Scientists Call for International Investment to Tackle Major Wheat LossesJune 2, 2021
Scientists and experts from the John Innes Centre (JIC) urge governments around the world to come together and fund a new international research platform, to reduce the impact of major wheat pathogens, and improve global food security. The JIC is calling for an internationally coordinated approach to deliver a new ‘R-Gene Atlas', which would help identify new genetic solutions conferring disease resistance for crops, which could be bred into commercial wheat varieties.
Wheat R genes recognize corresponding molecules in the pathogen called effectors. By identifying the effectors present in pathogen and pest populations, more durable combinations or "stacks" of R genes could be designed. The R-gene atlas will be a free online portal containing this genetic information that will help breeders design gene stacks using computer modeling before starting their breeding in the field.
The idea for the R-gene atlas upon the recent surge in genomic resources available to researchers in wheat, facilitated by advancements in sequencing technologies and bioinformatics. The group also cites the global loss of one-fifth of the projected wheat yield annually to pests and pathogens totaling losses of 209 million tonnes, worth £22 billion ($31 billion). To minimize these losses, and to reduce reliance on chemical solutions, the team calls for broader use of disease resistance to be found in the genome of wheat and its wild relatives. This will provide long-lasting molecular protection against wheat's major pathogens including wheat rusts, blotch diseases, powdery mildew, and wheat blast.
For more details, read the JIC press release.
You might also like:
- Genome Editing of Wheat Alters Spike and Grain Characteristics
- Iron-rich GM Wheat Set to Undergo Field Trials
- JIC Scientists Biofortify Wheat to Produce Flour with More Iron
The Crop Biotech Update is a weekly newsletter of ISAAA, a non-for-profit organization. The CBU is distributed for free to over 23,000 subscribers worldwide to inform them about the key developments in biosciences, especially in agricultural biotechnology. Your support will help us in our mission to feed the world with knowledge. You can help by donating as little as $10.
See more articles:
News from Around the World
- International Research Team Identifies Pathway for Accelerated Plant Flowering in Low-Nitrogen Soils
- ISAAA Webinar: What is Gene Drive?
- Over 2,000 Nigerian Farmers Reaping the Benefits of Biotechnology
- Canada Approves HB4 Drought Tolerant Soybeans
- Study Finds Key Protein in Plant's Response to Nitrogen Deficiency
- GM Maize Adoption Increases by 31% Every Year in the Philippines, Benefiting More Resource-poor Farmers
- Scientists Call for International Investment to Tackle Major Wheat Losses
- Scientists Provides New Tool in Breeding More Climate-Resilient Cole Crops
- Researchers from China, Czech Republic, and USA Report Reference Genome for Maize B Chromosome
- GE Potato Plant Responds to Stress by Glowing
Plant Breeding Innovations
- Orange Poinsettias Developed Using CRISPR-Cas9
- International Trade in Crops with New Breeding Technologies: The Australian Perspective
Subscribe to CBU: