Next generation GMO corn being developed to battle growing rootworm resistance

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For all the international furor over … GMOs, the biotech industry has really only managed to put a few foreign genes into food crops.

The first of these genes — actually, a small family of similar genes — came from a kind of bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt. Those genes make plants poisonous to certain insect pests.

…Three of the four Bt genes that are supposed to fend off one particularly important pest, the corn rootworm, are showing signs of failure. Corn rootworms have evolved resistance to them.

But the biotech companies say… More genes are on the way.

This week, a team of scientists from DuPont Pioneer announced … that they’d discovered a new rootworm-killing gene.

. . . .

Meanwhile, Monsanto is working on another new weapon against the rootworm. It relies on a different mechanism, called RNA interference. The modified corn plants produce a type of RNA that poisons root worms…

…[F]armers can’t celebrate quite yet. [Tom Greene, a senior research director for DuPont Pioneer] says this new weapon against the rootworm won’t be available for a decade or so…

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: As a GMO Pillar Wobbles, Biotech Companies Promise New Insect-Killing Genes