Biotech Updates

Differences Between Greenhouse and Field Trial Results of GM Wheat

July 16, 2010

Genetically modified wheat has been successfully produced and tested in the laboratories of the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Screenhouse trials showed that the GM wheat were able to resist the mildew and has yielded twice as high as that of the untreated non-transgenic control plants. The research published in Plos One on  Transgene × Environment Interactions in Genetically Modified Wheat revealed that the screenhouse trial result was not observed in the field trial.

Field trial results showed that GM wheat has reduced yield and exhibited changes in shape that made them susceptible to another fungi, the rye ergot. The authors led by Simon Zeller account these changes to the more harsh field conditions of drought, insect infestation and competition with other plants. However, the GM plants still retain their resistance to the mildew fungus. The experiment confirmed that there is a complex relationship between plants and their environment which can only be revealed in field trials.

The full paper can be acccessed at . The news article can be viewed at: