Breeding, GMO, Research, Trends, Varieties

These new GM crops will change how we farm

Three of the world’s most troubling crop diseases were just hit with three new disease-resistant crops varieties, thanks to genetic modification-each with a slightly different mechanism. The details of these modifications appear in three new papers out today in Nature Biotechnology.  The last paper deals with late potato blight, the disease blamed for Ireland’s famine in the 1800s. For that one, researchers in the UK’s Sainsbury Laboratory genetically modified an American wild potato variety, which was able to survive the disease. “Although potato late blight resistance genes have previously been isolated, the new method should greatly accelerate isolation of additional genes,” Jonathan Jones a co-author of the research from The Sainsbury Laboratory told Gizmodo. “We can foresee these genes being used to elevate disease resistance in crops over the next 5-10 years.” More

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