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Crop Biotech Update

Investments Aim to Crack Wheat's "Tough Nuts"

June 22, 2012

Australia's Grains Research and Development Corporation has embarked into a ‘pre-breeding research' investment of $13.5 million for wheat and barley and has invested close to 51.5 million from 2009-2010 to 2012-13. Details of the ‘pre-breeding' investments' are contained in the newly released Cracking Wheat's Toughest Nuts Fact Sheet.

The fact sheet includes sections on important traits related to climate change such as frost, drought, salinity, nutrient use efficiency (nitrogen and phosphorus), diseases, and quality and functionality, as well as a table outlining progress made on these challenges.

"The lag between investment and delivery of improved varieties to growers is generally between 10 to 20 years, although many tools developed as part of pre-breeding research can deliver benefits much earlier to current breeding programs and therefore new varieties," said Dr. Jorge Mayer, quality traits manager of GRDC. "It is also important to remember that Australian growers are reaping the benefits of investments made many years ago in genetic improvement," Dr. Myer added.

The GRDC Cracking Wheat's Toughest Nuts Fact Sheet is available at http://www.grdc.com.au/GRDC-FS-CrackingWheatsToughestNuts. For details of this news, view http://www.grdc.com.au/director/events/mediareleases/?item_id=0CC7793901CF2827D5C4CA97EF237829.