CRISPR-edited wheat could cut China’s toxic weed killer use

wheat weaving twisted grain like
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Chinese farmers are facing worsening problems with jointed goatgrass (Aegilops tauschii) – a close relative to wheat – growing in their wheat fields.

Currently, mesosulfuron is the only wheat-registered foliar-applied herbicide that provides control of jointed goatgrass in China, but it often damages the wheat. Non-transgenic wheat varieties tolerant to imidazolinone (IMI) herbicides can solve these problems by allowing the use of IMI to control goatgrass. However, IMI herbicides persist in the soil and severely damage sensitive crops planted months and even years later. Therefore, non-transgenic crops with herbicide tolerance traits, coupled with low-risk herbicides, are badly needed by millions of multi-cropping farmers in their battle against weeds.

Recently, a research team led by Profs. GAO Caixia and LI Jiayang at the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences….generated several herbicide-tolerant wheat germplasms….to facilitate weed control in wheat fields. 

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

The paper, entitled “Generation of herbicide tolerance traits and a new selectable marker in wheat using base editing,” was published online in Nature Plants on April 15.

Read full, original article: CRISPRed Wheat Helps Farmers Control Weeds

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