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First known gene transfer from plant to insect identified

A pernicious agricultural pest owes some of its success to a gene pilfered from its plant host millions of years ago. The finding, reported today in Cell1, is the first known example of a natural gene transfer from a plant to an insect. It also explains one reason why the whitefly Bemisia tabaci is so adept at munching on crops: the gene that it swiped from plants enables it to neutralize a toxin that some plants produce to defend against insects.

Early work suggests that inhibiting this gene can render the whiteflies vulnerable to the toxin, providing a potential route to combating the pest. “This exposes a mechanism through which we can tip the scales back in the plant’s favor,” says Andrew Gloss, who studies plant–pest interactions at the University of Chicago in Illinois. “It’s a remarkable example of how studying evolution can inform new approaches for applications like crop protection.”

The diminutive whitefly — which is more closely related to aphids than to flies — wreaks agricultural havoc around the world. Bemisia tabaci is among the most destructive plant pests: whiteflies sup sugary sap from hundreds of types of plant, all the while excreting a sticky, sweet substance called honeydew that serves as a breeding ground for mould. Whiteflies are also vectors for more than 100 pathogenic plant viruses.

Stolen genes
That some species of whitefly could owe part of their predatory prowess to genes from other organisms is not entirely surprising, because genetic thievery is common in the arms race between plants and their pests. Over millions of years, plants and insects alike have borrowed heavily from microbial genomes, sometimes using their newly acquired genes to develop defensive or offensive strategies.

Some insects, such as the coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei), have plundered microbial genes to extract more nutrition from hard-to-digest plant cell walls2, and a wild relative of wheat has pilfered a fungal gene to fight off a fungal disease called head blight3. But plants and insects were not known to steal from each other before now.

Read the complete article at www.nature.com.

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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%.

Prepared according to https://www.freshplaza.com

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

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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’.

yearoverview

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: info@hortidaily.com 

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