Drought resistance gene could help corn, soy crops survive Argentina’s scorching temperatures

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Credit: MIT Technology Review

The fertile grasslands of Argentina produce food for hundreds of millions around the world, and they have the potential to feed even more. But increasingly extreme weather conditions threaten productivity.

In the city of Santa Fe, scientists are using a new transgenic technology which helps crops endure longer spells without water. Research into sunflower plants lead Raquel Chan and her team to develop a gene called HB4, which resists drought and can be transplanted and used in soy bean and wheat production.

“The drought last year was terrible,” chief investigator Raquel Chan said. “We did a small test here and with the transgenic plants we had almost double the productivity than wild plants with the same treatment.”

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“This is something for very patient people,’ says the president of Bioceres, Federico Trucco. Bioceres says it hopes to bring transgenic soy into the marketplace soon, first in Argentina and then in other Latin American soy producing countries.

Related article:  Argentina fears skeptical consumers could cripple global rollout of drought-tolerant GMO wheat

Read full, original article: Argentina combats drought with genetic tech

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