38 I EUROPEAN SEED I EUROPEAN-SEED.COM INDUSTRY NEWS TAILORED TO SEED PROFESSIONALS, INDUSTRY NEWS DELIVERS THE PEOPLE, RESEARCH, BUSINESS AND PRODUCT NEWS YOU NEED TO KNOW. SUBMISSIONS ARE WELCOME. EMAIL US AT NEWS@ISSUESINK.COM. INDUSTRY NEWS A new method for discovering and clon- ing genes could accelerate the devel- opment of rust resistance in wheat and other crops. In a study published in the journal Nature Biotechnology, scientists at the University of Minnesota, along with colleagues in England and Australia, describe a new method for discovering and cloning not just one, but potentially the entire complement of disease resist- ance genes in a plant species. The clon- ing protocol, dubbed Association Genetics Resistance Gene Enrichment Sequencing (AgRenSeq), is based on the fact that many disease-resistance genes in plants possess a unique DNA sequence. By spe- cifically targeting and enriching this sequence in the genome of a wild wheat species, Aegilops tauschii, researchers efficiently isolated four resistance genes within just six months — a process that would normally take a decade or longer for just a single gene. Aegilops tauschii is one of the three progenitor species that contributed to modern bread wheat. The Seed Control and Certification Institute of Zambia (SCCI) has expressed happiness with the reduction of fake seed being sold on the Zambian market. The institute has confirmed that a reduction in the sale of fake seeds has been recorded in the current planting season, compared to the 2017/2018 farm- ing season. SCCI Head of Seed Inspection Nathan Phiri attributed the reduction in sale of fake seeds, to the change of label- ling and packaging by his firm. Purdue University plant molecular bio- chemist Natalia Dudareva and colleagues have described a complete second path- way used by plants to produce phenylala- nine, a compound important for all living organisms. Phenylalanine is a building block of proteins and the precursor to thousands of compounds. Plants use these compounds as aromatics to attract pollinators, for defense, reproduction, growth and development. Humans must get phenylalanine from plants, and they also use natural products derived from this compound in flavors, fragrances, biofuels, insecticides and pharmaceuticals. A new study from the Amsterdam-based Access to Seeds Foundation shows limited access to quality seed in many emerging economies persists. According to the study, the global seed industry reaches around 10 percent of the world’s smallholder farmers. The Access to Seeds Index 2019 — Global Seed Companies is setting a new challenge for the global seed industry: how can we reach more smallholder farmers? The research shows that sales by the 13 global seed compa- nies only reached around 47 million of the world’s 500 million smallholder farmers in 2017, and most investment went to a small number of countries, mostly in South and Southeast Asia. Researchers at the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) have developed the Plant Genome Editing Database (PGED) to be a central repository for efficiently managing plant mutant data, as well as to provide a platform for sharing the data and mutants with the research commu- nity. The ultimate hope is that PGED will lead to more efficient use of resources by reducing unnecessary duplicate experi- ments and catalyzing collaborations among research institutions. BUSINESS NEWS Bayer, Netafim and BGN Technologies, the technology company of Israel’s Ben- Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), announced at the Fruit Logistica 2019 trade fair and exhibition in Berlin that they have signed a three year research collaboration. The project will combine leading soil research, digital prediction tools and state-of-the art drip technology by Netafim to develop best practices for using drip irrigation as a delivery system for the Bayer nematicide Velum™ Prime in Israel. On January 22, 2019, Germains Seed Technology held a grand opening to celebrate the completion of their new organic automated processing facility and Research and Development Lab in Gilroy. Germains invested over $7 million in the construction of a new 37,500 sq. ft certi- fied organic facility. In addition to the new processing operations, Germains also pur- chased and renovated the former Farotte Construction building on Casey Street in Gilroy as its second Research lab.