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Crop Biotech Update

Argentina One Step Away from GM Wheat Commercialization

November 28, 2018

"We mustn't do what other countries have already done; we must do what no other country did," said Bioceres CEO, Federico Trucco while presenting the HB4 wheat, a transgenic wheat variety with drought tolerance trait.

The development started in mid 1990s when Raquel Chan and her team identified the HB4 gene that confers sunflower seed with drought tolerance. In 2003, Bioceres reached an agreement with Conicet to develop it commercially. In 2007, HB4 was transferred to other crops such as soybean, maize, and wheat. To date, the technology is one step away from being available to Argentinean farmers. The developers are just waiting for the findings about the impact of HB4 wheat on the markets (domestic and foreign) to be released by the Ag-Industry Secretariat.

"Initially we have seed to plant 20,000 hectares next year. I hope Government authorities realize that HB4 is a milestone for the scientific sector in the country and for the food and agricultural chain," Trucco added.

Read more from the Genetic Literacy Project.