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Good News for a Hungry World

Science cracks code to feed the world | The Times

New and improved varieties of wheat that will help to feed the world have been promised by scientists after the staple food’s genetic code was read for the first time by a British team.
The achievement will transform plant breeders’ ability to develop hardier and higher-yielding strains of wheat, leading to greater food security and lower prices, researchers said.
Insights from the genome sequence of bread wheat will identify genes that control critical traits such as drought and salt tolerance, disease resistance and grain production, which can then be bred more easily into new varieties.
The research will also assist the development of genetically modified wheat, which remains one of the few important crops to which biotechnology has yet to be applied.

Excellent news - and what will be the reaction of those great green humanitarians who campaign against GM - “Whoever makes two ears of corn, or two blades of grass to grow where only one grew before, deserves better of mankind, and does more essential service to his country than the whole race of politicians put together” - (Jonathan Swift)?
I doubt it.

Comments

Presumably this stuff is worse than hybrids as regards keeping some of the crop to use as seeds to plant next year. So, who has the IPR?

It will be intereting to see if they can do something about UG99 the rust virus.

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So what Brian -- why would you want to muck around breeding your own seed stock when a professional seedsman does it so much better than you can?

Besides, no-one forces you to grow hybrids or GM -- you're welcome to stick to heirloom seeds.

Btw, if the UG99 wipes out your heirloom seeds (as it will eventually), would you prefer that the professionals had not rescued wheat as a crop species because no-one would want to pay them to? You're paying those guys for much more than just seeds that sprout into plants!

As long as the name Monsanto doesn't come into it.

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