o The Frog Blog: Genetically Engineered Wheat

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Genetically Engineered Wheat


Scientist's at the University of Zurich and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre have identified a wheat gene sequence which provides protection against leaf rust, stripe rust and powdery mildew, three very common world wide diseases of wheat and other cereals. While genetic engineering plants for food consumption is controversial, it is more desirable as it is more environmentally friendly and profitable than strategies like spraying pesticides. The newly identified resistance gene – known as Lr34 transporter protein – is the first of its kind to be found in a commercial crop that is capable of delivering resistence to multiple pathogens. Whereas one gene usually only protects against a single disease for a limited time under commercial production, Lr34 provides long lasting disease resistance and acts against multiple diseases. The findings were published yesterday in the highly regarded, Science journal. Let us know what you think, email us by clicking here.

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