New gene analysis technique identifies natural disease resistance in wheat to protect against fast-spreading stem rust

wheat rust disease

Stem rust has devastated wheat for centuries….Now a virulent strain is spreading from Africa.

Even as wheat crops wither and die in the fields, in the hedgerows alongside them grasses — their wild relatives — proliferate unaffected. Scientists have now developed a way of rapidly exploiting the natural disease resistance of wild crop varieties to protect the domesticated kind and hopefully cut down on pesticides. To demonstrate it they have shown how to exploit the genes that make wild grasses resistant to stem rust.

Resistant genes are usually bred back into food crops by crossbreeding them with wild varieties known to be immune to diseases. The problem is that this takes time….“It is a bit like crossing a racehorse with a donkey,” Brande Wulff, from the John Innes Centre, said. “It takes many, many years to get the best of both worlds.”

Related article:  Biotech industry fears Canada's uncertain CRISPR crop rules will slow farming innovation

This is why he and his colleagues pioneered a new technique…. By comparing the genomes of all [wild varieties], they can spot the genetic variant that gives some resistance and then either use genetic technology to edit it into the domestic crop or breed it in more rapidly by conventional means.

Read full, original article: Gene analysis speeds up race to beat cereal killer

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend