Drought resistant farming breakthrough: GMO corn survives nearly two months without water thanks to tomato genes, in field study

Screen Shot at PM

The intense desert to the south of the Coquimbo Region in Chile makes molecular biologist Simón Ruiz think about how to take advantage of the more than two million hectares of arid and semi-arid lands that Chile has.

“Many plant species cannot survive salinity, drought and constant temperature changes. We [are beginning] to test Chilean native plants that can withstand these conditions and produce transgenic seeds, ” he says.

Ruiz explains that a transgenic (GMO) crop is an organism that receives one or more genes from another species. …. To illustrate what such a crop is, he describes his work with a tomato variety that grows in the Atacama Desert, between 2,500 and 3,000 meters above sea level. The selected seed, Solanum chilense, is so resistant to lack of water, that it produces tomato fruits throughout the year.

Related article:  GMO herbicide-tolerant canola increased Canadian farm profits $233 million, saved consumers $26 million

The crop only receives water from the Bolivian winter rains, if they come, and absorbs what it can …. Ruiz’s team isolated …. 78 genes that confer tolerance to drought, salinity and cold.

With all the genes identified, he says, they wanted to modify a food that could really address the problem of hunger. “We chose corn because it is widely used in the world,” he says.

[Editor’s note: This article was originally published in Spanish and has been translated and edited for clarity.]

Read full, original article: Chilean scientist develops transgenic corn that resists 52 days without water

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
can you boost your immune system to prevent coronavirus spread x

Video: How to boost your immune system to guard against COVID and other illnesses

Scientists have recently developed ways to measure your immune age. Fortunately, it turns out your immune age can go down ...
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 ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
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