Biotech Updates

Next-generation Biotechnological Plant Breeding Techniques

May 27, 2011

In a quest to increase food production in the immediate future, plant breeders are continuously searching and developing new plant breeding techniques that would expedite crop varietal development. The European Commission's Joint Research Center in a newly published study found that plant breeders have been recently using biotechnological plant breeding technology such as Zink Finger Technology, oligonucleotide-directed mutagenesis, as well as grafting conventional plants onto GM rootstocks and vice versa, and DNA methylation to disable targeted individual genes.

The commissioned research reports that the number of research projects on these methods has risen sharply over the past few years and that over 80 patents have been applied for or granted. The first products of the technology which include herbicide tolerant oilseed rape, fungus resistant potatoes and apples, potatoes with lower amylose levels and drought tolerant maize will be available in the market in two to three years.

The EC has already set up a working group in 2007 that would aid in evaluating and classifying products of these plant breeding techniques, whether they are genetically modified or not. This will be the basis if there is a need for further food and environmental safety assessment and other legal regulations.

More details of this news can be seen at