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See detailEmpowering biotechnology in southern Africa: establishment of a robust transformation platform for the production of transgenic industry-preferred cassava.
Chetty, C. C.; Rossin, C. B.; Gruissem, W. et al

in New biotechnology (2013), 30(2), 136-43

Knowledge and technology transfer to African laboratories and farmers is an important objective for achieving food security and sustainable crop production on the sub-Saharan African continent. Cassava ... [more ▼]

Knowledge and technology transfer to African laboratories and farmers is an important objective for achieving food security and sustainable crop production on the sub-Saharan African continent. Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is a vital source of calories for more than a billion people in developing countries, and its potential industrial use for starch and bioethanol in the tropics is increasingly being recognized. However, cassava production remains constrained by the susceptibility of the crop to several biotic and abiotic stresses. For more than a decade, biotechnology has been considered an attractive tool to improve cassava as it substantially circumvents the limitations of traditional breeding, which is particularly time-consuming and tedious because of the high heterozygosity of the crop. A major constraint to the development of biotechnological approaches for cassava improvement has been the lack of an efficient and robust transformation and regeneration system. Despite some success achieved in genetic modification of the model cassava cultivar Tropical Manihot Series (TMS), TMS 60444, in some European and U.S. laboratories, the lack of a reproducible and robust protocol has not allowed the establishment of a routine transformation system in sub-Saharan Africa. In this study, we optimized a robust and efficient protocol developed at ETH Zurich to successfully establish transformation of a commercially cultivated South African landrace, T200, and compared this with the benchmark model cultivar TMS 60444. Results from our study demonstrated high transformation rates for both T200 (23 transgenic lines from 100 friable embryogenic callus (FEC) clusters) compared with TMS 60444 (32 transgenic lines from 100 FEC clusters). The success in transforming landraces or farmer-preferred cultivars has been limited, and the high transformation rate of an industry-preferred landrace in this study is encouraging for a feasible transformation program for cassava improvement in South Africa (SA), which can potentially be extended to other countries in southern Africa. The successful establishment of a robust cassava transformation and regeneration system in SA demonstrates the relevance of technology transfer to sub-Saharan Africa and highlights the importance of developing suitable and reliable techniques before their transfer to laboratories offering less optimal conditions. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh-level production of extracellular lipase by Yarrowia lipolytica mutants from methyl oleate
Darvishi, F.; Destain, Jacqueline ULg; Nahvi, I. et al

in New Biotechnology (2011), 28(6), 756-760

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See detailTowards positional identification of susceptibility loci for White Heifer disease in Belgian Blue Cattle (poster)
Sartelet, Arnaud ULg; Druet, Tom ULg; Coppieters, Wouter ULg et al

in New Biotechnology (2010, April), 27(Supplement 1), 79

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See detailA cross-sectional study of biotechnology awareness and teaching in European high schools.
Vanderschuren, Hervé ULg; Heinzmann, Dominik; Faso, Carmen et al

in New biotechnology (2010), 27(6), 822-8

Undoubtedly, biotechnology has a tremendous impact on our daily lives. As a result of this and in parallel to the advancement of knowledge in this field of applied research, consumer awareness of the ... [more ▼]

Undoubtedly, biotechnology has a tremendous impact on our daily lives. As a result of this and in parallel to the advancement of knowledge in this field of applied research, consumer awareness of the potential benefits and risks of this technology has steadily increased, leading to a thorough investigation of the public perception of biotechnology in the past years. Indeed, it has become clear that it is in the general interest of science and especially of applied research to inform the public of its advances. A promising next step is to strengthen biotechnology communication in scholastic institutions. In this paper, we investigate the perception of biotechnology in a specific target group, namely high-school students in the 16-20-year-old age range. We conducted a questionnaire-based survey on a total of 1410 students in six European countries to investigate students' perception, concern, scientific knowledge, and awareness. Our data revealed some unexpected patterns of acceptance and concern about biotechnology. Knowledge analysis indicated that pupils lack specific knowledge about biotechnological applications and their interest in biotechnology appeared to be linked to knowledge. Analysis of specific questions about teaching practices at schools suggests that a better targeted choice in media as vehicles for information together with selected speakers could be instrumental in increasing students' interest in science and more specifically in biotechnology. [less ▲]

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See detailRecovery of γ-decalactone produced by Rhodotorula aurantiaca from the culture broth using Macronet resins
Alchihab, Mohamed; Aldric, Jean-Marc ULg; Aguedo, Mario ULg et al

in New Biotechnology (2009, September), 25S

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