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).
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