Fruitful lessons about GMOs from papayas to oranges

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It was the saddest sight I’ve ever seen: My father’s fields turned into a diseased wasteland of trees. Where papaya trees once stood, thick with leaves and fruit, only dead stumps remained. His life’s work as a farmer seemed to vanish, due to a lethal virus that nearly wiped out Hawaii’s papaya industry.

Access to cutting-edge technology saved my father’s farm and Hawaii’s papayas — and if we learn the right lessons from this story, it may rescue America’s oranges from a similar threat. Research suggests that scientists may be able to thwart citrus greening by inserting a gene from spinach plants into orange trees, providing the trees with a natural way to resist the bacteria. In its fundamentals, this is the same technique that worked for papayas.

Read full original article: Fruitful lessons about GMOs from papayas to oranges

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