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Crop Biotech Update

CSIRO Researchers Develop Crops for the Changing Climate

July 29, 2011

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) scientists are preparing for the future by developing new crop varieties that can withstand anticipated climate conditions in the next 20 to 50 years.

Dr. Jairo Palta, team leader of the climate-ready cereals project at CSIRO, and colleagues conducted a study on how different wheat traits perform under predicted future climate conditions. Results of their study will help wheat breeders in choosing traits that will maximize growth and quality, and these will be presented at the 18th International Botanical Congress on July 23-30, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia.

Dr. Robert Godfree will also present his findings on how native and invasive plant communities will respond to changing climate. "Grasses are an important component of healthy agricultural ecosystems, yet there is relatively little data on how they will respond to climate change," he said. His preliminary results are encouraging and efficient, with versatile and inexpensive experimental design which is now being adopted by other scientists in Australia and other countries.

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