Biotech wheat to drive US wheat yield challenge
News Nov 12, 2009
- Mike Abram, November 12, 2009
Genetically modified wheat will be at the heart of a drive in the USA to increase yields by 20% by 2018, says Daren Coppock, chief executive officer of the National Association of Wheat Growers.
Wheat areas in the country had come under pressure from soya beans and maize because of the relative poor returns from the crop, he explained at the British Crop Production Council congress.
Typically soya beans and maize gave a net profit of $250-$300/acre compared with $100/acre for wheat. Yield gains in those two crops, partly through the utilisation of genetic modification, had been much higher than in wheat, he said.
In a new study in cells, University of Illinois researchers have adapted CRISPR gene-editing technology to cause the cell’s internal machinery to skip over a small portion of a gene when transcribing it into a template for protein building. This gives researchers a way not only to eliminate a mutated gene sequence, but to influence how the gene is expressed and regulated.
Researchers published today a detailed description of the complete genome of bread wheat, the world's most widely-cultivated crop. This work will pave the way for the production of wheat varieties better adapted to climate challenges, with higher yields, enhanced nutritional quality and improved sustainability.