Crop Biotech Update

Gene-editing Increases Sorghum's Protein Content

November 27, 2019

Researchers at the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) in Australia led by Professor Ian Godwin have achieved a breakthrough by increasing the protein content of sorghum from 9-10 percent to 15-16 percent. Professor Godwin revealed their research findings at the TropAg 2019 conference in Brisbane.

Professor Godwin said the research team edited the genes of sorghum to unlock the digestibility level of the available protein. "Gene editing has enabled us to knock out some of the existing genes," Professor Godwin said. "That has increased the digestibility of the crop."

The first outdoor trial crop will be planted at the University of Queensland's St. Lucia Campus in Brisbane in the coming weeks. To date, the gene-edited sorghum variety has only been grown under greenhouse conditions. The new, high-yielding gene-edited variety is being developed in partnership with Pacific Seeds and further development work to be conducted in the United States.

For more details, read the article in North Queensland Register.

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