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Crop Biotech Update

The Need for GM Wheat

August 8, 2018

Although providing ~20% of the daily calories and protein per capita worldwide, wheat is relatively an outcast from the posse of biotech crops. Scientists address this "abandonment" issue in a perspective article in Science.

The authors presented a promising shorter time for wheat improvement via genetic engineering than traditional crossbreeding and speed breeding, as well as the loss of resistance and tolerance genes caused by wheat domestication. The need for GM wheat is intensified by the devastating effect of wheat blast, which also has possible negative effects on rice cultivation. 

Africa and Asia, the two most populous regions with high incidences of malnutrition and poverty, will be the primary benefactors once GM wheat is developed.

For more information, read the article in Science