Nutrition

News 184 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Australia's first GM wheat trial approved

Australian is to carry out its first field trial of wheat that has been genetically modified (GM) for drought tolerance at two drought-prone sites in the state of Victoria.

The trial was approved by the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator and will be funded by the Molecular Plant Breeding Cooperative Research Centre .
Wheat lines that have been developed and assessed under laboratory and containment glasshouse facilities will now be trialled in the field.
The purpose of the trial is to conduct 'proof of concept' research to evaluate the agronomic performance, including yield, of the GM wheat lines under rain-fed, drought prone conditions.
Seed will also be collected and retained for seed increase or further experimentation (subject to additional approvals).
Up to 30 GM wheat lines will be trialled. Each wheat line contains one of six different genes for drought tolerance derived from the plants maize (Zea mays) and thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana), a moss (Physcomitrella patens) and a yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae).
The Molecular Plant Breeding Cooperative Research Centre is funding the trials and hopes to have the wheat breeds ready for commercial use with five to seven years.

Related links:
Office of the Gene Technology Regulator
Molecular Plant Breeding Cooperative Research Centre


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