of D. suzukii genes has to occur rapidly. Challenges are therefore finding the right target gene and developing an efficient delivery method. As RNAi in D. suzukii is not systemic, a constant dsRNA uptake either through transgenic plants or through oral feeding seems necessary. We tried to induce gene knock down through oral application of dsRNAs for essential genes like tubulin (γTub23C) or vacuolar ATPase (Vha26), however, with limited success. Another challenge is biosafety considerations and avoidance of off-target effects in non-target insect species.


5.00 €


Insecticidal activity and cytotoxicity of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ia7 protein
Ayda Khorramnejad, Yolanda Bel, Patricia Hernández-Martínez, Reza Talaei-Hassanloui, Baltasar Escriche

Abstract: Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a Gram-positive bacterium that produces insecticidal proteins whether accumulated in parasporal crystal inclusions in the stationary phase, or secreted in the vegetative phase. Cry1I proteins belong to this second group of Bt proteins, although their structure is similar to the Cry proteins which are generally accumulated in the parasporal body. Moreover, Cry1I proteins have attracted attention due to their dual activity to Lepidoptera and Coleoptera. The aim of the present work was to explore additional insect species potentially susceptible to Cry1Ia7 by two different methods. First, insecticidal activity was tested in bioassays against Grapholita molesta, Mamestra brassicae and Ostrinia nubilalis neonates, with trypsin activated Cry1Ia7 at a concentration of 1000 ng/cm2. Second, for the first time, the cytotoxicity of Cry1Ia7 was analyzed in different insect cell lines by the method of tetrazolium salt reduction (MTT). Lepidopteran cell lines from Spodoptera frugiperda (Sf21 cells) and Trichoplusia ni (BTI-Tn-5B1-4, Hi5 cells) were challenged with trypsin-activated Cry1Ia7 at several toxin concentrations and exposure times. We found that trypsin-digested Cry1Ia7 was almost not toxic for M. brassicae and O. nubilalis. Our results agree with published data about low toxicity of other Cry1I proteins to M. brassicae and are in disagreement with the Cry1Ie toxicity reported for O. nubilalis. In addition, the treatment of G. molesta (a lepidopteran pest that is very susceptible to Cry1 proteins) with Cry1Ia7, showed low mortality and moderate growth inhibition. We observed a 40% loss of cell viability in both insect cell lines, Sf21 and Hi5, after 48 hours of exposure to the highest concentration of protein (20 μg/ml). The results of this study show that none of the studied lepidopteran species revealed high susceptibility to Cry1Ia7 protein, and that the use of insect cell lines could be a good tool to study the mode of action of this protein.


5.00 €


Confocal microscopy for analysis of dsRNA uptake in Lepidoptera midgut cells
Zarel Martinez, Olivier Christiaens, Guy Smagghe

Abstract: Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) is a powerful tool which has vast applications in biology. It is rapidly gaining acceptance as an important technology because of its capacity to produce images free of out-of-focus information which provides a better understanding of the cell structure. Using this technology we ambition to understand one of the limiting factors for RNAi efficiency in Lepidopteran insects. These include uptake of dsRNA molecules from the outside environment to the inside of the insects, specifically uptake into the target cells, intracellular transport and also stability of dsRNA inside the gut of the insect. In the present research, we investigated the use of CLSM as (1) a tool to study the uptake of fluorescently labeled dsRNA by insect cells, and (2) to visualize the different cell organelle structures of these cells for a better intracellular localization of dsRNA later on. Specifically, we used living cells of the midgut from an important pest lepidopteran, the spruce budworm Choristoneura fumiferana (CF203). Taken together, our results confirm that CLSM is an appropriate life cell-imaging tool to study uptake in insect midgut CF203 cells and that dsRNA is taken up by these cells.


5.00 €


GMOs in Integrated Plant Production – discussion update
Michael Meissle, Adinda De Schrijver

No abstract


5.00 €


Antimicrobial and defence elicitor peptides in plant protection
Emilio Montesinos

Abstract: Bioactive synthetic peptides can be designed based on structure-function approaches, departing from natural compounds, and their activity, action range and toxicity can be improved using combinatorial chemistry. Lytic peptides have the capacity of producing damage in the cell membranes, both in bacteria and fungi, and have shown control of diseases caused by bacterial, fungal and phytoplasm plant pathogens. Cell penetrating peptides can be used to deliver cargo molecules to target specific intracellular structures in plant cells. Plant defence elicitor peptides based on the pattern triggered immunity (PTI) system can be designed and their topical application to plants enhances the resistance to pathogen infection. Synthetic peptides can be produced in microbial or plant biofactories. The rice seed endosperm can be used for sustainable production of functional peptides with reasonable yield. It is expected that the properties of bioactive peptides fulfil the current regulation of "low-risk pesticides" in the EU, and could contribute to a novel type of sustainable pesticides.


5.00 €


GMOs and sustainable development in the DRC: State of play and perspectives
Gertrude Pongi Khonde, Jean-Pierre Kabongo Tshiabukole, Amand Mbuya Kankolongo

Abstract: In sub-Saharan and central Africa, maize is the most important cereal grown in subsistence agriculture. However, maize production is subject to significant production losses. DRC has never attained food self-sufficiency and the Congolese state is obliged to use relatively large quantities of food aid and imports, especially from neighboring countries and South Africa, to fill the deficit. Some of the imported food products, such as maize, are likely to contain GMOs, which is unknown to many economic operators. They also ignore the existence of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety of GMO Maize. The policy adopted by DRC regarding the management of the environment in general and the use of modern biotechnology and GMOs in particular rests essentially on the precautionary principle and on other general principles of international law of the environment. Particular emphasis has also been placed on the establishment of a phytosanitary protection framework (for intensive GM crops), as well as on improving the business climate (e.g., Bukanga Lonzo’s mini markets). It goes without saying that, in the short to medium term, food crops will still require the necessary attention in the fight against food insecurity. This requires effective agronomic research, large-scale production of improved seedlings and seeds (including GMO maize varieties with high yield) and better agricultural management.


5.00 €


Insecticidal activity of orally delivered dsRNA in field-collected African sweetpotato weevils Cylas puncticollis (Coleoptera, Brentidae) from Uganda and Kenya
Katterinne Prentice, Olivier Christiaens, Lydia Wamalwa, Marc Ghislain, Godelieve Gheysen, Guy Smagghe

Abstract: The African sweetpotato weevil Cylas puncticollis (SPW) is considered as one of the major threats to sweetpotato production in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The novel post-genomic RNA interference (RNAi) technology can add genetic resistance against SPW in sweetpotato. We previously reported that orally delivered dsRNA targeting the essential gene snf7 (dsSnf7) can elicit a significant toxicity in C. puncticollis. For further application of RNAi technology in this pest, we studied the potential variation of the RNAi toxicity among populations. We therefore compared the insecticidal effects of dsRNA-Snf7 after oral feeding between a laboratory colony, originally from Uganda, and three field-collected populations from Kenya.


5.00 €


Assessing non-target risks of RNAi-based insecticidal transgenic plants
Jörg Romeis, Simone Haller, Franco Widmer

Abstract: Genetically engineered (GE) crops can be protected from insect attack by producing dsRNA that lead to RNA interference (RNAi). This leads to the downregulation of essential gene products in a herbivorous insect and represents a powerful new technology for pest control. The use of such GE plants, however, has raised concerns about their effects on valued non-target organisms. This risk is thus evaluated prior to the release of any RNAi-based transgenic plant into the environment. While the risk assessment follows the principles that have been shown to be effective for plants producing insecticidal proteins, e.g., Bt-transgenic plants, there are particularities about RNAi-based insecticidal plants that need to be considered.


5.00 €


Introduction to the iPLANTA COST Action and RNAi research and development in relation to crop protection
Jeremy Sweet, Bruno Mezzetti, Cecilia Limera, Silvia Sabbadini

No abstract


5.00 €


IRM for Bt crops: successes and challenges
Jeroen Van Rie

Abstract: Transgenic plants expressing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) insecticidal crystal (Cry) proteins represent a relatively novel method for insect control. This insect control technology is commercially available in corn, cotton and soybean. The continued success of these Bt crops depends to a large extent on the potential development of resistance in insect populations. Insect resistance management (IRM) strategies have been implemented proactively in an effort to delay such resistance build-up. Examples are provided of successes and challenges in IRM for Bt crops.


5.00 €

Add this product to your basket