Biotech Updates

Chinese Scientists Call for More Research on Plant Chromosome Engineering

November 28, 2008

Plant scientists voiced the need for more support to the studies of chromosomal engineering in plants at a recent session of the Xiangshan Science Conferences (XSSC). Wang Daowen, research professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology (IGDB), noted that distant hybridization and chromosomal engineering in plants have a unique role to play. "Their values in the fundamental and applied research into crop genetic improvement cannot be replaced by molecular biotechnology." Via chromosomal engineering, elite genes of wild species could be transferred to related cultivated species, creating valuable germplasm resources. Li Zhensheng, a well-known Chinese geneticist and one of the meeting’s co-chairs, pointed out that 30 percent of increase in grain yield is contributed by genetic improvement.

The scientists predict that along with the progress of science and technology, and in light of the demands for new crop cultivars through molecular design, new research breakthroughs are bound to debut in chromosome engineering.

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