Beefing up livestock with GM crops

New methods of genome editing for precise DNA changes of living organisms could make varieties of crops easier for farm animals to digest, potentially increasing the productivity of farms raising such animals for food. Michael Raab, founder of Boston-based Agrivida plant biotechnology company, says their efforts will mainly involve altering plants so that farm animals such as cattle can extract more energy from them.

One feed crop that Agrivida is developing is a strain of corn that produces an enzyme to help chickens extract more of the nutrient phosphorous from feed. Nearly all chickens in the U.S. are already given this enzyme as an additive to their diets. Those enzyme additives are typically harvested from microbes and added to animal feed. Agrivida is developing corn that produces the phosphorous-liberating enzyme within its own kernels, using a gene borrowed from a microbe.

Read the full, original article: Fatter Cows and Chickens from GM Crops

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