A few years ago a consortium of scientists announced they’ve sequenced the coffee genome for the first time. By determining all of the genes that make up Robusta coffee, a plant variety that accounts for about one-third of the world’s consumption, they’ve opened the door to better breeding practices and even genetically engineered coffee beans.
Various groups are still working on sequencing the fancier, more delicious Arabica strand, which contains twice as much genetic information due to its hybrid connection with other beans. All this fascination and research playing with mother natures plants, brings us to take a brief look at the global presence of Genetically modified crops and how it has evolved throughout the last year or so, There are many who are in favour and many who are against GM crops. We just want to highlight 8 interesting facts of recent GM crop development.
Lets start off with a whacky one! At early stages of food testing, geneticists have bred GMO pigs that glow in the dark by inserting into their DNA a gene from a jellyfish. Tomatoes have been developed that resist frost and freezing temperatures with antifreeze genes from a cold-water fish!
In certain rice fields around the world, the rice has been modified so it gets an extra boost of vitamin A from a daffodil gene. The rice was made for those who don’t get enough vitamin A in their diet.
At least 90 per cent of the soy, cotton, canola, corn and sugar beets sold in the United States have been genetically engineered.
The top 5 countries planting biotech crops are USA, Brazil, Argentina, India, and Canada
A record 18 million farmers grew biotech crops in 2014
Brazil continues to be the top developing country in 2014, planting 3 biotech crops with a total of 42.2 million hectares.
For the third consecutive year, developing countries planted more biotech crops than industrial countries
The number of countries planting biotech crops more than quadrupled from 6 in 1996 to 28 in 2014.
Source: James, Clive. 2014. Global Status of Biotech/GM Crops: 2014. ISAAA Brief No. 49. ISAAA: Ithaca, NY