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“Are CRISPR plants GMOs?”

The Nobel Prize-winning gene editing tool CRISPR/Cas9 is revolutionizing agriculture and adding a new dimension to the policy debate over how governments classify GMOs (genetically modified organisms). In a break from the European Union, which historically has tightly regulated genetically modified foods, the UK government has proposed regulating CRISPR crops far less stringently than previous types of genetic manipulations. Recently, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Professor and HHMI Investigator Zach Lippman shared his scientific insights on CRISPR crops with the BBC podcast, The Food Programme.

Lippman supports the less stringent regulation. He says, “there are massive amounts of natural DNA mutations that exist” and CRISPR simply accelerates natural breeding processes that farmers and breeders have used since the beginning of crop cultivation. He explains that the new technology requires scientists to introduce two things into plants: the “Cas9 molecular scissors” and a specially designed bit of guide RNA that targets the molecular scissors to the desired piece of native DNA to make the desired change, or mutation.

Accelerating climate change makes innovation in agriculture ever more important. Lippman’s lab is using CRISPR to make crops like tomato and their relatives more productive and adaptable to new growth conditions. For example, he designed tomatoes that can grow in urban environments.

But before these high-tech crops can make a big difference to our food supply, Lippman acknowledges that regulators and the public need to understand more about CRISPR science. “The first step is going to be acceptance by consumers,” he says. “I understand the apprehension people have. It is very different. But you also have to think about how remarkable and exciting the technology is for expanding the types of crops we can consume.”

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Israel announces creation of global seed company

Two Israeli seed producers, Nirit Seeds and TomaTech, have joined forces to create Israel’s largest vegetable seed company. This synergy will enable unique seed breeding research and development that will accelerate the company’s growth in the international seed markets.

Upon completion of the merger, the company will have more than 80 employees worldwide, including molecular biologists, breeders, agronomists, and others.
The company will improve its breeding activities in Israel, Spain, Mexico and Italy, as well as significantly expand its representation in the Netherlands and North America, with a particular focus on growing vegetables in high-tech greenhouses.

Nirit Seeds is one of the most successful internationally traded tomato and pepper seed producers, investing in the development of revolutionary genetic technologies. TomaTech is one of the leading tomato seed companies in Israel, developing premium varieties, including those resistant to the dangerous Tomato Brown Ruffle Virus (ToBRFV).

The production of crop seeds is one of the most advanced and high-tech sectors in Israel. According to the Seed Department of the Federation of Israel Chambers of Commerce, seed exports currently generate $200 million in annual revenue. There are about 25 large and medium-sized companies in the local industry.

For reference. According to market research, the global vegetable seed industry is valued at $8 billion a year and is growing at a CAGR of 8%.

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Karachay-Cherkessia became one of the leaders in the production of greenhouse vegetables at the end of 2021


Greenhouse vegetable production in 2021 reached a record 1.4 million tonnes. According to the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, the leaders among the regions in this segment are the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, Lipetsk, Moscow, Kaluga, Volgograd, Novosibirsk, Saratov, Chelyabinsk regions, Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories, the Republics of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan. These regions account for more than 60% of the total production in the country. The intensive development of greenhouse projects in our country helps to provide Russians with fresh vegetables all year round. Last year, the harvest in winter greenhouses updated the 2020 record – more than 1.4 million tons of products were received. Including the production of cucumbers amounted to at least 830 thousand tons, and tomatoes – 590 thousand tons. It is expected that by 2025 the volume of vegetable production in year-round greenhouses will be at least 1.6 million tons of vegetables.


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December: Special Year Overview

In 2022, it will be 22 year since the new millennium started. Can’t believe it? Neither can we, but it is true. Before we go there, it is time to reflect on what has happened this year. Over the next couple of weeks, we will look back at 2021 and we will highlight the most important events that impacted the industry.

New greenhouses, events, even a few shows, technical novelties, and all other relevant news will pass by, offering you something other than Covid to talk about during Christmas and New Years’.


Wish your customers Happy Holidays
This special also offers an opportunity to put your company in the spotlight with a banner in this special box. This banner can be booked until December 24 on our newsletters. For more information, feel free to send an email to: 

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