Conventional breeding may be outpacing genetic engineering in creation of super crops

Screen Shot at AM
Photo by wanko/Flickr

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

Last year, [Jonathan Lynch]. . . his team at Pennsylvania State University in University Park reported that they had produced a variety of common bean. . . that . . . [takes] up phosphorus from the soil with improved efficiency. In experimental plots, the plants produced three times the bean yield of typical varieties.

. . . .

Lynch’s beans are among the first successful attempts in a global race to develop crops that grow well in soils depleted of nutrients. “Low availability of nitrogen, phosphorus and water are the main limitations of plant growth on Earth. . .” says Lynch.


His work stands out because he has taken an old-school approach. He is leading a renaissance in some conventional crop-breeding techniques that rely on laboriously examining plants’ physical characteristics and then selecting for desirable traits. . .

And surprisingly, this approach seems to be outpacing the high-tech route.

Big corporations . . . have spent more than a decade developing improved crops through genetic engineering. . .But there are still no fertilizer-frugal transgenic crops on the market, and several agricultural organizations around the globe are reviewing their biotechnology initiatives in this area.

Read full, original post: The race to create super-crops

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

More than 2.8 million people have lost their lives due to the pandemic, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend