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GMO-FREE PRODUCTS & SEEDS: Recent non-GE breeding successes



                                  PART 1


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TITLE:  NEW BARLEY IS BAD NEWS FOR RUSSIAN WHEAT APHIDS

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Agriculture, USA

AUTHOR: Press Release, by Marcia Wood

URL:    http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2008/081208.htm

DATE:   08.12.2008

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NEW BARLEY IS BAD NEWS FOR RUSSIAN WHEAT APHIDS

Russian wheat aphids hoping to feed and live comfortably on barley plants could be in for a big disappointment. That?s if they choose to attack a new kind of barley known as RWA-1758, which is highly resistant to the insect pest.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) plant geneticist Phil Bregitzer led the team that invested more than 10 years in developing and testing this superior barley.

RWA-1758 offers barley growers in places like Montana, Colorado, and Nebraska?where infestations of the insect can be severe?an effective, economical and environmentally sound way to quell the aphid. Cost-effective chemical controls aren?t available for combating the insect, according to Bregitzer. He?s based at the ARS Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research Unit in Aberdeen, Idaho.

Bregitzer did the work with ARS plant geneticists Don Obert at Aberdeen and Dolores Mornhinweg in Stillwater, Okla., and Juliet Windes of the University of Idaho-Aberdeen.

The plant?s lineage includes another ARS-developed barley?one that?s intended to be used as a parent, or breeding line?and a barley chosen from among the hundreds of wild, rare and cultivated barleys in an international collection maintained at Aberdeen by ARS curator and agronomist Harold Bockelman.

The new barley?s resistance stems from a source different from that which protects ?Burton,? another barley from the Aberdeen laboratory. Having two different types of resistance gives growers a backup against aphids? potential ability to overcome Burton?s resistance, Bregitzer noted.

RWA-1758 is what?s known as a two-rowed spring barley, meant to be planted in spring for late summer harvest. Its yields are on par with those of ?Baronesse,? a popular, productive feed barley planted widely across the Intermountain West.

Bregitzer and co-investigators described their work in an article published earlier this year in the Journal of Plant Registrations.

The Aberdeen laboratory is a national leader in developing new barleys for foods, malting and animal feeds.

Researchers and plant breeders can obtain small quantities of RWA-1758 seed at no charge from Bregitzer at phil.bregitzer@ars.usda.gov.

ARS is a scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.



                                  PART 2

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TITLE:  NEW SOYBEAN VARIETY SETS SIGHTS ON JAPANESE SOYFOODS MARKET

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Agriculture, USA

AUTHOR: Press Release, by Stephanie Yao

URL:    http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2008/081212.htm

DATE:   12.12.2008

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NEW SOYBEAN VARIETY SETS SIGHTS ON JAPANESE SOYFOODS MARKET

A new small-seed soybean variety that was developed for the lucrative Japanese soyfoods market has been released by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists.

Soybean N8101 was developed by geneticist Thomas Carter and agronomist Joseph Burton at the ARS Soybean and Nitrogen Fixation Research Unit in Raleigh, N.C. It is currently the smallest soybean variety ever released in the United States. N8101 has a yellow seed with shiny luster and clear hilum, the scar formed on the seed when it detaches from the plant. These traits make N8101 physically appealing for commercial use.

N8101 will be harvested and sent to Japan to test the market for its use in the popular breakfast food natto, a traditional dish made from fermented soybeans and normally eaten with rice. Natto is a rich source of protein, but can be an acquired taste due to its pungent smell, strong flavor and sticky consistency.

The ability to absorb water is the first step in the production of natto soyfoods. Although there is no uniform standard, Japanese natto manufacturers prefer soybeans that swell to a greater extent because they generally result in a softer final product. N8101 met this requirement. N8101 also has the potential to be used to supplement the Korean soybean sprout market.

Land for growing crops is scarce in Japan. As a result, Japanese soyfood manufacturers look to other countries to meet their supply needs. The United States is currently one of the world?s largest producers and exporters of soybeans. Last year, the United States produced more than 72 million metric tons of soybeans, and exported more than 31 million metric tons. The bulk of the soybean crop is grown for oil production, with soybean meal used as feed stock. A smaller percentage of the soybean crop is produced for human consumption.

Seed of this release will be deposited in the National Plant Germplasm System, where it will be available for research purposes, including development and commercialization of new cultivars.

A manuscript about the development of N8101 will be published in the Journal of Plant Registrations.

ARS is a scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.



                                  PART 3

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TITLE:  NEW GREEN LEAF LETTUCE LEAVES LEAFMINERS IN THE LURCH

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Agriculture, USA

AUTHOR: Marcia Wood

URL:    http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2008/081201.htm

DATE:   01.12.2008

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NEW GREEN LEAF LETTUCE LEAVES LEAFMINERS IN THE LURCH

Green leaf lettuces bring the rich color and pleasing texture of their crinkly leaves to any garden salad. Besides being a favorite with salad lovers, this kind of lettuce is also a top choice for destructive insects known as leafminers, or Liriomyza langei.

To combat leafminers, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) plant geneticists Beiquan Mou and Edward Ryder (now retired) developed the world?s first leafminer-resistant green leaf lettuce.

Adult leafminers, which are shiny black flies with a yellow triangle on their backs, ruin leaves when they puncture them to feed on sap. Females add to the damage when they lay tiny oval eggs inside the leaves. Wormlike larvae hatch from the little eggs and, as they feed, create the mine-like tunnels for which the pest is named.

In addition to its leafminer resistance, the attractive, robust new lettuce can shrug off attacks by the virus that causes lettuce mosaic. This disease, spread by green peach aphids (Myzus persicae), gives leaves a sickly mottled or mosaic appearance, rendering the lettuce unmarketable.

Mou and Ryder, based at the ARS Crop Improvement and Protection Research Unit in Salinas, Calif., screened more than 100 kinds of lettuce from ARS? Pullman, Wash.-based world collection of lettuces, and from elsewhere, before selecting ARS? own ?Salinas 88? lettuce and a red leaf lettuce as parents for the new green leaf offspring. They put it through seven years of laboratory, greenhouse and field tests, then made it available to plant breeders and researchers earlier this year.

The lettuce, known as MU06-857, is the newest in a series of first-rate iceberg, romaine, and leaf lettuces--and spinach--from the internationally known plant-breeding program at Salinas. The lab?s crisp, crunchy iceberg lettuces, for example, have made iceberg the best-selling lettuce in America. Nearly every iceberg lettuce grown in the United States today owes at least some of its parentage to ARS? lettuce-breeding research.

ARS is a scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


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